Summer Reading 7th Grade

Suggested Titles for 7th Graders
Fiction

96 Miles -- Esplin, J. L.
During a massive blackout in rural Nevada, two brothers struggle to survive without their self-reliance-obsessed dad and without enough water to cross the desert for help.
LEX: 760L

Addie Bell's Shortcut to Growing Up -- Brody, Jessica
Seventh grader Addie Bell can't wait to grow up. Her parents won't let her have her own phone, she doesn't have any curves, and her best friend, Grace, isn't at all interested in makeup or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen ... and wakes up to find her entire life has been fast-forwarded four years!
LEX 710L

All Summer Long -- Larson, Hope
Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he's off to soccer camp for a month, and he's been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it's up Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own.
LEX GN250L

Allies -- Gratz, Alan
It is June 6, 1944, D-Day, and Dee Carpenter (true name Dietrich Zimmermann), an underage private in the United States Army, is headed for Omaha Beach, seeking revenge for his uncle, who was arrested by Nazis when Dee was a little boy; meanwhile, Samira Zidano, an eleven-year old French-Algerian girl is looking for the French resistance, desperate to deliver the message that the invasion is about to begin, and get their help in freeing her mother--this is the most important day of the twentieth century, and both children want to fight, and survive.
LEX: 780L

Becoming Muhammad Ali: A Novel -- Patterson, James
A biographical novel tells the story of Cassius Clay, the determined boy who would one day become Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time.
LEX: 101

The Best at It -- Pancholy, Maulik
Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity.
LEX: HL620L

What Lane? -- Blankman, Anne
On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's grandmother. In their new lives in Leningrad, Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life; and Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger.
LEX: 560

Breakout -- Messner, Kate From multiple perspectives, tells of a time capsule project and the middle schoolers who contribute, including future journalist Nora Tucker and newcomer Elidee Jones, whose brother is in the local prison. LEX 840L

The Bubble Wrap Boy -- Earle, Phil
Fourteen-year-old social outcast Charlie Han, known as "the short Chinese kid" at school, searches for a talent to improve his popularity, but when he discovers skateboarding, much to the disapproval of his overprotective mother, he also uncovers a huge family secret.
Lexile 790

Children of Exile -- Haddix, Margaret Peterson
A twelve-year-old girl raised in a foster village is returned to her biological parents, and discovers home is not what she expected it to be.
Lexile 680

Dress Coded -- Firestone, Carrie
An eighth grader starts a podcast to protest the unfair dress code enforcement at her middle school and sparks a rebellion.
Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie -- Sonnenblick, Jordan
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.
Lexile 940

Efren Divided --
Cisneros, Ernesto
While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efren Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico.
LEX: 710L

Everything Else in the Universe -- Holczer,
In 1971, twelve-year-old Lucy Rossi's dad returns from Vietnam after losing part of his arm, and her whole family must learn to adjust to a new dynamic, but Lucy's friend Milo unknowingly helps her navigate through this difficult time of fear and uncertainty to realize she is much tougher than she thought.
LEX 860L

Everything I Know About You -- Dee, Barbara
Misfit Tally is forced to room with queen bee Ava on the seventh grade's extended field trip to Washington, D.C., and discovers several surprising things about her roommate..
LEX: 640L

Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) -- Nayeri, Daniel
At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls 'Daniel') stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.
LEX: 800L

The Exact Location of Home -- Messner, Kate Believing his long-absent father is missing and leaving clues behind through geocaching, Zig relies on his love of electronics, a garage sale GPS unit, and his best friend, Gianna, to search for answers. LEX 620L

Fighting Words -- Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom's boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did
something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della's own wolf--her protector. But who has been protecting Suki?

Garvey's Choice -- Grimes, Nikki
Preferring science and reading to the sports his father wants him to play, Garvey comforts himself with food and endures bullying before joining the school chorus, where he learns how to accept himself and bond with his father.
Lexile 620

Glitch -- Martin, Laura
Regan Fitz and Elliot Mason have been enemies since they started training to become Glitchers--people who travel through time to preserve important historical events. But everything changes when they find a letter from Regan's future self, warning them about an impending disaster that threatens them and everyone they know.

Good Dog --
Gemeinhart, Dan
Brodie was a good dog. And good dogs go to heaven. Except Brodie can't move on. Not just yet. As wonderful as his glimpse of the afterlife is, he can't forget the boy he left behind. The boy he loved, and who loved him in return. The boy who's still in danger.

