Incoming Sixth Grade

Summer Reading 2009

Dear Parents and Students,

Our school district has a required summer reading program. On the other side of this letter is a list of recommended books to read during the summer. Because students’ maturity and reading levels vary, we encourage parents to participate actively in selecting their children’s reading.

Students are expected to read and respond to two books from the list for the grade they will be entering in the fall. Students are responsible for obtaining their own books; the public libraries, as well as local booksellers specializing in children’s and young adult literature, will have most of these titles available. Some schools will have book fairs this spring featuring these summer reading titles.

All students must be prepared to share and evaluate the two books they read soon after school begins in September.

TASK #1: Be prepared to make a written recommendation to your teacher that a book you read be retained or deleted from next year’s list.

TASK #2: Guidelines for the assignment for the second book you read will be given the first or second week of school. This assignment could be in-class writing, a book talk, or a special project.

We are very excited about this program and hope the books on this list will provide knowledge and pleasure for your child. We encourage you to read and/or discuss these books with your student.


Carol Hagen, Librarian, John Adams Middle School
Meredith Lebo, Librarian, Lincoln Middle School
Joe Di Mercurio, Librarian, Malibu High School



Alvarez, Julia - How Tîa Lola Came to Stay. Although ten-year-old Miguel is at first embarrassed by his colorful aunt, Tia Lola, when she comes to Vermont from the Dominican Republic to stay with his mother, his sister, and him after his parents' divorce, he learns to love her.

Creech, Sharon - The Wanderer. Thirteen-year-old Sophie and her cousin Cody record their transatlantic crossing aboard the Wanderer, a forty-five foot sailboat, which is en route to visit their grandfather in England.

DiCamillo, Kate - Because of Winn-Dixie. Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog, Winn-Dixie.

Gantos, Jack - Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention and controlling his mood swings, when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.

Hiaasen, Carl - Hoot. 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.

Johnston, Tony - Any Small Goodness. Arturo and his family and friends share all kinds of experiences living in the barrio of East Los Angeles.

Martin, Ann M. - A Corner of the Universe. The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

Spinelli, Jerry - Crash. Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the importance of friendship and family.


Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Hobbit. The adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins in a land inhabited by dwarfs, elves, goblins, dragons, and humans.


Spinelli, Jerry - Knots in My Yo-Yo String. This Italian-American Newbery Medalist presents a humorous account of his childhood and youth in Norristown, Pennsylvania.


Choldenko, Gennifer - Al Capone Does My Shirts. A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.

Curtis, Christopher Paul - Bud, Not Buddy. Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father - a renowned bandleader.

Peck, Richard - A Long Way from Chicago. Joe recounts his annual summer trips with his sister to rural Illinois during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

Salisbury, Graham - Under the Blood-Red Sun. Tomikazu Nakaji's life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Carman, Patrick - The Dark Hills Divide. When she finds the key to a secret passageway leading out of the walled city of Bridewell, twelve-year-old Alexa explores the mysterious forests and mountains that lie beyond the wall.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson - Running Out of Time. When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, thirteen-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1996 tourist site under unseen observation by heartless scientists.

Ibbotson, Eva - Which Witch? Deciding that he must sire a child to carry on his tradition of Loathing Light and Blighting the Beautiful, the Great Wizard Arriman announces a competition among the witches of Todcaster, one of whom will marry him.

Oppel, Kenneth - Airborn. Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.

Pierce, Tamora - Sandry's Book. Four young misfits find themselves living in a strict temple community where they become friends while learning to use their powers, especially magic.

Stroud, Jonathan - The Amulet of Samarkand. Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

Walden, Mark – H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education. 13-year-old Otto is kidnapped and taken to a secret academy where all of the top young, devious minds are being trained as the next generation of super-villains.

Mystery & Adventure

Funke, Cornelia - The Thief Lord. Orphaned brothers Prosper and Bo, having run away from their cruel aunt and uncle, decide to hide out in Venice where they fall in with the Thief Lord, a thirteen-year-old boy who leads a crime ring of street children.


Horowitz, Anthony - Stormbreaker. After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider continues his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.

Nelson, O. T. - The Girl Who Owned a City. When a plague sweeps over the earth killing everyone except children under twelve, ten-year-old Lisa organizes a group to rebuild a new way of life.

Reiss, Kathryn - Time Windows. Thirteen-year-old Miranda moves into a house in which a mysterious dollhouse allows her to see into the past, where she discovers a force of evil in her new home.

Riordan, Rick - The Lightning Thief.

Fantasy. Twelve-year-old Percy, son of a mortal woman and  Poseidon, god of the sea, goes to a camp for demigods where he and his friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

Van Draanen, Wendelin - Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. Thirteen-year-old Sammy gets in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from her apartment.

May 09 (ml)