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Suggested Reading List

The following titles are recommended as Summer reading both to maintain fluency and reading level and to encourage independent reading. Students may find these titles at libraries and bookstores. These selections are in order by grade level:



Grades K through 2 ages 5-8
Back of the Bus, Aaron Reynolds.  
Told from a young boy’s point of view, we hear the story of Rosa Parks and her determination to keep her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. The language is authentic. Oil painting illustrations magnify the story.
The Brothers Kennedy: John, Robert, Edward, Kathleen Krull.  
Three ordinary brothers led three extraordinary lives. The Kennedys were raised to believe that they could change things for the better and with their tireless efforts, they did.
Chalk, Bill Thomson. 
An incredible wordless picture book comes to life when children find a bag of chalk at the park and begin to draw. Each illustration is meticulously painted by hand. The magic chalk will surprise all “readers” who can create their own words with the story.
The Falling Raindrop, Neil Johnson and Joel Chin. 
This is a simple story to explain the science of the water cycle. One little raindrop is falling to earth and is excited to be alive. However, he then worries about crashing. This story demonstrates how one should live life to the fullest.
How Rocket Learned to Read, Tad Hills.
A little, yellow bird is determined to get a dog named Rocket to read. This story allows the readers to see and hear the progress of reading. It reminds us that everything takes time. This book makes learning to read very appealing.
Lily’s Victory Garden, Helen L. Wilbur.  
This World War II story emphasizes how one girl takes action in her own community by growing a vegetable garden. She asks a neighbor for a plot of land to use. Friendship is bestowed on a woman who has lost her son in the war and working in the garden heals her sorrow. The seed packet artwork adds to the story and shows that one person, no matter how young, can truly make a difference.
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don’t), Barbara Bottner. 
A librarian is challenged when one of her patrons does not like books. Miss Brooks does not give up and is determined to make the match with this young reader.
My Brother Charlie, Holly Robinson Peete and Shane W. Evans.  
Told from a little girl’s point of view, we see what it is like for her twin brother to have autism: “Kids with autism are valuable human beings with real feelings even though they can’t always express them.” This heartwarming story can be shared with children of all ages.
Seed Soil Sun, Cris Peterson. 
This book has vibrant photographs with lots of details for children to see. It opens with hands showing a wide variety of seeds. We then watch corn grow. This book complements science curricula and demonstrates where food actually comes from rather than just the grocery store.
The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez, René Colato Láinez. 
Two cultures collide when a young boy loses his tooth. Will the tooth fairy take the tooth? Or will the Ratón Pérez? The two team up to capture the tooth and decide to share their bounty. This book offers a unique view with which to compare and contrast traditions in other countries.
Additional Titles - Kindergarten:
Poppelton (series), Cynthia Rylat                                             Frog and Toad (series), Arnold Lobel       
My Garden, Kevin Henkes                                                         Amelia Bedelia (series), Peggy Parish
Arthur Goes to Camp, Marc Brown                                         Diary of a Fly, Doreen Crontin and Harry Bliss
Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars, Douglas Florian            Lost and Found: 3 Dog Stories, Jim LaMarche 
You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together, Mary Ann Hoberman
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners, Laurie Keller
Additional Titles – First Grade:
Anno’s Counting Book, Mitsumasa Anno                            How Much is a Million, Steven Kellogg
Ten Black Dots, Donald Crews                                               Miss Rumphuis, Barbara Cooney
The King’s Commissioners, Aileen Friedman                       We Read: A to Z, Donald Crews
The Z Was Zapped, Chris Van Allsburg                                  The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom, Bill Martin                                Happy Birthday Moon, Frank Asch
Additional Titles: Second Grade:
Junie B. Jones Series, Barbara Park                                                     Flat Stanley Series, Jeff Brown
Cam Jansen Series, David Adler                                                           Henry and MudgeSeries, Cynthia Rylant
A-Z Mysteries, Ron Roy                                                                          Ready Freddy Series, Abby Klein
Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parrish                                                              Black Lagoon Adventures, Mike Thaler
Grades 3 through 5 ages 8-11
Bag in the Wind, Ted Kooser. 
This book showcases environmental awareness through the travels of a plastic shopping bag. People in the United States use 100 billion plastic shopping bags per year. This book could be used for sequence lessons. After reading this story, you will definitely think differently about using plastic shopping bags.
The Buffalo Are Back, Jean Craighead George. 
Incorporating history and environmental awareness, we learn what happens when the prairie environment is decimated and nearly all buffalo are killed. A herd of 300 buffalo survive to begin the renewal of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, a protected patch of land, in Kansas. Thanks to this assertive effort, there are more than 200,000 buffalo in existence today. Brilliant watercolor illustrations illustrate this story.
Mockingbird, Kathryn Erskine. 
Told from the point of view of 10-year-old Caitlin, we learn firsthand what it is like to deal with Asperger’s syndrome. A shooting in middle school took the life of her beloved older brother. Now Caitlin searches for closure for herself and her dad.
Muddy as a Duck Puddle and Other American Similes, Laurie Lawlor. 
Similes compare two things using like or as. This ABC format uses a different simile for each letter of the alphabet. The author’s note at the back of the book details each expression, many of which have been passed down from one generation to the next.
Out of My Mind, Sharon M. Draper. 
