Summer Reading, Incoming 7th Grade
In collaboration with Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is pleased to present this summer reading list prepared by our school librarians.
Because students’ maturity and reading levels vary, we encourage parents to participate actively in selecting and/or discussing these titles.
We hope the books listed here will provide knowledge and pleasure for your child. For extra summer fun, visit your local public library for reading programs, many of which offer activities and prizes. Have a fantastic summer filled with reading and adventure!
The Skin I'm In, by Sharon Flake
Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face. She learns how to love, who she is, and what she looks like.
Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
When Lupita’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family shifts, bringing big changes for this tight-knit Mexican-American family. Pura Belpré Award winner.
Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people, and to find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Flipped, by Wendelin Wendelin
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, by Ashley Herring Blake
Ivy’s house is destroyed in a tornado, and her notebook full of secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. But then the drawings mysteriously begin to show up in her locker, along with notes encouraging her to open up about her true identity.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, by Deborah Heiligman
Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, were deeply in love and very supportive of each other, but their opinions often clashed. Emma was extremely religious, and Charles questioned God's very existence.
March: Book One, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
A vivid first-hand account of Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, and a modern reflection on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation.
This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration, by Linda Barrett Osborne
This book explores the way government policy and popular response to immigrant groups have evolved throughout U.S. history. A 2017 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist.
Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot”, by Mochael O. Tunnel
An American pilot decides to embark on a secret mission in his plane to drop off candy to children during World War II.
The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine
Painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.
Flygirl, by Sherri Smith
Will Ida Mae Jones be able to hide that she is biracial in order to be a female pilot for the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War I?
The Pearl, by John Steinbeck
Kino is a poor diver gathering pearls from the Gulf of California in order to support his family. Then one extraordinary day, he finds a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.”
Boxers, Gene LuenYang
Little Bao has had enough of missionaries and soldiers roaming the countryside bullying and robbing peasants. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers-- commoners trained in Kung Fu to fight to free China.
Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau
War has left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few, who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing.
Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
In a world where dragons can assume human form, Seraphina grapples with her identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while struggling to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Life as We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer,
Miranda journals about her life after an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, causing tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
Extraterrestrials arrive to exterminate all of mankind. Will they succeed?
Mystery & Adventure Fiction
The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier
Two abandoned Irish siblings travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house, where they are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse.
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans
Michael discovers that he has the power to control electricity, and he’s not the only one in his high school. Soon, he and his friends are hunted by a shadowy organization that wants to use their powers to take over the world.
Ink and Ashes, by Valynne E. Maetani
With the discovery that her late father was a member of the yakuza – the Japanese mafia – seventeen-year-old Claire Takata is thrust into a world of danger and uncertainty.
Brian’s Winter, by Gary Paulsen
Brian is forced to survive a winter in the wilderness with only his survival pack and hatchet.