Summer Reading

Book on a sandy beach

Our summer reading list for 2021 includes books that were recommended by teachers and Tower students. Just like adults, other children are often the best source for book recommendations. Keep in mind, however, that every child is unique in terms of their reading level, interests, and maturity. And, that these books are recommendations but that there are many, many more books to choose from at your local library.

Browse book recommendations below, or download a printable pdf. Don’t forget to check out biographies, magazines, non fiction and poetry, too! Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, and Mary Ann Hoberman are just a few of our favorite poets.

We hope that everyone finds a “Home Run” book this summer. In other words, a book that your children will remember in the years to come and that keeps them reading.  

–Mrs. Upton, Tower School Librarian

Download a Printable Copy.

The Tower Turret: Recommended Reading by Students, for Students
The Turret is Tower's annual literary publication—written, illustrated, edited and produced by students—features the creative work of students in grades Pre-K through 8.

 

Publication: Tower Turret Cover image

Read the 2020-2021 Tower Turret


 

Entering Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2

Book Cover: Saturday, A highlight for Pre-K-2 Suggested Reading List

Picture Books

All Because you Matter by Tami Charles
Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy 
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams
Camp Tiger by Susan Choi
Chester by Melanie Watt 
Chowder by Peter Brown 
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina
Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
George and Martha by James Marshall
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle 
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes
I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Lift by Minh Le & Dan Santat
Milo Imagines the World by Matt De La Pena

My Papi has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann 
A New Day by Brad Meltzer & Dan Santat
Saturday by Oge Mora
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
You Matter by Christian Robinson
Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak


Early Readers

Biscuit by Alyssa Capucilli
Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems
Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
Penny by Kevin Henkes
Puppy Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
Ling & Ting by Grace Lin
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo
Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant
Rabbit & Robot by Cece Bell
King & Kayla by Dori Hillstead Butler
Hi Jack!  (A Jack Book) by Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading by various authors
Unicorn & Yeti by Heather Ayris Burnell


Beginning Chapter Books

A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
Dragon Masters by Tracy West

The Questioneers (series) by Andrea Beaty
Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows
Lighthouse Family by Cynthia Rylant 
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Meet Yasmin!  by Saadia Faruqi
Mia Mayhem is a Superhero by Kara West
Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
Rainbow Magic Fairies by Daisy Meadows
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey
Roscoe Riley Rules by Katherine Applegate
Sadiq and the Explorers by Siman Nuurali
The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
Super Rabbit Boy series by Thomas Flintham
Who Would Win? (series) by Jerry Pallotta
Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citr


Chapter Books

Baseball Card Adventures by Dan Gutman
Clementine  by Sara Pennypacker
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
Dragon Slayers’ Academy by Kate McMullan
Eerie Elementary series by Max Brailler
Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton 
Jasmine Toguchi by Debbie Michiko Florence
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald 
My Weird School by Dan Gutman
Ramona by Beverly Cleary
Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott
Heidi Heckelbeck series by Wanda Coven 
Magic Bone series by Nancy Krulick


 

Entering Grade 4

Flora Ulysses

 

Please choose three chapter books to read. This list includes book titles that are popular with students entering fifth grade. You are NOT limited by this list; it is simply for your convenience. Knowing how to choose a good book is part of being a good reader. Have fun choosing and reading books this summer!

All fourth grade students are required to create one book jacket this summer. It should be for your favorite summer book. 

 

How to Make a Book Jacket

1. Use a sheet of 12” x 18” construction paper in a light color. From the left side, measure in 3 inches, then 6 inches, then 6 inches, and then 3 inches.

2. Lightly draw vertical lines at each spot you measured. Then the paper can be folded inward along the lines. Check with the diagram below.

3. Follow the directions below for the information to put on each panel.

Front Cover: On the front cover you need to include the title of the book, the author’s name, your name, and an interesting picture drawn by you that represents something important in the book.

Back Cover: On the back cover write a description of the setting and a summary of the events in the book. Remember, the summary states the facts, not what you thought about the book.

Inside Front Flap: Write a detailed description of the main character of the book.

