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Read: 8th Grade Summer Reading

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Incoming 8th graders are required to read at least two books this summer. At least one title should be from the Friendship and Connection reading list. See more about each title below. Young adult titles are noted with an asterisk (*).

Plus, we encourage you to read as much as possible this summer! Check out the Summer Reading 2022 page for more ideas!

Nowhere Boy

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed's struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he's starting to lose hope. Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy who is lonely and homesick in a new country where he feels out of place. Together, Max and Ahmed will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.

When the Ground Is Hard*

Adele Joubert loves being one of the popular girls at Keziah Christian Academy. She knows the upcoming semester at school is going to be great with her best friend Delia at her side. Then Delia dumps her for a new girl with more money, and Adele is forced to share a room with Lottie, the school pariah, who doesn't pray and defies teachers' orders. But as they share a copy of Jane Eyre, Lottie's gruff exterior and honesty grows on Adele, and Lottie learns to be a little sweeter. Together, they take on bullies and protect each other from the vindictive and prejudiced teachers. Then a boy goes missing on campus and Adele and Lottie must rely on each other to solve the mystery and along the way learn the true meaning of friendship.

Seafire*

fter her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

Obie Is Man Enough

A coming-of-age story about transgender tween Obie, who didn't think being himself would cause such a splash. For fans of Alex Gino's George and Lisa Bunker's Felix Yz. Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it's time for Obie to find where he truly belongs.   As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can't get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water--to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.

Clues to the Universe

The only thing Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves more than watching NASA launches with her dad is building rockets with him. When he dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left of him is an unfinished model rocket they had been working on together. Benjamin Burns doesn't like science, but he can't get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. When he finds a sketch that suggests that his dad created the comics, he's thrilled. Too bad his dad walked out years ago, and Benji has no way to contact him. Though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partners, the pair become unlikely friends, and Ro even figures out a way to reunite Benji and his dad. But Benji hesitates, which infuriates Ro. Doesn't he realize how much Ro wishes she could be in his place? As the two face bullying, grief, and their own differences, Benji and Ro try to piece together clues to some of the biggest questions in the universe.

King and the Dragonflies

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?" But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.

Black Boy Joy

Black boy joy is...   Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit. Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic race. Finding your voice--and your rhymes--during tough times. Flying on your skateboard like nobody's watching.   And more! From seventeen acclaimed Black male and non-binary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood. Contributors include: B. B. Alston, Dean Atta, P. Djèlí Clark, Jay Coles, Jerry Craft, Lamar Giles, Don P. Hooper, George M. Johnson, Varian Johnson, Kwame Mbalia, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Tochi Onyebuchi, Julian Randall, Jason Reynolds, Justin Reynolds, DaVaun Sanders, and Julian Winters

The Reckless Club

On the last day of middle school, five kids who couldn't be more different commit separate pranks, each sure they won't be caught and they can't get in trouble. They're wrong. As punishment, they each have to volunteer one beautiful summer day-the last one before school-at Northbrook Retirement and Assisted Living Home, where they'll push creamed carrots into toothless mouths, perform the world's most pathetic skit in front of residents who won't remember it anyway, hold gnarled hands of peach fuzzed old ladies who relentlessly push hard candies, and somehow forge a bond with each other that has nothing to do with what they've done and everything to do with who they're becoming. All the action takes place in the course of this one day, with each chapter one hour of that day, as the five kids reveal what they've done, why they did it, and what they're going to do now.

Accessing Summer Reading Titles

Ways to Access Summer Reading Titles:

 

Through the MLS Commonwealth eBook Collection, we have access to thousands of eBooks and audiobooks.

 

You can use OverDrive or Sora to access the collections on any connected device. OverDrive and Sora both work as browser-based applications and have Apple/Android compatible apps.

 

OverDrive Sora
OverDrive App Link Sora App Icon

1. Access OverDrive through a browser or download the OverDrive App.*

2. Select Newton Public Schools from the dropdown list.

3. Click the link on the next page to open the NPS Google Sign-In.

4. Login with your LASID@newton.k12.ma.us and password.

1. Access Sora through a browser or download the Sora App.

2. Click Find My School and select any school with the MLS Commonwealth eBook Collection heading.

3. Select Newton Public Schools from the dropdown list.

4. Click Sign in Using Newton Public Schools.

5. Login with your LASID@newton.k12.ma.us and password.