The Good War -- Strasser, Todd
There's a new-after-school club at Ironville Middle School, Ms. Peterson is starting a club for students to play The Good War, a video game based on World War II. They are divided into two teams -- Axis and Allies-- and they will be simulating a war they know nothing about ... yet. One team will win. But what starts out as friendly competition soon shocks them all when someone takes the game too far.
LEX:750L

House Arrest -- Holt, K. A. Timothy, sentenced to house arrest for stealing, keeps a journal into which he documents his fears and frustrations. LEX 610L

The Hypnotists -- Korman, Gordon
Twelve-year-old Jackson Opus is descended from two powerful hypnotist bloodlines, but he has just begun to realize that he can control other peoples' actions with sometimes frightening results--especially when the head of the Sentia Institute plans to use Jackson for his own benefit.
Lexile 750
The Inside Battle -- Sumrow, Melanie
Longing for his father's approval, thirteen-year-old Rebel Mercer follows him inside a racist, anti-government militia group, but when his father plans an attack on an African-American church, Rebel must make the most important decision in his life

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus -- Bowling, Dusti Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she'll have to answer the question over and over again. LEX 700L

It Wasn't Me -- Levy, Dana Alison
When Theo's photography project is vandalized, the five students nearby all claim it was not them, so Theo's favorite teacher suggests they all spend vacation week together and get to the truth.
LEX: 740L

Kinda like Brothers -- Booth, Coe
When his mother takes in a twelve-year-old foster boy, Jarrett is forced to share his room and his friends with the new boy.
Lexile 660

Lost in the Sun -- Graff, Lisa
As Trent Zimmerman struggles to move past a traumatic event that took place several months earlier, he befriends class outcast Fallon Little, who helps him understand that he can move on.
Lexile 700

Love, Ish -- Rivers, Karen Twelve-year-old Mischa "Ish" Love's longtime dream has been to someday live on Mars, but when she collapses on the first day of seventh grade, Ish receives a diagnosis which threatens her future plans. LEX: 640L

Maya and the Rising Dark -- Barron, Rena
A twelve-year-old girl discovers her father is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark, and when he goes missing she'll need to unlock her own powers and fight a horde of spooky creatures set on starting a war.
LEX: 720L

Maybe He Just Likes You -- Dee, Barbara
When boys in her class start touching seventh-grader Mila and making her feel uncomfortable, she does not want to tell her friends or mother until she reaches her breaking point.
LEX: 630L

Mascot -- John, Antony
Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he's helpless now. He's sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn't making any progress. He's tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball--but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah.
LEX: 630L

New Kid -- Craft, Jerry
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one.
LEX GN320L

The Only Black Girls in Town -- Colbert, Brandy
In a predominately white California beach town, the only two black seventh-graders, Alberta and Edie, find hidden journals that uncover family secrets.

Other Words for Home -- Warga, Jasmine
Jude never thought she'd be leaving her 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 now.
LEX: 930L

Posted -- Anderson, John David A group of middle school students decide to begin leaving sticky notes for each other after cell phones are banned, but soon the kids in school are leaving cutting and cruel notes, and nothing will ever be the same. LEX 750L

Prisoner B-3087 -- Gratz, Alan Based on the life of Jack Gruener, this book relates his story of survival from the Nazi occupation of Krakow, when he was eleven, through a succession of concentration camps, to the final liberation of Dachau. LEX 760L

Resistance -- Nielsen, Jennifer
In 1942 sixteen-year-old Chaya Lindner is a Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied Poland, a courier who smuggles food and documents to the isolated Jewish ghettos in southern Poland, depending on her forged papers and "Aryan" features--but when a mission goes wrong and many of her colleagues are arrested she finds herself on a journey to Warsaw, where an uprising is
in the works.
LEX 820L

Rhyme Schemer -- Holt, K. A
A novel in verse about Kevin's journey from bully to being bullied, as he learns about friendship, family, and his talent for poetry.
Lexile NP

The Six -- Alpert, Mark
Adam, crippled by muscular dystrophy, and five other terminally ill teenagers sacrifice their bodies and upload their minds into weaponized robots to battle a dangerously advanced artificial intelligence program bent on destroying humanity.
Lexile 780

Throwback -- Lerangis, Peter
When Corey learns that he has the ability to save lives while time traveling, he is determined to go back in time to save his grandmother who died on September 11, 2001.
LEX: 620L