Inside Back Flap: Write down the reasons why you liked the book. Try to sell others on reading this book.


 

39 Clues by various authors
Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Alex Rider (series) by Anthony Horowitz 
The Big Game by Tim Green 
Blister by Susan Shreve
Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Dork Diaries (series) by Rachel Renee Russell
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Lakeman Forester  
Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings
Guts by Raina Telgemeier
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Heroes of Olympus (series) by Rick Riordan
The Kane Chronicles (series) by Rick Riordan
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
The Kane Chronicles (series) by Rick Riordan
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
New Kid by Jerry Craft
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Penderwicks (series) by Jeanne Birdsall
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan
The Pet War by Allan Woodrow
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
Rangers Apprentice (series) by John Flanagan
A Series of Unfortunate Events (series) by Lemony Snicket
Spellbound by Anna Dale
Timmy Failure (series) by Stephan Pastis 
Treasure Hunters (series) by James Patterson
The Unwanteds (series) by Lisa McMann
Well Witched by Frances Hardinge 
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
When you Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed


 

Entering Grade 3

Book Cover: Honeybee

This summer, students are expected to read at least three chapter books you haven’t read before. Our summer reading list includes books that were recommended, not only by your teachers, but also by Tower School students.  Just like adults, your peers are often the best source for recommendations. Keep in mind, however, that every one of you is unique in terms of your reading level, interests, and maturity. We’ve provided a short summary of each book to help you find the ones that are right for you.

We hope that everyone finds a “Home Run” book this summer. In other words, a book that you will remember in the years to come and that keeps you reading!
 



Angus and Sadie by Cynthia Voight
Angus and Sadie, two siblings that are of mostly border collie heritage, are adopted by a young couple and start living on a Maine farm, where they begin to learn sheep herding and come to appreciate how they are different from each other.

Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King Smith
A piglet destined for eventual butchering arrives at the farmyard, is adopted by an old sheep dog, and discovers a special secret to success.

Baseball Card Adventures: Babe and Me
(series) by Dan Gutman
Joe Stoshack is at it again, this time going back in time through baseball cards to see if Babe Ruth really predicted his legendary home run in the 1932 World Series.

Blubber by Judy Blume
Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then finds out what it is like when she, too, becomes a target.

A Bear Named Trouble by Joan Bauer
In Anchorage, Alaska, two lonely boys make a connection--a brown bear injured just after his mother sends him out on his own, and a human whose father is a new keeper at the Alaska Zoo and whose mother and sister are still in Minnesota.

 

Chet Gecko (series) By Bruce Hale
Detectives Chet Gecko and his partner Natalie Attired try to solve the mysteries at Emerson Hicky Elementary School.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg Heffley tells about his summer vacation and his attempts to steer clear of trouble when he returns to middle school and tries to keep his older brother Rodrick from telling everyone about Greg's most humiliating experience of the summer.

The Doll People by Ann Martin
A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.

The Dragon of Lonely Island by Rebecca Rupp
Three children spend the summer with their mother on a secluded island where they discover a three-headed dragon living in a cave and learn what it means to be a Dragon Friend.

Goosed by Bill Wallace
When Jeff's girlfriend leaves a Labrador retriever puppy with his family for a week, his dog T.P. and cat Cord hope the energetic puppy does not stay any longer. 

Heidi Heckelbeck Series by Wanda Cove
Meet Heidi Heckelbeck. Heidi seems like any other 8 year-old.  She eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. She hates all vegetables. She picks on her younger brother, Henry. She begrudgingly does her homework. But Heidi Heckelbeck has a secret: She’s a witch in disguise.

How to Drive Your Sister Crazy by Diane Z. Shore A younger brother offers detailed advice on how to annoy older sisters.

Riding Silver Star by Joanna Cole

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily's friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.

The Littles by John Peterson 
The adventures of a tiny family who live within the walls of the Bigg's house.

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily's friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.

The Littles by John Peterson 
The adventures of a tiny family who live within the walls of the Bigg's house.

