Entering 7th Grade G&T Summer Reading List Summer 2010 Required Reading: If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko Kirsten's parents are barely speaking to each other, and her best friend has fallen under the spell of the school's queen bee, Brianna. It seems like only Kirsten's younger science-geek sister is on her side. Walker's goal is to survive at the new white private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousin. But he's a good kid. So is his friend Matteo, though no one knows why he’ll do absolutely anything that hot blond Brianna asks of him. But all of this feels almost trivial when Kirsten and Walker discover a secret that shakes them both to the core. Choice Novels (Read ONE) Fiction Selections: 1) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke Meggie’s father, Mo, has a wonderful and sometimes terrible ability. When he reads aloud from books, he brings the characters to life--literally. (FANTASY) 2) Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer. (REALISTIC FICTION) 3) Skellig by David Almond "I thought he was dead. He was sitting with his legs stretched out and his head tipped back against the wall. He was covered with dust and webs like everything else and his face was thin and pale. Dead bluebottles were scattered on his hair and shoulders. I shined the flashlight on his white face and his black suit." This is Michael's introduction to Skellig, the man-owl-angel who lies motionless behind the tea chests in the abandoned garage in back of the boy's dilapidated new house. As disturbing as this discovery is, it is the least of Michael's worries. The new house is a mess, his parents are distracted, and his brand-new baby sister is seriously ill. (SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY) 4) Tangerine by Edward Bloor So what if he's legally blind? Even with his bottle-thick, bug-eyed glasses, Paul Fisher can see better than most people. He can see the lies his parents and brother live out, day after day. No one ever listens to Paul, though--until the family moves to Tangerine. In Tangerine, even a blind, geeky, alien freak can become cool. (REALISTIC FICTION) 5) A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass Mia, 13, has always seen colors in sounds, numbers, and letters, a fact she has kept secret since the day she discovered that other people don't have this ability. (FANTASY/REALISTIC FICTION) 6) The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer Farmer's novel may be futuristic, but it hits close to home, raising questions of what it means to be human, what is the value of life, and what are the responsibilities of a society. (SCIENCE FICTION) 7) Begging for Change by Sharon Flake “Would you be all right if your mother got hit in the head with a pipe and your father was high as a kite?" In this sequel to Money Hungry (2001) Raspberry Hill's mother is in the hospital after being attacked by a neighborhood teenage girl, and Raspberry's father, homeless and addicted to drugs, resurfaces. (REALISTIC FICTION) 8) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death. (ACTION/ADVENTURE/SCIENCE FICTION) 9) That Summer by Sarah Dessen As her parents divorce and her sister gets married, teenage Haven finds herself out of place. There is the long-suffering mother and her scatterbrained best friend. Then there is toupee-wearing Dad, who honks from the driveway on visitation nights. Add the boy-crazy best friend and the moody older sister who is planning her wedding and making everyone miserable. (REALISTIC FICTION) 10) Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash by Wendelin Van Draanen Thirteen-year-old Sammy meets a mysterious man who dies of a heart attack after telling her to get rid of the large amount of money he is carrying, leading her to investigate who the man was and how he came to be carrying so much cash. (MYSTERY) 11) Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis Fifteen-year-old wannabe philosopher Luther T. Farrell knows a few things about life. He knows the Sarge (his rich, shrewd, slumlord mom) is tougher than nails and that he better not cross her. (REALISTIC FICTION) Non-fiction Selections: 12) Letters to a Bullied Girl by Olivia Gardner Presents a selection from the thousands of letters written to offer comfort and support to Olivia Gardner, a girl who became the victim of bullying after suffering an epileptic seizure in school, and whose story was heard by sisters Emily and Sarah Buder who took it upon themselves to start the letter writing campaign. (LOVE)] 13) It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke by Rodney L. Hurst, Sr. On August 27, 1960, more than 200 whites with ax handles and baseball bats attacked members of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP in downtown Jacksonville who were sitting in at white lunch counters protesting racism and segregation. Referred to as Ax Handle Saturday, "It was never about a hot dog and a Coke" chronicles the racial and political climate of Jacksonville, Florida in the late fifties, the events leading up to that infamous day, and the aftermath. 14) Fields of Fury: the American Civil War by James M. McPherson In 41 well-written one or two page chapters, McPherson summarizes the major facts of the war and relates anecdotes that bring to life the conflict's participants, from the commanders in chief to the soldiers on the front lines. 15) In Defense of Liberty: the Story of America’s Bill of Rights by Russell Freedman Freedman is at his best in this compelling, timely discussion of the Constitution and civil liberties. In his signature clear, conversational prose, he talks about the history of the Bill of Rights, from the time it was first voted on two centuries ago through the ongoing struggle to keep people free. 16) What a Great Idea! Inventions that Changed the World by Stephen Tomecek Profiles forty-five historic and prehistoric inventions, explaining how they work and describing their origins and impact. Includes such developments as the hand ax, the axle, writing, money, the clock, anesthesia, and the nuclear reactor.