2014 Parkway Summer Reading List
Students Entering Grades 6-9

Summer provides many opportunities for students and their families to enjoy unforgettable books together. Before entering each grade, a Parkway student is encouraged to read at least three of the books listed for that grade. Feel free to substitute other titles by the recommended authors. This list is revised by the Parkway Summer Reading List Committee.

You may wish to check your local public library for books on the Parkway Summer Reading List:

St. Louis County Library Catalog St. Louis Public Library Catalog (City)

Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Eighth Grade Ninth Grade

Before Entering Sixth Grade


Angelberger: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda c2010 realistic fiction
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.


Cushman: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple c1996 historical fiction
In 1849, twelve-year-old California Morning, who renames herself Lucy, is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a rough California mining town.


Di Camillo: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread c2003 fantasy
The adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.


DuPrau: City of Ember c2003 science fiction
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.


Fleischman: Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini c2006 biography
A biography of the magician, ghost chaser, aviator and king of escape artists whose amazing feats are remembered long after his death in 1926. Profiling his early years, personal life and great accomplishments in show business, the story of the famous magician, Harry Houdini, comes to life through a review of his greatest tricks and most amazing feats, complete with index, photos and author's notes.


Friedman: Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott c2006 narrative nonfiction
Covers the events surrounding and including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the end of segregation on buses.


Giff: Nory Ryan’s Song c2000 historical fiction
When a terrible blight attacks Ireland's potato crop in 1845, twelve-year-old Nory Ryan's courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbors survive.


Golding: The Secret Within c2002 realistic fiction
Carly Chambers spends her summer days delivering mysterious packages for her harsh father but when she sneaks out at night to find some freedom, she faces danger from all sides.


Isaacs: Torn Thread c2000 historical fiction
In an attempt to save his daughter's life, Eva's father sends her from Poland to a labor camp in Czechoslovakia where she and her sister survive the war.


Kehret: Abduction! c2004 realistic fiction
Thirteen-year-old Bonnie has a feeling of foreboding on the very day that her six-year-old brother Matt and their dog Pookie are abducted, and she becomes involved in a major search effort as well as a frightening adventure.

Levine: Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story c2002 biography, narrative nonfiction
A biography of a Czech girl who died in the Holocaust, told in alternating chapters with an account of how the curator of a Japanese Holocaust center learned about her life after Hana's suitcase was sent to her.


Lourie: The Manatee Scientist: Saving Vulnerable Species c2011 nonfiction
Scientists in Florida, West Africa and the Amazon Basin share information with the goal of protecting the docile and sometimes elusive manatee.


Potter: Slob c2009 realistic fiction, mystery
Picked on, overweight genius Owen tries to invent a television that can see the past to find out what happened the day his parents were killed.


Rhodes: Ninth Ward c2010 realistic fiction
In New Orleans' Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.


Ryan: Esperanza Rising c2000 realistic fiction
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.


Sachar: Holes c1998 realistic fiction
Stanley is falsely accused of a crime and ends up in a juvenile detention center where he is forced to dig holes everyday. It is supposed to build his character, but he suspects there are ulterior motives.

Selznick: The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures c2007 historical fiction
When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.


Smith: Peak c2007 realistic fiction, adventure
A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.


Spinelli: Stargirl c2000 realistic fiction
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.


Vanderpool: Moon over Manifest c2010 historical fiction
Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

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Before Entering 7th Grade


Anderson: Fever, 1793 c2000 historical fiction
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Barakat: Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood c2007 biography
The author remembers her childhood in Ramallah and as a Palestinian refugee in the late 1960s.

Bodeen: The Compound c2008 suspense
After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.


Caputo: 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War c2005 nonfiction
Provides an in-depth examination of the significant events and battles of the Vietnam War, discusses the resulting social unrest in the United States, and offers profiles of the major political players of the period.


Collins: The Hunger Games c2008 science fiction [series: Hunger Games trilogy]
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.


Ellis: The Breadwinner c1990 historical fiction [series: Breadwinner trilogy]
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.


Erskine: Mockingbird (Mok'ing'burd) c2008 realistic fiction
Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.

Fleming: The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum c2009 biography
Biography of P.T. Barnum, showman and founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Readers can visit Barnum's American Museum; meet Tom Thumb, the miniature man (39 in. tall) and his tinier bride (32 in.); experience the thrill Barnum must have felt, at age 60, he joined the circus.


Funke: The Thief Lord c2001 suspense
Two brothers, having run away from the aunt who plans to adopt the younger one, are sought by a detective hired by their aunt, but they have found shelter with -- and the protection of -- Venice's "Thief Lord."

