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As educators, we are responsible for cultivating an inclusive learning environment that values and celebrates diversity. One powerful way to achieve this is by providing students with a diverse reading list that exposes them to different cultures, experiences, and perspectives. Here is a reading list specifically curated for your middle school summer reading list. Each book on this middle reading list is carefully chosen to encourage empathy, broaden horizons, and foster a love for literature that transcends boundaries.
This novel-in-verse follows the life of twelve-year-old Josh Bell, a talented basketball player and poet. As he navigates the challenges of adolescence, Josh experiences family dynamics, first love, and the ups and downs of friendship. Through lyrical writing and relatable characters, the book explores themes of identity, sibling relationships, and pursuing one's passion.
Ghost is a gripping and heartfelt story about Castle Cranshaw, a young boy nicknamed Ghost, who discovers his natural talent for running. Escaping a troubled past, Ghost joins a local track team and learns about discipline, determination, and the power of friendship. This novel addresses themes of resilience, overcoming adversity, and the importance of mentors in shaping one's future.
In this groundbreaking novel, fourth-grader George knows that she is a girl, even though everyone around her sees her as a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George takes steps to be her authentic self and reveal her true identity. This story explores themes of gender identity, self-acceptance, and the power of friendship.
Written in verse, this memoir tells the story of Jacqueline Woodson's childhood and coming of age as an African American girl in the 1960s and 1970s. With poetic beauty, the book explores themes of family, identity, racism, and the power of words. It offers a poignant and intimate glimpse into one girl's search for belonging and her love of storytelling.
Amina Khokar is a Pakistani American girl who faces various challenges while navigating middle school. As she grapples with her shyness, her changing friendships, and her desire to embrace her musical talent, Amina discovers the importance of her voice and heritage. This book explores themes of cultural identity, community, and finding strength in one's own voice. middle school summer reading list!
This novel-in-verse tells the story of ten-year-old Hà, a Vietnamese girl forced to flee with her family during the Vietnam War and resettle in Alabama. Hà faces the challenges of adjusting to a new country, culture, and language, while also yearning for her homeland. Through poignant and evocative poetry, the book explores themes of resilience, identity, and the power of home.
Mia Tang, a ten-year-old Chinese American girl, helps her parents manage a motel in California during the 1990s. While navigating the difficulties of being an immigrant family and facing discrimination, Mia discovers her own power and fights for justice. This book addresses themes of family, friendship, and the importance of standing up for what is right.
This gripping novel tells the stories of three young refugees from different time periods and places. The book follows Josef, a Jewish boy fleeing Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl escaping during the 1994 riots; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy seeking refuge in the present day. Through their journeys, the book highlights themes of resilience, empathy, and the universal human experience.
Lolly, a twelve-year-old boy from Harlem, finds solace in building with Legos after the tragic death of his brother. As he navigates the challenges of his neighborhood, Lolly discovers the power of creativity middle school summer reading list!
Set in the 1960s, three sisters, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, travel to Oakland, California, to spend the summer with their estranged mother, who is involved in the Black Panther movement. Through the eyes of Delphine, the eldest sister, readers witness the girls' journey of self-discovery and their encounters with activism and social change. This powerful and thought-provoking book addresses themes of family, identity, and the Civil Rights Movement.
"The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis
In this humorous and moving novel, the Watson family embarks on a road trip from Flint, Michigan, to Birmingham, Alabama, during a pivotal time in the Civil Rights Movement. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Kenny, readers witness the family's experiences and their encounter with a tragic act of racial violence. Christopher Paul Curtis skillfully explores themes of family bonds, racial injustice, and the power of resilience.
Set during the Great Depression, ten-year-old Bud Caldwell embarks on a journey to find his father. Facing numerous challenges, Bud relies on his wit, determination, and a set of rules from his deceased mother to navigate through a world marked by racism and poverty. Christopher Paul Curtis delivers a heartwarming and humorous story that addresses themes of hope, resilience, and the power of dreams in the middle school summer reading list.
Deza Malone, an intelligent and resilient African American girl, faces the hardships of the Great Depression alongside her family. As they strive for a better life, Deza encounters racial prejudice, poverty, and separation from her loved ones. Through her strong narrative voice, Christopher Paul Curtis explores themes of resilience, family bonds, and the pursuit of dreams.
Set in the segregated South during the 1930s, Stella Mills witnesses an act of racial violence that shakes her community. Inspired by her own family's experiences, Stella finds her voice as she confronts injustice and discrimination. Sharon M. Draper beautifully captures themes of courage, community, and the power of standing up for what is right in this poignant and inspiring novel.
Twelve-year-old Candice Miller discovers a mystery hidden within her grandmother's hometown involving an old letter, a missing fortune, and a forgotten Civil Rights-era injustice. As Candice and her friend Brandon unravel the clues, they uncover a story of racism, resilience, and hope. Varian Johnson skillfully weaves together past and present in this captivating novel that explores themes of family, friendship, and racial complexities for middle school summer reading lists!