Santiago's Road Home -- Diaz, Alexandra
Fleeing abusive relatives and extreme poverty in Mexico, young Santiago endures being detained by ICE while crossing the border into the United States.
LEX: 740L

Sara and the Search for Normal -- King, Wesley
Seventh-grader Sara wants to be normal but her panic attacks and other episodes cause her to isolate herself until, in group therapy, she meets talkative and outgoing Erin, her first friend.
LEX: 460L

Spy Runner -- Yelchin, Eugene
Twelve-year-old Jake McCauley, who lives very close to the air force base, becomes suspicous when a Russian man becomes a a boarder in his home and who claims to have known Jake's father who disappeared during World War II.
LEX: 900L

Still a Work in Progress -- Knowles, Johanna A family secret between siblings surfaces, as two best friends try to navigate middle school. LEX 660L

Surrounded by Sharks -- Northrop, Michael
On the first day of vacation thirteen-year-old Davey Tsering wakes up early, slips out of his family's hotel room without
telling anyone, and heads for the beach and a swim in the warm Floridian waters--and a fateful meeting with a shark.
Lexile 600

This Town is Not all Right -- Krys, M. K
Twelve-year-old twins Beacon and Everleigh move with their father to a weird Maine fishing village, and Beacon must
uncover its frightening secret before he loses his sister forever.

We Dream of Space -- Kelly, Erin Entrada
Cash, Fitch, and Bird are three siblings in seventh grade together. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of
the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties. The Thomas children exist in their own orbits. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, they’re given a project; they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fateful launch day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives.

What Lane? -- Maldonado, Torrey
Biracial sixth-grader Stephen questions the limitations society puts on him after he notices the way strangers treat him when he hangs out with his white friends and learns about the Black Lives Matter movement.

A Wish in the Dark -- Soontornvat, Christina
All light in Chattana is created by one man--the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the
city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars.
LEX: 720L

Under their Skin -- Haddix, Margaret Peterson
Twelve-year-old twins Nick and Eryn investigate why their mother and new stepfather are keeping secrets, why they are forbidden to meet their stepsiblings, and, most important, why their lives are in danger.
LEX: 760L

The Unteachables -- Korman, Gordon
The Unteachables' never thought they'd find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And, Mr. Kermit never thought
he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction--and maybe even a shot at redemption.
LEX: 740L

Up for Air -- Morrison, Laurie
Learning disabilities make school painful for Annabelle, thirteen, but a summer of swimming with the high school team is fantastic until a prank goes wrong, spoiling everything.
LEX: 900L
Suggested Titles for 7th Graders
Non-Fiction

42 is not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero -- Rappaport, Doreen A look at the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in major league baseball, and became an American hero. LEX 1010L

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team -- Soontornvat, Christina
Looks at the cave rescue of the twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach in northern Thailand.
LEX: 1020L

Bee Fearless: Dream like a Kid -- Ulmer, Mikaila
Fifteen-year-old lemonade entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer shares her advice for life and business.

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery -- Wallace, Sandra Neil Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation. LEX 660L
The Boy who Became a Dragon: A Bruce Lee story -- Di Bartolo, Jim
Tells the life story of martial artist Bruce Lee in a graphic novel.

Breakthrough! How Three People Saved Blue Babies and Changed Medicine Forever -- Murphy, Jim
The story of the landmark 1944 surgical procedure that repaired the heart of a child with blue baby syndrome. The team that developed the procedure included a cardiologist and a surgeon, but most of the actual work was done by Vivien Thomas, an African American lab assistant who was frequently mistaken for a janitor.
LEX: 1170L

Bugged: How Insects Changed History -- Albee, Sarah
Provides an examination of insects throughout history, covering both the positive and negative impact they have made.
Lexile 1130

Caught! : Nabbing History's Most Wanted -- Bragg, Georgia
A humorous look at how famous people got caught, including Joan of Arc, Blackbeard, Al Capone, and more.
LEX: 1020L

China: Land of Dragons and Emperors -- Mah, Adeline Yen.
Explores the history and culture of China from ancient times into the twenty-first century, discussing the dynasties, inventions, festivals, beliefs, people, and other aspects of the country, and including photographs

Darwin's Rival: Alfred Russel Wallace and the Search for Evolution -- Dorion, Christiane
Traces Alfred Wallace's life from his childhood in the Welsh countryside to his rise to prominence among the scientific community, via dense tropical jungles and perilous journeys -- and shines a light on one of the most important contributors to the theory of evolution.

