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Incoming 8th Grade English 1 Summer Reading List - 2023

SCAPA English 1 Summer Reading Assignment for Rising 8th Grade Students

English 1 Summer Reading Assignment

Choose one of the following books to read this summer:

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  • Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (non-fiction)

As you read, use Post-It notes to annotate your book. You may want to consider writing or bullet-pointing a short summary at the end of each chapter to use when you take the AR test upon returning in the Fall. 

Google Slide Book Talk

Your Google Slide presentation should be at least 10 slides long (you may have more but not less)  and structured in the following way:

Slide 1: Introduction: Include the title of the book and name of the author.

Slide 2: Setting: When and where does the book take place?

Slide 3: MAIN Characters: Give a short bio of the characters using descriptive words or quotes from the characters that reveal something about who they are. Identify the protagonist and the antagonist.

Slide 4: Quest: What is the protagonist seeking?

Slide 5: Obstacles: What obstacles/conflicts does the protagonist face?

Slide 6: Resolution: Does the protagonist find what they seek? How?

Slide 7: Summary: Using bullet points (or by creating a map), summarize the protagonist’s journey from beginning to end. 

Slide 8: Your Impression: How did you feel about the book? Support your statement with two examples from the book.

Slide 9: Rating (on a scale of one to five stars): Why would you or why wouldn’t you recommend the book? Provide at least two specific reasons.

Slide 10: Closing: Include a quote from the book that represents the book or might entice someone to read the book.

Include at least five images and use fonts and backgrounds that are clear, visually appealing, and supportive of the information you are presenting. See the Google Slides rubric for assessment criteria.

Your Book Talk will be due on Friday, August 25th. We will not have class time to complete these projects.  AR tests on the books may be taken toward your AR requirement but will not be a part of your Book Talk grade. 

Science (Choose one book from the list below.)

Please email Mrs. Arkwright at with any questions about this list.

NOTE: Students will be creating a project about the book they read for science. They will also be expected to take 

the AR test on this book.

Cooney, Caroline 

  • Code Orange (941)

DeFelice, Cynthia

  • The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker (811)

Goodall, Jane

  • In the Shadow of Man (1178)

Gratz, Alan

  • Two Degrees (770)

Haddix, Margaret Peterson

  • Double Identity (781)

Herriot, James

  • All Creatures Great and Small (1009)

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (999)

  • All Things Wise and Wonderful (999)

  • The Lord God Made Them All (989)

Hickam, Homer

  • Rocket Boys (910)

Kelly, Jacqueline

  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (829)

Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw

  • Charles Darwin: The Life of a Revolutionary Thinker (1211)

Pfeffer, Susan Beth

  • Life As We Knew It (731)

Preston, Richard

  • The Hot Zone (1061)

Werlin, Nancy

  • Double Helix (781)

Social Studies (Choose one book from the list below.)

These books were chosen because of their relationship to social studies content in the coming school year. 

Please email Mr. Spaeth ( with any questions about this list. NOTE: Students will be completing

project on their summer reading book for Social Studies after the beginning of the school year.

Allen, Thomas B. 

  • Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War (1120)

Anderson, Laurie Halse

  • Chains (811)

  • Fever 1793 (681)

  • Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution (931)

Aronson, Mark and Budhos, Barina

  • Sugar Changed the World (1121)


  • The Fighting Ground (650)

  • Sophia’s War (730)

Bolden, Tonya

  • Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty (1160)

Bowe, Andy Russell

  • The Back of Beyond:  A Story About Lewis and Clark (1009)

Collier, James Lincoln and Christopher Collier

  • Jump Ship to Freedom (829)

Cushman, Karen

  • The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (899)

Davis, Kenneth

  • In the Shadow of Liberty (1110)

Fast, Howard

  • April Morning (931)

Fleischman, Paul

  • Bull Run (829)

Fox, Paula

  • Slave Dancer (921)

Fritz, Jean

  • Brady (870)

  • Why Not, Lafayette? (999)

Kendall, Martha E.

  • Susan B. Anthony: Voice for Women’s Voting Rights (1109)

Krass, Peter

  • Sojourner Truth (1152)

Lester, Julius

  • To Be a Slave (1019)

McClafferty, Carla Killough

  • The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon  (1140)

Monfredo, Miriam Grace

  • North Star Conspiracy (931)

Myers, Walter Dean

  • The Glory Field (781)

Osborne, Linda Barrett

  • This Land is Our Land (1080)

Patterson, Katherine

  • Lyddie (870)

Peck, Richard

  • The River Between Us (769)

Petry, Ann

  • Harriett Tubman, Conductor on the Underground Railroad (989)

Reeder, Carolyn

  • Shades of Gray (829)

Rinaldi, Ann 

  • Mine Eyes Have Seen (631)

  • Numbering the Bones (650)

  • The Fifth of March (888)

Robinet, Harriett Gillem

  • Forty Acres and a Mule (669)

Schanzer, Rosalyn

  • Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem (1109)

Sheinkin, Steve

  • Lincoln’s Grave Robbers (930)

  • The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Treachery (1061)

Speare, Elizabeth George

  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond (888)

Swanson, James L.

  • Chasing Lincoln’s Killer (1080)

Walker, Sally M.

  • Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland (1201)

Washington, Booker T.

  • Up From Slavery (1140)