PPS Books for Relaxing Reading, Grades 6-8, Authors M-Z
This is the summer reading list for grades 6-8 from the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Why is Snot Green? And Other Extremely Important Questions (and Answers)
(non-fiction) (Summer Dreamers' Academy book) Told in a back-and-forth conversational style, a collection of scientific questions and answers provides information on subjects that kids really want to know about: from the gas passed by astronauts to black holes.
The Dream Bearer
During a summer in Harlem, David relies on his mother and a close friend and on an old man he meets in the park to help him come to terms with his father's outbursts and unstable behavior. (Ask your librarian to help you find more great books by Walter Dean Myers.)
Steven Harmon was only a lookout in the four-person holdup of a drugstore, but during the robbery attempt the store owner was killed. Steven was not even in the store at the time of the murder. How guilty does that make Steven? Does his participation make him a monster? That is the question left up to the jury in this courtroom trial. (If you enjoyed this book, please ask your librarian to suggest more books by Walter Dean Myers.)
The Lightning Thief
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.
Safe at Home
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) Elijah Breeze, a ten-year-old African American boy, moves back to New York City with his mother and attends a summer baseball camp as he tries to make new friends and adapt to urban ways
Harry Potter (series)
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (Ask your librarian to help you to find and read them all. Bet you can't read just one!)
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) When Mimi Wallingford, the great-granddaughter of a legendary stage actress, is transported into Shakespeare's Verona, she experiences the feud between the Capulets and Montagues firsthand and is determined to give this famous tragedy a happily-ever-after ending.
Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.
(A Summer Dreamers' Academy book) After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary as he accomplishes athletic feats and other deeds that awe his peers. (Ask your librarian to suggest more titles by Jerry Spinelli.)
When You Reach Me
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source.
The Mysterious Benedict Society (series)
Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities? Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests. Only four children succeed. Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance, all graduates of the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and members of the Benedict Society, embark on a scavenger hunt that turns into a desperate search for the missing Mr. Benedict. (If you enjoyed this, you will probably enjoy other books in the series.)
Almost Astronauts : 13 Women Who Dared To Dream
(non-fiction) The story of the Mercury 13; a group of women aviators who proved to be as courageous, intelligent and fit as any man, but who were nonetheless barred from NASA's astronaut program because of their gender.
Whisked away from his comfortable and quiet life in his hobbit-hole by a wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up with dwarves and a wizard in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of a large and very dangerous dragon.
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.
Regular Guy (and other Guy books)
Because he is so different from his eccentric parents, twelve-year-old Guy is convinced he has been switched at birth with a classmate whose parents seem more normal. (Ask your librarian about other books, including "So B. It" by Sarah Weeks.)
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) As beauties, their only job is to have a great time. Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will be transformed into beauties, Tally's best friend runs away. Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all. (If you liked this book, ask your librarian for some of Scott Westerfeld's other books, including Peeps.)
Miracle's Boys is the story of three brothers, Ty'ree, Charlie, and Lafayette and their struggle to stay together as a family after the death of their mother. This is an eloquent story of the power of love to sustain a family, against tough odds. Winner of the 2001 Coretta Scott King Award!
After Tupac & D Foster
In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur's music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.