Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
All books listed are SUGGESTIONS. Students may choose a different book if desired, but the book should include the following: descriptive or figurative language, character development, plot development, thematic depth, and substantial length (100+ pages).
Students in Honors English and English AP have an additional reading assignment, which IS required.
Students will complete a "Book Talk" during the first two weeks of the Fall semester, which will be due no later than August 28, 2020.
Click on the image or title to find the book in the HMCPL library catalog. A hold can be placed from the catalog online once you log in to your account with card number and PIN.
Additional information can be found on Huntsville City School's website link: https://www.huntsvillecityschools.org/departments/secondary-instruction/2020-summer-reading
2020 Summer Reading: Grades 6-8
Call Number: J DRA
Publication Date: 2018-10-30
"You’re so exotic!” “You look so unusual.” “But what are you really?”
Eleven-year-old Isabella is used to these kinds of comments - her father is black; her mother is white - but that doesn't mean she likes them. And now that her parents are divorced (and getting along WORSE than ever), Isabella feels more like a push-me-pull-me toy.
One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.
Being split between Mom and Dad is more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities. If you’re only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole?
Hidden Figures by
Call Number: J 510.9252 LEE
Publication Date: 2016-11-29
Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as "Human Computers," calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these "colored computers," as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America's fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these "computers," personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, Hidden Figures recalls America's greatest adventure and NASA's groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine. Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a history of scientific achievement and technological innovation with the intimate stories of five women whose work forever changed the world -- and whose lives show how out of one of America's most painful histories came one of its proudest moments.
The Crossover by
Call Number: YA ALE
Publication Date: 2014-03-18
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
Lost in the Amazon (Lost #3) by
Call Number: J OLS
Publication Date: 2018-01-30
"Peru, Christmas Eve, 1970. It was supposed to be a routine flight, carrying 86 passengers across the Andes Mountains and home for the holiday. But high above the Amazon rainforest, a roiling storm engulfs the plane. Lightning strikes. A deafening whoosh sweeps through the cabin. And suddenly, 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke is alone. The plane has vanished. She is strapped to her seat and plunging 3,500 feet to the forest floor. On Christmas Day, she wakes. She is injured, covered in mud, but strangely--miraculously--alive. And now, in a remote corner of the largest rainforest on Earth, the real battle for survival begins"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: J KOR
Publication Date: 2017-05-30
Chase does not remember falling off the roof, in fact he does not remember anything about himself, and when he gets back to middle school he begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the other kids--trouble is, he really is not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed, but can he take the opportunity amnesia has provided and restart his life?
Other Words for Home by
Call Number: J WAR
Publication Date: 2019-05-28
Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.
At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.
Treasure Island by
Call Number: YA STE
EVERYONE DREAMS OF FINDING BURIED TREASURE, and that is why Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is such an enduring classic. Treasure Island gave Stevenson his first popular success, and it's easy to see why it remains a favorite of readers of all ages. The tale of young Jim Hawkins and his unlikely band of adventurers strikes at the very heart of our own desire to lose ourselves among hidden chests, cryptic maps, and treacherous companions.
If you loved it when you read it earlier, you owe it to yourself to revisit the deceitful Long John Silver, the dull but reliable Dr. Livesey, and the pompously naïve Squire Trelawney. If this is your first visit to the high seas, find yourself a comfortable chair, because you won't be putting the book down until the last mutineer is brought to justice and last gold coin counted.
Honors/AP Reading: Grades 6-8
Call Number: J GRA
Publication Date: 2017-07-25
*6th Grade Honors English*
Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.
Piecing Me Together by
Call Number: YA WAT
Publication Date: 2017-02-14
*7th Grade Honors English*
Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.
Call Number: YA SHU
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
*8th Grade Honors English*
"In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't"--
2020 Summer Reading: High School
The 57 Bus by
Call Number: YA 364.1555 SLA
Publication Date: 2017-10-17
This riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by
Call Number: YA SAN
Publication Date: 2017-10-17
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
Call Number: 270.092 WES
Publication Date: 2018-02-20
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent. When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Brown Girl Dreaming by
Call Number: J 811.54 WOO
Publication Date: 2014-08-28
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by
Call Number: YAB NOA NOA
Publication Date: 2019-04-09
(Disclaimer: This book contains laguage that some may find offensive)
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional loveelse? Not good
The Hate U Give Movie Tie-In Edition by
Call Number: YA THO
Publication Date: 2018-09-04
"Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life." -- Amazon.
Lord of the Flies by
Call Number: YA GOL
Publication Date: 2003-12-16
The classic tale of a group of English school boys who are left stranded on an unpopulated island, and who must confront not only the defects of their society but the defects of their own nature. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.
High School Honors/AP/IB Reading
To Kill a Mockingbird by
Call Number: F LEE
Publication Date: 1999-11-03
*9th Grade Honors English*
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
Warriors Don't Cry by
Call Number: YA 370.1934 BEA
Publication Date: 2007-07-24
*10th Grade Honors English*
In 1957, Melba Pattillo turned sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, Melba was one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High School.
Just Mercy by
Call Number: 353.4809 STE
Publication Date: 2014-10-21
*11th Grade AP Language/IB Language*
"Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship--and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice"--Amazon.com.
Life of Pi by
Call Number: F MAR
Publication Date: 2002-06-04
*12th Grade AP Language/IB Language*
The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?
Book Talk Assignment
From Huntsville City School website:
Hook your audience!
- Read a quote from the book
- Ask a question of your audience
- Introduce the main character
- Vividly set the scene
You may use a combination of a few of the above techniques.
Make sure to also give the title and author of the book.
In a paragraph or two, summarize the plot of the book. Be sure that your summary introduces the main character, identifies the problem, and leads us toward the solution - without giving away the ending!
Share your opinion!
- How did you feel about the book?
- What did you think of the author?
- Would you recommend it to others?
- What would you rate it?
Entice your audience!
- Ask a rhetorical question
- Read a quote from the book
- Use a cliffhanger
You may use a combination of the above techniques.
Remember, your book talk should flow nicely like a commercial. It should not be a giant list answering these questions.
Additional Copies of Titles,which include eBooks, CDs, and Digital Audiobooks