Magic Bone Series by Nancy Krulick The new Magic Bone series features Sparky, a half- grown puppy, as both protagonist and narrator. A good choice for newly independent readers who have a taste for fantasy.

Marley: a Dog Like No Other by John Grogan
Follows the life story of an exuberant Labrador retriever who gets into perpetual trouble and experiences a range of inspiring adventures.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien 
Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.

My Weird School: Miss Daisy is Crazy (series) By Dan Gutman
Miss Daisy, who teaches second grade, doesn't know how to add or subtract. Not only that, she doesn't know how to read or write either.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
Peter, an orphan boy, and his friend Molly fight off thieves and pirates in order to keep the secret safe away from the diabolical Black Stache and his evil associate Mister Grin.

Riding Silver Star by Joanna Cole
Meet Abby. She and Star have lots of fun together. And you can share all the excitement as Abby's teacher shows her how to jump fences, takes her on a lively trail ride, and then races her back to the barn.

Violet Mackerel series by Anna Branford
The Violet Mackerel series proffers themes and issues that many young readers will connect with…these are stories about a real girl and a real family…complete with issues that will be familiar to many children.


 

Entering Grade 5

Percy Jackson

This summer, students are expected to read at least three chapter books you haven’t read before. Our summer reading list includes books that were recommended, not only by your teachers, but also by Tower School students. Just like adults, your peers are often the best source for book recommendations. Keep in mind, however, that every one of you is unique in terms of your reading level, interests, and maturity.

All fifth grade students are required to create one book jacket this summer. It should be for your favorite summer book. 

 

How to Make a Book Jacket

1. Use a sheet of 12” x 18” construction paper in a light color. From the left side, measure in 3 inches, then 6 inches, then 6 inches, and then 3 inches.

2. Lightly draw vertical lines at each spot you measured. Then the paper can be folded inward along the lines. Check with the diagram below.

3. Follow the directions below for the information to put on each panel.

 

Front Cover: On the front cover you need to include the title of the book, the author’s name, your name, and an interesting picture drawn by you that represents something important in the book.

Back Cover: On the back cover write a description of the setting and a summary of the events in the book. Remember, the summary states the facts, not what you thought about the book.

Inside Front Flap: Write a detailed description of the main character of the book.

Inside Back Flap: Write down the reasons why you liked the book. Try to sell others on reading this book.


 

Abduction! by Peg Kehret
Alex Rider (series) by Anthony Horowitz 
Artemis Fowl (series) by Eoin Colfer 
Atherton (series) by Patrick Carman 
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo 
The Big Field by Mike Lupica
Booked by Kwame Alexander 
Brave as You by Jason Reynolds 
Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Dying to Meet You: 43 Cemetery Road by Kate Klise
Dragon’s Egg by Sarah L. Thomson 
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
Eragon (Inheritance series) by Christopher Paolini 
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill 
 

The Ghost of Fossil Glen by Cynthia DeFelice 
Finally by Wendy Mass
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly HuntHatchet by Gary Paulsen
Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Leven Thumps (series) by Obert Skye
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Nina, the Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure by Jill Santopolo
Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Percy Jackson & the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan
Regarding the Sink (series) by Kate Klise
Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Septimus Heap (series) by Angie Sage
Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket 
Shadow Children (series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix 
The Sherlock Files (series) by Tracy Barrett
Small Steps by Peg Kehret
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Wonder by R.J. Palacio


 

Entering Grade 6

 

Rising sixth grade students are expected to read at least three books this summer; two required books, plus one or more books of your choosing. Please bring books 1 and 2 to class in September. If you have already read the required books, please read them again.

Book 1: The Giver by Lois Lowry. 
We will base our first reading unit on The Giver.

Book 2: Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan.

Book 3: a book of your choice.

 

Recommended Books:

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
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.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

The Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
Living near the water on Maryland's Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends, J.T. and Digger, become entangled in a tragedy which tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Twelve year old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.


 

Entering Grade 7

Book: Other words for Home

Book: The Circuit

 

This summer, rising seventh grade students are expected to read at least three books they haven’t read before. The following three books are required reading:

Book 1 Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga

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. 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—new friends, a 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.

