Welcome to Summer Reading at Vets!

Every incoming 7th grader must read:

Every incoming 8th grader must read:

Every student must read at least one book from the following list and complete a project from the list of choices listed here.


  • !! = edgy or mature content

  • @ = advanced read

  • ## = reluctant readers

  • Overdrive = available through school's Overdrive site as an audio book, ebook or both

ghosts.jpg Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier ##

Realistic fiction/fantasy

"Ghosts is about two sisters, middleschooler Catrina and little sister Maya, who has the incurable lung disease cystic fibrosis. Their family has just moved to a new town on the Northern California coast where their parents hope the cool sea air will help Maya breathe.

The town turns out to be full of ghosts — and Maya wants nothing more than to befriend them, though her older sister can't accept that Maya may soon join them. The story carries themes of acceptance, packed with imagery of the town, its ghosts and its Day of the Dead celebrations."

NPR, 2016.


Bookedby Kwame Alexander. ##

Realistic fiction

Available on Overdrive

"Nick is an average boy of 13 who likes soccer and hates books. Forced by his word-loving father to read dictionaries as a hobby, Nick tries to escape words wherever he can. This is until he realizes words are his best weapon in getting the girl, beating the bullies and rebuilding the bonds between him and his father." Sally Whichalls, Kidsread.com, 2016.


The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Historical fiction
Available on Overdrive

"Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him."

Amazon, 2016.

2016 Schneider Family Book Award winner


Ghost by Jason Reynolds.

Realistic fiction
Available on Overdrive

"Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves."

National Book Foundation, 2016

National Book Award finalist


Vango: Between Earth and Sky by Timothee de Fombelle. @

Historical fiction/adventure/fantasy
Available on Overdrive

"Young Vango Romano longs to become a priest, despite his interest in Ethel, a girl he can't seem to forget. With the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party looming as a backdrop on Vango's ordination day in April 1934, he's accused of murder. Vango escapes the police by scaling the walls of Notre Dame like a spider and racing across the rooftops of Paris (and eventually the world) as multiple parties give chase and war erupts. Vango's past is murky—he washed up on the shores of a remote Italian isle with his nurse, a woman desperate to hide his origins—yet Vango's identity might hold the answer to why so many people want to find him." Publisher's Weekly, 2016.

the sun.jpg

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. !!

Realistic fiction/romance
Available on Overdrive

"Natasha and Daniel meet, get existential, and fall in love during 12 intense hours in New York City. Natasha believes in science and facts, things she can quantify. Fact: undocumented immigrants in the U.S., her family is being deported to Jamaica in a matter of hours. Daniel’s a poet who believes in love, something that can’t be explained. Fact: his parents, Korean immigrants, expect him to attend an Ivy League school and become an M.D. This could be a sappy, saccharine story of love conquering all, but Yoon’s lush prose chronicles an authentic romance that’s also a meditation on family, immigration, and fate." Kirkus, 2016.

National Book Award finalist

Printz Award honor

Coretta Scott King New Talent award

Starred reviews: Horn Book, Booklist, Kirkus, New York Public Library’s Best 50 Books for Teens 2016


Uglies by Scott Westerfield.

Science fiction/dystopia
Available on Overdrive

"Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever." Buffalo & Erie Public Libraries.


Unwind by Neal Schusterman.

Science fiction/dystopia

Available on Overdrive

"In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them. Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions male a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed – but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, is wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away." storyman.com


Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

Available on Overdrive
Science fiction
"Marcus, a.k.a "w1n5t0n," is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself." Amazon


Feed by M.T. Anderson. @

Available on Overdrive
Science fiction/dystopia
"For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires." Amazon


The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

Available on Overdrive
Fantasy/historical fiction
"Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy—a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered." Amazon

henry sugar.jpg

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl.

Available on Overdrive
"It begins with the spooky and brief story of a boy who rescues a turtle from a terrible death, moves on to a delightful tale of a speeder and a pickpocket, shifts to a story of a trove of Roman silver uncovered in an English field, moves to "The Swan," one of the most terrifying stories about bullying ever written, segues into the fantastical title story about an Englishman who learns to see without his eyes, then takes a break for Dahl to talk about how he became a writer (he invented the word "Gremlin" and hung out with FDR!) before presenting the first thing he's ever published-an account being shot down over North Africa during WWII." Lizzie Skurnick, 2009.


Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. @

Written for adult readers

"The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. " Amazon.


The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin.

"On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.
The Port Chicago 50 is a fascinating story of the prejudice and injustice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights." Amazon
National Book Award finalist