OMS Summer Reading


  • The only Grade 8 students who are REQUIRED to do summer reading are the students who will have Mrs. Schelcher for enriched ELA.
  • For students who will have Mrs. Haller, Mrs. Weaver, or Mrs. Richardson, it will be extra credit if you complete it over the summer.

All summer reading novels MUST come from this list unless a student receives special permission from Laurie Haller.

Select & read ONE novel from the list that you have not previously read. Please complete five journal entries from the list of "Reader Response Questions". If possible, complete these entries in a new writing journal, which will serve as your reading journal for the next school year. (You may also use PowerPoint.) Each entry should be a minimum of 10 sentences long and in paragraph form. Be sure to include a topic sentence for each so we are clear what question you are answering!

PARENTS: If you are concerned about monitoring the material your child reads, please refer to sites such as (linked to titles below) or Scholastic to learn more about the content.



Brothers in Arms – Paul Langan

Close to Famous – Joan Bauer

Hugging the Rock – Susan Taylor Brown

Jeremy Fink & the Meaning Of Life – Wendy Mass

Mockingbird – Katherine Erskine

Notes From a Liar & Her Dog – Gennifer Coldenko

Pieces of Georgia – Jen Bryant

Surviving the Applewhites – Stephanie Tolan

Somewhere in the Darkness – Walter Dean Myers

Tangerine – Edward Bloor

Tex – S E Hinton

Three Times Lucky - Sheila Turnage

Overcoming Obstacles

Anything But Typical – Nora Raleigh Baskin

Defiance – Valerie Hobbs

Heaven Looks a Lot Like a Mall – Wendy Mass

Romiette & Julio – Sharon Draper

Rules – Cynthia Lord

Slam – Walter Dean Myers

Small Steps – Louis Sachar

Calamity Jack – Shannon & Dean Hale

Rapunzel’s Revenge – Shannon & Dean Hale

Middle School Life

Eleven – Lauren Myracle

Finally – Wendy Mass

The Kind of Friends We Used to Be – Frances O’Roark Dowell

The Secret Language of Girls – Frances O’Roark Dowell

Thirteen – Lauren Myracle

Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet – Erin Dionne

Twelve – Lauren Myracle

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Dragon Slippers – Jessica Day George

The Last Book in the Universe – Rodman Philbrick

Savvy – Ingrid Law

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle

The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick

Flora and Ulysses - Kate DiCamillo


Al Capone Does My Shirts – Gennifer Choldenko

Bud Not Buddy – Christopher Paul Curtis

Firehorse – Diane Lee Wilson

One Came Home - Amy Timberlake

Shooting the Moon – Frances O’Roark Dowell

Books in a Series

Gallagher Girls – Ally Carter

The Missing – Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Shadow Children – Margaret Peterson Haddix

Alex Rider – Anthony Horowitz

The Amulet Series – Kazu Kabuishi

Kidnapped – Gordon Korman

On the Run – Gordon Korman

Swindle – Gordon Korman

Maximum Ride – James Patterson

Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

Edge Chronicles – Paul Stewart







1. If you could introduce a character from your book to your family, who would it be?  Why?

2. Which character would you be ashamed to introduce to your family? Why?

3. Do any incidents, ideas, or actions in this book remind you of your own life or something that happened to you?  Explain.

4. Do any of the characters remind you of your friends, family members, or classmates?  Explain.

5. Which character would you choose for as a friend, brother / sister, boyfriend / girlfriend? Explain.

6. Would your mom or dad like this book?  Why or why not?  Give specific reasons, citing events, characters’ actions, themes, etc from the book to support your claim.

7. Is there any object or place in your book that stands for something else?  If so, that is a symbol.  Why is that symbol important?

8. Dramatic irony is when you know something that a character does not know.  What do you know that a character does not?

9. What is the tone or mood of this book?  How does the author create that mood?

10. Did any of the characters change during the course of the book?  How did they change?  What forces caused this change?

11. Does this book seem similar to any other book you have read?  In what ways are the two books similar?

12. Describe the setting’s time and place.  List the clues that helped you identify the setting.

13. Compare where you live to the setting described in the book you are reading. 

14. Explain how the story would be different if it was:

a. told from a different character 

b. in a different time period 

15. Draw a comic strip or a graphic novel page for what you just read.  Be sure to color or artistically shade your pictures.

16. If the author were here, what would you say and ask him / her?

17. List at least three problems the characters faced.  What was the most life changing?

18. Think of a problem that a character had to face.  Write the problem and how the character solved it or is working to solve it.  If you were that character, what would you do differently?

19. How does a character’s personality change during the story?

20. Did the book end the way you thought it would?  What clues did the author give you that made you think that?  Did you think these clues were important when you read them?

21. Did you like the ending of the book?  Why or why not?  Do you think there is more to tell?  What do you think might happen next?