PPS Books for Relaxing Reading, Grades 6-8, Authors E-L
This is the summer reading list for grades 6-8 from the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes.
A Girl Named Disaster
While journeying to Zimbabwe, eleven-year-old Nhamo struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits. (Other titles by this author, including House of the Scorpion and The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, are also recommended. Ask your librarian for more recommendations.)
Cover-up: Mystery at the Super Bowl
After Stevie gets fired from his co-anchor job on a ground-breaking teen sports show, fourteenyear-old sports reporters Susan Carol and Stevie investigate suspicious activities at the Super Bowl. As the Super Bowl draws nearer, the teens learn that all of the players on the offensive line of the California Dreams have failed their doping tests and that the Dreams' owner is trying to cover up the test results.
The Skin I'm in
Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin. When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. The new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka: Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same? (Ask your librarian to help you find more great books by Sharon Flake.)
Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science
The true story of Phineas Gage, whose brain was pierced by an iron rod in 1848. He survived and became a case study in how the brain functions.
A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
Jackie Robinson experienced a great deal of racial prejudice when he became the first black player in Major League baseball by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. Teammates also depicts the acceptance and support that Jackie Robinson received from his white teammate Pee Wee Reese.
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) After Wesley reads an intimate poem to his high school English class, other students envy this power of self-reflection and start writing their own poetry. Deep secrets, fears, and feelings are revealed and vanish.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith
(nonfiction) Charles Darwin's children were used as scientific specimens. His wife's religious beliefs went against his theories. This is the real life story behind Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. (If you enjoy this book, ask your librarian to suggest other books, such as "Flush", by Carl Hiaasen.)
Devastated by the loss of a second father, thirteen-year-old Bird follows her stepfather from Cleveland to Alabama in hopes of convincing him to come home, and along the way helps two boys cope with their difficulties.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series)
(Summer Dreamers' Academy Book) Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
The View from Saturday
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who choses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition. (You may also enjoy other titles by E.L. Konigsburg. Ask your librarian for suggestions.)
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino's heavily guarded store and steal the card back, planning to use the money to finance his father's failing invention, the SmartPick fruit picker.
Hattie Big Sky
After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe.
Recounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her "savvy"--a magical power unique to each member of her family--just as her father is injured in a terrible accident. (Newbery Honor Book)
(Summer Dreamers' Academy book) In the Kingdom of Ayortha, Aza, an unattractive woman with a magical voice, learns to balance her appearance with her talent, meanwhile. Her singing attracts both Prince Ijori, who cannot resist it, and Queen Ivi, who plots to use it to benefit herself.
Houdini: The Handcuff King
(graphic novel, non-fiction) Harry Houdini mesmerized a generation of Americans when he was alive, and continues to do so eighty years after his death. This book centers on one of his most famous jumps in Houdini's life. As Houdini prepares for a death-defying leap into the icy river, the authors reveal Houdini's life and influence: from the anti-Semitism Houdini fought all his life, to the adulation of the American public; from his hounding by the press, to his loving relationship with his wife Bess; from his egoism to his insecurity; from his public persona -- to the secret behind his most amazing trick!