Born with cerebral palsy, 10-year-old Melody has never spoken a word. The author shows Melody making a transition from a special education classroom into a regular classroom. It highlights the misconceptions surrounding students with disabilities.
Stand Straight, Ella Kate, Kate Klise. 
This fictionalized picture book, told in first person, shows how one lady deals with being 8 feet tall. At a time when many young women had no opportunities to travel, Ella embraced her height and appeared in museums, exhibitions, traveling circus shows, and even a world’s fair. This is an excellent choice for students who have to deal with being “different.”
Survival at 40 Below, Debbie S. Miller.
The tundra is fascinating for all—how can anything survive at 40 degrees below zero? Yet a wide variety of animals do. The illustrations bring to life the survival mode for many animals. Global warming is affecting the habitat of these animals. A temperature chart at the back of the book details the highs and lows for this forbidding climate.
Turtle in Paradise, Jennifer L. Holm. 
Turtle’s mom finds a job as a live-in housekeeper. When she discovers her employer does not like
children, she sends Turtle away to live with relatives. Set in 1935 during the Depression era in the United States, the humorous family dramas are relevant to families today.
Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors, Joyce Sidman. 
Why have some species survived and others have not? Some sharks could be as much as 375 million years old! There are beetles that could be 265 million years old! The combination of poems, dynamic illustrations, and scientific facts makes this a rare book indeed. A sampling of species in sequential order shows the steps of evolution.
World War II: Fighting for Freedom, 1939–1945: The Story of the Conflict That Changed the World, Peter Chrisp
Peter Chrisp, a British children’s author, provides photographs and factoids to give insight on World War II. A glossary at the back of the book details war terminology. This book shows how the war led to advances in medicine and technology. Fantastic photos provide realism as to what it was like to live during this time.
Additional Titles – 3rd Grade:
Cam Jansen Series                                                                               Junie B. Jones Series
The Geronimo Stilton Series                                                              Beezus and Ramona
Boxcar Series                                                                                        Magic Tree House Series
Amber Brown Series                                                                           Judy Moody Series
Additional Titles – 4th Grade:
The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Cleary                                                  Bud, Not Buddy, Curtis
The Lemonade War, Davies                                                                   Poems for Young People, Dunbar
The Tigers Rising, DiCamillo                                                                  The Problems with the Puddles, Feiffer
Stone Fox, Gardiner                                                                                Amazing Faces, Hopkins
Runaway Twin, Kehret                                                                           Animal Stories: True Rescue Series, Markle
Holes, Sacher                                                                                          Storm Runners, Smith
Additional Titles – 5th Grade:
No Talking, Andrew Clements                                                                                Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
The Fighting Ground, Avi                                                                        Crash, Jerry spinelli
Frindle, Andrew Clements                                                                      The Boys Start the War, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Matilda, Roald Dahl                                                                                                If You Lived At the Time of the American Revolution, Kay Moore
6th Grade ages 11-13
After Ever After, Jordan Sonnenblick. 
Jeffrey and his best friend, Tad, are in eighth grade and dealing with common adolescent issues such as school and girls. What makes these boys unique is that they are both cancer survivors.
Bamboo People, Mitali Perkins. 
Set in modern day Burma amidst civil and military unrest, this coming-of-age novel tells the story of two boys whose unexpected encounter challenges their loyalties and courage.
FDR’s Alphabet Soup: New Deal America, 1932–1939, Tonya Bolden
Filled with primary source material, this reference book reveals an insider’s look at Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his plan to bring the United States out of the Great Depression.
Forge, Laurie Halse Anderson.
The sequel to Chains, this historical novel of the Revolutionary War follows Curzon to Valley Forge. Graphic details reveal the hardships faced by soldiers.
Henry Aaron’s Dream, Matt Tavares. 
Lavish illustrations accompany this biography of baseball legend, Hank Aaron, from his days of playing sandlot ball to the Negro Leagues to the Atlanta Braves.
Lafayette and the American Revolution, Russell Freedman
The Marquis de Lafayette was just 19 years old when he defied his family and the king of France to come to the United States to join the patriots.
Palace Beautiful, Sarah DeFord Williams.
Two sisters and their new friend learn about the influenza epidemic of 1918 after they find a diary written by a girl who experienced it firsthand.
Shooting Kabul, N.H. Senzai. 
Fadi’s family flees to California from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan just prior to the September 11th attacks in New York City. Fadi must adapt to his new home and find a way to return to Afghanistan to retrieve his sister, who was accidentally left behind.
Woods Runner, Gary Paulsen. 
The horrors of the Revolutionary War are seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Samuel, who must rescue his parents after they are kidnapped by British soldiers and Iroquois Indians.
Additional Titles – 6th Grade:
The Giver, Lois Lowry                                                                          Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle                                                 The Cay, Theodore Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, Mildred Taylor                                                The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
Gary Paulson books sequels with Hatchet                                       Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Shadow Children Books, Margaret Peterson Haddox                   The Call of the Wild, Jack London    