Book 2 The Circuit, by Francisco Jimenez

After dark in a Mexican border town, a father holds open a hole in a wire fence as his wife and two small boys crawl through. So begins life in the United States for many people every day. And so begins this collection of twelve autobiographical stories by Santa Clara University professor Francisco Jiménez, who at the age of four illegally crossed the border with his family in 1947.

Book 3 Pocahontas, by Joseph Bruchac

In 1607, when John Smith and his "Coatmen" arrive in Powhatan to begin settling the colony of Virginia, their relations with the village's inhabitants are anything but warm. Pocahontas, the beloved daughter of the Powhatan chief, Mamanatowic, is just eleven; but in spite of her age, this astute young girl acts with wisdom and compassion, and plays a fateful, peaceful role in the destinies of two peoples.

 

Additional Recommendations:
Our summer reading list includes books that were recommended, not only by your teachers, but also by Tower School students. Just like adults, your peers are often the best source for book recommendations. Keep in mind, however, that every one of you is unique in terms of your reading level, interests, and maturity. We’ve provided a short summary of each book to help you find the ones that are right for you.

April Morning by Howard Fast
The story of one day in the life of a young American boy in colonial Lexington, the day on which he joined the militia and saw his father shot down by the British.

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
A look at the men of E Company of World War II, this early D-Day morning, parachuted into Holland in the Arnhem campaign, and captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost. This gripping book describes how they parachuted into France. 

The Borning Room by Paul Fleischman
Lying at the end of her life in the room where she was born in 1851, Georgina remembers what it was like to grow up on the Ohio frontier

The Boy Who Couldn't Die by William Sleator
When his best friend dies in a plane crash, sixteen-year-old Ken has a ritual performed that will make him invulnerable, but soon learns that he had good reason to be suspicious of the woman he paid to lock his soul away.

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
This 1989 Coretta Scott King Award winner is the story of one young man's tour of duty in Vietnam as well as a testament to the thousands of young people who lived and died during the war. 

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
In this complicated, chilling novel of the savagery of modern society, Adam mentally relives his past while facing the interrogation and trauma of his present life as a guest of the government.

A Patch of Blue by Elizabeth Kata
A young blind white girl falls in love with a black man, but her domineering mother refuses to let her be with him.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpugoz
When Thomas Peaceful's older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Rebecca has been dead for several months, but her sinister influence is still very much alive at Manderley, as Maxim de Winter's second wife soon comes to realize.

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith 
Jeff Bussey, a Union volunteer, sees the Civil War from both sides when he is sent to spy on Stand Watie and his Confederate Cherokee raiders.

The Sacrifice by Kathleen Duble
Two sisters are accused of witchcraft in Andover, Massachusetts in 1692 and await trial while their mother desperately searches for some way to obtain their freedom.

Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen
Battle by battle, Gary Paulsen shows readers one boy's war through one boy's eyes and one boy's heart, and gives a voice to all the anonymous young men who fought in the Civil War.

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
Hamilton, the teenage surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack in the fall of 2003, shares her amazing story, detailing her return to surfing after this life-changing event.

Travel Team by Mike Lupica
The story of a 12-year-old Danny Walker, the smallest kid on the basketball court who's cut from the very travel team his father led to national prominence as a boy.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson reveals the beauty of the great American outdoors—and, during his months long walk, discovers bears, lions, the joy of noodles, and underwear the size of groundsheets.


 

Entering Grade 8

The Thing About Jellyfish

Image result for somewhere there is still a sun

 

Rising eighth grade students are required to read three books, noted below, plus at least one book of your choice. 

Required Reading

Book 1 The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin

Book 2 Somewhere There Is Still a Sun, by Michael Gruenbaum

Book 3 Surviving the Oregon Trail 1852, by Weldon Willis Rau

Books 4+ In addition to the required texts, students are to read at least one book of their choice!

 

Recommended Books

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Taste of Salt: a story of Modern Haiti by Frances Temple
Wonder by R.J. Palacio