Goodman: Other Side of the Island c2008 science fiction
Born in the eighth year of Enclosure, ten-year-old Honor lives in a highly regulated colony with her defiant parents, but when they have an illegal second child and are taken away, it is up to Honor and her friend Helix, another "Unpredictable," to uncover a terrible secret about their Island and the Corporation that runs everything.


Green: Football Genius c2007 realistic fiction
Troy, a sixth-grader with an unusual gift for predicting football plays before they occur, attempts to use his ability to help his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he must first prove himself to the coach and players.


Haddix: Double Identity c2005 science fiction, suspense
Thirteen-year-old Bethany's parents have always been overprotective, but when they suddenly drop out of sight with no explanation, leaving her with an aunt she never knew existed, Bethany uncovers shocking secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.


Hampton: September 11, 2001: Attack on New York City c2003 nonfiction
Describes the September 11 attacks in the United States and presents several personal stories of tragedy told by New Yorkers who lived through the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Horowitz: Stormbreaker 2000 suspense [series: Alex Rider Adventures]
Investigating the death of his uncle, fourteen-year-old orphan Alex Rider learns that his uncle was actually a spy and was preparing Alex to be a spy as well. He is then unwillingly recruited by the British intelligence service MI6 to carry on his uncle's assignment. He continues to track down villains to stop their plots towards power and revenge.


Lobel: No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War c1998 nonfiction
The author, known as an illustrator of children's books, describes her experiences as a Polish Jew during World War II and for years in Sweden afterwards.

Pfeffer: Life As We Knew It c2006 science fiction [series: Life as We Knew It]
When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer to Earth’s orbit, 16-year-old Miranda’s life is turned upside-down. Miranda, through her diary entries, shows her family’s struggle for survival in a world where food, warmth, sunlight, and hope are scarce. Even though life goes from bad to worse, Miranda finds strength and courage in herself and in her family to continue living.


Riordan: The Lost Hero c2010 fantasy, adventure [series: Heroes of Olympus]
Jason, Piper and Leo, three students from a school for "bad kids," find themselves at Camp Half-Blood, where they learn that they are demigods and begin a quest to free Hera, who has been imprisoned by Mother Earth herself.


Teigemeier: Smile c2010 nonfiction, graphic format
An autobiography in graphic novel format describes how the author lost two of her front teeth in an accident when she was twelve, and her subsequent struggles with various corrective dental techniques throughout adolescence.


Weeks: So Be It c2004 realistic fiction
After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.


Westerfeld: Uglies c2005 science fiction [series: Uglies]
Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.

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Before Entering Eighth Grade


Bartoletti: Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow c2005 nonfiction
Against the backdrop of Hitler’s world, we follow German young people through the many different organizations which formed them into soldiers faithful to the fatherland.


Carson: Gifted Hands: The Story of Ben Carson c1990 autobiography
Captures the physician's fight to beat the odds, the secret behind his outstanding accomplishments, and what drives him to take risks.


Condie: Matched c2010 science fiction [series: Matched trilogy]
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate--until Ky Markham's face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black.


Cooney: Code Orange c2005 realistic fiction, suspense
While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York.


Cummings: Red Kayak c2004 realistic fiction
Living near the water on Maryland's Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends J.T. and Digger become entangled in a tragedy which tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong.


Dashner: The Maze Runner c2009 science fiction [series: Maze Runner trilogy]
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.


Giblin: Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth c2005 collective biography
Through a review of their family and an examination of their political ideologies, a biography presents a look at two who stood on opposing sides during the Civil War and how one, John Wilkes Booth, became the infamous assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.


Gorman: Games c2007 realistic fiction
When fourteen-year-old rivals Boot Quinn and Mick Sullivan fight once too often, the new principal devises the punishment of having to play games together at his office, where they learn which battles are worth fighting.


Herlong: The Great Wide Sea c2008 adventure
Still mourning the death of their mother, three brothers go with their father on an extended sailing trip off the Florida Keys and have a harrowing adventure at sea.

Klavan: The Last Thing I Remember c2009 suspense
High school student Charlie West awakens bloody and bruised in a concrete bunker, only to discover that he has lost a year of his life and remembers nothing about escaping from prison after being convicted of murdering his former best friend, or why he is being pursued by both the law and a group of terrorists trying to bring down the government of the United States.

Lupica: Million Dollar Throw c2009 realistic fiction
Eighth-grade star quarterback Nate Brodie's family is feeling the stress of the troubled economy, and Nate is frantic because his best friend Abby is going blind, so when he gets a chance to win a million dollars if he can complete a pass during the halftime of a New England Patriot's game, he is nearly overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed.