Enemy Child : The Story of Norman Mineta -- Warren, Andrea
A biography of Norman Mineta, from his internment as a child in Heart Mountain Internment Camp during World War II, through his political career including serving in congress for ten terms during which time he was instrumental in getting the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 passed which provided reparations and an apology to those who were interned.
LEX: 1030L

The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue -- Tougias, Mike
On the night of February 18, 1952, during one of the worst winter storms that New England has ever seen, two oil tankers just off the shore of Cape Cod were torn in half by the force of the storm. Tells the story of a harrowing Coast Guard rescue when four men in a tiny lifeboat overcame insurmountable odds and saved more than 30 stranded sailors.
Lexile 1140

Free Lunch -- Ogle, Rex (Memoir)
The story of Rex Ogle's first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school's free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical
hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex's story is a story of more than just hunger.

Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi -- Rubin, Susan Goldman
Introduces the efforts of student volunteers who traveled to Mississippi in 1964 to encourage African Americans to exercise their right to vote, and discusses the violent resistance they faced from supporters of segregation.
Lexile 980

How we got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure -- Rocco, John
A guide to the people and technology of the moon landing.
LEX: 1170L

Julius Caesar: The Boy who Conquered an Empire -- Galford, Ellen
Tells the life story of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, covering his privileged childhood, rise to power, conquest of Gaul, and assassination as well as other topics, and presents information on life in the Roman Empire.

The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II -- Rosen, Michael (Memoir)
Through prose and poems, Michael Rosen explores his family's history of what happened to his French and Polish relatives during World War Two.

Motor Girls: How Women took the Wheel and Drove Boldly into the Twentieth Century -- Macy, Sue Meet the first generation of female motorists who drove cars for fun, profit, and to make a statement about the evolving role of women. LEX NC1250L

Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein -- Rubin, Susan Goldman
Follows the life of Leonard Bernstein from his childhood in Boston to his first experience conducting the Philharmonic Orchestra in New York at the age of twenty five. Lexile: 970

On the Horizon -- Lowry, Lois
A moving account of the lives lost in two of WWII's most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.
LEX: HL580L

The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in our Food and Drugs -- Jarrow, Gail
The relentless work of U.S. government chemist Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who mounted a thirty-year campaign to protect consumers from harmful food and drugs.
LEX: 1020L

Poisoned Water -- Cooper, Candy J.
Through interviews with residents and intensive research into legal records and new accounts, the authors reveal the story behind the water crisis in Flint, Michigan which began in 2014 when government officials of the cash-strapped city that had been abandoned by General Motors decided to temporarily switch its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which then caused widespread sickness and death to its residents.

Remember Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Survivors Tell their Stories -- Allen, Thomas B
Presents the stories of American and Japanese survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japanese forces on the morning of December 7, 1941, and includes photographs.
Lexile 820

Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America -- Jarrow, Gail
Looks at the War of the Worlds radio broadcast from 1938 and looks at the artists behind the broadcast, the broadcast itself,
the aftermath, and the repercussions of "fake news" today.
LEX 1000L

Tamba Hali -- Seigerman, David
Long before he was sacking quarterbacks, Tamba Hali was facing bigger challenges... Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali's story seems almost unbelievable. He and his seven siblings fled war-torn Liberia to the Ivory Coast during his youth
and later joined their father, a chemistry and physics professor, in New Jersey. .
LEX 1070L

The Tomb of King Tutankhamen -- Woods, Michael
Offers a brief introduction to the 1922 discovery of King Tut's tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, describing how archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb and spent the next ten years excavating the priceless artifacts that had been buried with the pharaoh.
Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! -- Paquette, Ammi-Joan Presents some of the most crazy-but-true stories about the living world as well as a handful of stories that are too crazy to be true--and asks readers to separate facts from the fakes! LEX 1010L

U.S. Presidents -- Jennings, Ken
A guide to the United State Presidents, with illustrations, trivia, and quizzes.

The Word Snoop -- Dubosarsky, Ursula
Tours the English language from the beginning of the alphabet in 4000 BC to text messaging and emoticons in the twenty-first century.
Lexile 990
Years of Dust: the Story of the Dust Bowl -- Marrin, Albert
Examines the causes of the Dust Bowl, discusses its effects, and provides primary source quotes and photographs.
Lexile 1040