Armstrong, Jennifer. Steal Away.
Two women, one white and one black, tell the story of their escape from a southern farm during the 1850s and of their difficult journey north to freedom.
Banks, Lynne Reid. Mystery of the Cupboard.
After moving to a home his mother recently inherited, Omri uncovers the mystery of the house and its link to a magic cupboard. A sequel to Indian in the Cupboard.
Beller, Susan. Cadets At War: The True Story of Teenage Heroism at the Battle of New Market.

Reech, Sharon.
Absolutely Normal Chaos.
Mary Louis is keeping a journal as an English class assignment. Through the entries, the events of her summer come alive.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963.
A family story, both comic and moving, touches on the frightening times of the early civil rights movement.
Fritz, Jean. You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
This engaging historical biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton presents a lively look at her impatient, outspoken personality as she fought for women's suffrage.
Hobbs, Will. The Big Wander.
Searching for his uncle in rugged Southwest canyon country, Clay becomes involved with a group of Navajo Indians who are trying to save some of the last wild mustangs.
Hoestlandt, Jo. Star of Fear, Star of Hope.
During the German occupation of Paris, Helen becomes distraught when her best friend, a Jewish girl, disappears after they have quarreled.
Klass, David. Danger Zone.
In this thriller, Jimmy is recruited for an all-star basketball team scheduled to represent the U.S. in an international tournament. When they travel to Rome, the all-star teens are trapped in events beyond their understanding.
McKay, Hilary. Dog Friday.
A boy finds himself in a series of often hilarious, occasionally dangerous scrapes when a wild and eccentric family moves next door.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Alice the Brave.
For Alice, spending the summer around the pool should be ideal, but instead her secret fear of drowning is revealed when a group of boys try to throw her into the pool. Her brother helps her to conquer her fears.
Paulsen, Gary. Brian's Winter.
What would have happened if Brian Robeson, the subject of Hatchet, had not been rescued when he had? Brian must confront the Canadian winter; he scrambles to reinforce his shelter and make animal skin clothing and arrowhead tools to help him improve hunting techniques.
Powell, Randy. Dean Duffy.
Dean is assured of a scholarship until his pitching arm gives out and he bats only .052 in his last season. His future is questionable until he receives an offer from a small private college for a one-semester scholarship.
Rosen, Michael J. A School for Pompey Walker.
A true narrative of an escaped slave who returned to the South to raise money for a school by selling himself back into slavery again and again.
Watkins, Yoko Kawashima. My Brother, My Sister, and I.
This is a sequel to So Far from the Bamboo Grove. Living as refugees in Japan in 1947, thirteen-year-old Yoko and her brother and sister search for their missing father

OPFI – 9th Grade

Shulman, Mark. Scrawl
Hornby, Nick. Slam
Bondoux, Anne-laure. A Time of Miracles.
Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. Hip Hop High School
Sitomer, Lawrence. The Hoopster
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games
Myers, Walter Dean. Monster
Booth, Coe. Kendra

Oak Park High School
English Department


College Readiness
Accelerated Reading
1984-     George Orwell
Hazelwood High Trilogy - Sharon Draper
Cry The Beloved Country-    Alan Paton
·     Tears of a Tiger
Lord of the Flies -     William Golding
·     Forged by Fire
Into Thin Air -   Jon Krakauer
·     Darkness Before Dawn
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings-    Maya Angelou
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens - Sean Covey
Into the Wild- Jon Krakauer





College Readiness List
Accelerated Reading List
The Things They Carried- Tim O’Brien
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
A Prayer For Owen Meany- John Irving
Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
Brave New World-Aldus Huxley
Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins
The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell
Friday Night Lights- H.G. Bissinger
Angela’s Ashes- Frank McCourt
The Glass Castle- Jeannette Walls





College Readiness List
Accelerated Reading List
The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- Ken Kesey
Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison
The Color Purple- Alice Walker
The Joy Luck Club- Amy Tan
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water- Michael Dorris
Malcolm X- Alex Haley
A Long Way Gone- Ishmael Beah
Nickel and Dimed- Barbara Ehrenreich
The Pact-Davis, Hunt and Jenkins