Summer Reading, Incoming 8th 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!
Far from the Tree, by Robin Benway
Three adopted siblings, who were separated at birth and raised in different households, find each other at just the right moment.
A Mango-Shaped Space, by Wendy Mass
Thirteen-year-old Mia has kept a secret since third grade. She sees colors in numbers, music and spoken words. When she fails math in eighth grade, she must seek help.
The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen
Jessica, a track star, loses her leg in a car accident. All her friends turn their backs on her, except a girl with cerebral palsy named Rosa.
Highly Illogical Behavior, by John Corey Whaley
Follow the unlikely friendship between overachieving Lisa, her charming boyfriend Clark, and agoraphobic Sol, who hasn’t left the house in 3 years.
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: the Birth of an American Terrorist Group, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Documents the origin of the Ku Klux Klan, providing personal accounts, congressional documents, diaries and more.
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown
On August 29th, 2005, the city of New Orleans was changed forever. This thoroughly researched graphic novel tells the story of the fateful storm and subsequent flooding of the city.
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale, by Art Spiegelman
A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself.
Outcasts United (Adapted for Young People), by Warren St. John
Chronicles the story of a soccer program for boys from refugee families, called the Fugees, who have been resettled in Georgia.
Emma, by Jane Austen
Emma devotes her formidable energies to matchmaking between friends and acquaintances in the village of Highbury.
Code Talker, by Jospeh Bruchac
Sixteen-year-old Ned lies about his age, joins the Marines, and becomes a code talker. With his secret Navajo language, he helps end the war against Japan.
All We Have Left, by Wendy Mills
A haunting and heart-wrenching story of two girls, two time periods, and the one event that changes their lives – and the world – forever.
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Septys
As WWII draws to a close in East Prussia, the paths of three refugees – Joana, Emilia, and Florian – converge on the way to the ship that will carry them to safety. But just when it seems that freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes
Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Seconds before Earth is demolished, an earthman is saved by his friend. Together, this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide.
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
In order to develop a secure defense against the next alien attack, government agencies train child geniuses as soldiers.
The Eye of Minds, by James Dashner
Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world of advanced technology. When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek him out.
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
Post-apocalypse, the world has been reshaped and there’s a new caste system. Tally is finally about to turn 16 and “pretty,” but when her friend Shay disappears, this future is threatened.
Mystery & Adventure Fiction
The Islands at the End of the World, by Austin Aslan
Global disaster leaves Hawaii cut off from the rest of the world. Sixteen-year-old Leilani and her father must make a dangerous journey across islands to reach their family.
Watched, by Marina Budhos
Naeem knows that being Muslim in American means being watched. But he thinks he can charm his way through anything, until his mistakes catch up with him and the cops offer a dark deal.
The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson
Rory, from Louisiana, is new at her London boarding school when murders take place that mimic those of Jack the Ripper.
Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby
Finn is sure that Roza didn’t just disappear. But nobody in Bone Gap believes him— not even his brother Sean, who has more reason than anyone to want to know what happened.