McWhorter: A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968 c2004 nonfiction
Explores the sacrifices and triumphs of African Americans in their pursuit of social and political equality, and examines the often violent resistance they met from white Americans.


Mulligan: Trash c2010 mystery
A group of fourteen year old boys, who make a living picking garbage from the outskirts of a large city, find something special and mysterious that brings terrifying consequences.


Paolini: Eragon c2003 fantasy [series: Inheritance Cycle]
In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic and power, peopled with dragons, elves and monsters.


Park: When My Name was Keoko c2002 historical fiction
With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.


Patent: Buffalo and the Indians: A Shared Destiny c2006 nonfiction
Provides a review of the bond between Native Americans and buffaloes throughout history and examines how European settlers disrupted nature's balance and nearly caused the extinction of an animal so highly respected by the native tribes.


Rinaldi: A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials c1992 historical fiction
In 1706, the town of Salem is in an uproar due to the Salem witch trials. The story is told from the perspective of Susanna English, who is caught between her desire to join the malicious group of girls who are spreading the mischief and her fear of what they are doing.


Van Draanen: Runaway c2006 realistic fiction
After running away from her fifth foster home, Holly, a twelve-year-old orphan, travels across the country, keeping a journal of her experiences and struggle to survive.


Werlin: The Rules of Survival c2005 realistic fiction
Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother.


White: Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 c2005 science fiction, adventure
In the year 2083, five fourteen-year-olds who were deprived by chance of the opportunity to continue their educations reenact Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole as contestants on a reality television show, secretly aided by a Department of Entertainment employee.

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Before Entering Ninth Grade


Card: Ender's Game c1985 science fiction
Ender, who is the result of genetic experimentation, may be the military genius Earth needs in its war against an alien enemy.


Cox: Swimming to Antarctica c2004 nonfiction, memoir
Distance swimmer, Lynne Cox, describes her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the mythical act of swimming itself and chronicles some of her more memorable swims.


Crutcher: Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories c1991 short stories
This book is a collection of short stories featuring characters from earlier books by Chris Crutcher.


Deuker: Gym Candy c2007 fiction, sports
Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life.


Dickens: Oliver Twist classic fiction
An orphan in Victorian England finds his true identity through his misadventures.


Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo classic fiction, adventure
Nineteen-year-old French sailor Edmond Dantes is unjustly imprisoned on his planned wedding day, and after fourteen years of solitary confinement, a daring escape, hidden riches on the island of Monte Cristo, and a new identity bring him closer to a reunion with his love, Mercedes, and revenge upon his accusers.


Farmer: The House of the Scorpion c2002 science fiction
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.


Flinn: Beastly c2007 fantasy
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.

Franco (editor): Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls c2001 poetry
A collection of poems, stories, and essays written by girls twelve to eighteen years of age and revealing the secrets which enabled them to overcome the challenges they faced.


Franco (editor): You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys c2000 poetry
An anthology of stories, poems, and essays by adolescent boys on issues that concern them.


Forman: If I Stay c2009 realistic fiction
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

Gourley: War, Women and the News: How Female Journalists Won the Battle to Cover World War II c2007 nonfiction
Text, period photographs and news clippings tell the stories of the female journalists who fought to cover World War II and report from the front lines.


Hersey: Hiroshima c1985 nonfiction
The classic tale of the day the first atom bomb was dropped offers a haunting evocation of the memories of survivors and an appeal to the conscience of humanity.


Johnson: The First Part Last c2003 realistic fiction
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.


Krakauer: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster c1998 nonfiction
The author describes his spring 1996 trek to Mt. Everest, a disastrous expedition that claimed the lives of eight climbers, and explains why he survived.


Lord: A Night to Remember c1955 nonfiction
An account of the sinking of the "Titanic," a reputedly unsinkable ship that went down in the Atlantic on April 10, 1912 after hitting an iceberg, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 people.

Oppel: Half Brother c2010 historical fiction
In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project--an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills--he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his thirteen-year-old son to treat Zan like a little brother.


Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin classic, historical fiction
Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree and little Eva: their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South.


Strasser: Boot Camp c2007 fiction
After ignoring several warnings to stop dating his teacher, Garrett is sent to Lake Harmony, a boot camp that uses unorthodox and brutal methods to train students to obey their parents.


Tolkien: Lord of the Rings Trilogy c1954 fantasy
Frodo, the hobbit and his companions set out to deliver the One Ring of Power to the dark land of Mordor in order to destroy the ring in the forge of its creation.


Yang: American Born Chinese c2006 graphic novel
Presented in comic book format, this story alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture.

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