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Summer Reading Alternate Lists

(only for students with permission from their 2015-2016 teachers)

Entering 6th Grade:

I Was a Rat

by: Philip Pullman

A little boy turns life in London upside down when he appears at the house of a lonely old couple and insists he was a rat.

The Kid Who Ran for President

by: Dan Gutman

With his friend as campaign manager and his former babysitter as running mate, twelve-year-old Judson Moon sets out to become President of the United States.

The Million Dollar Shot

by: Dan Gutman

Eleven-year-old Eddie gets a chance to win a million dollars by sinking a foul shot at the National Basketball Association finals.

Tuck Everlasting

by: Natalie Babbitt

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

A Week in the Woods

by: Andrew Clements

The fifth grade's annual camping trip in the woods tests Mark's survival skills and his ability to relate to a teacher who seems out to get him.

Entering 7th Grade:

All the Lovely Bad Ones

by: Mary Downing Hahn

Travis and his sister Corey decide to boost business at their grandmother's Vermont inn by staging a few "hauntings" that soon draw tourists from across the country, but when their antics awaken a dark force, they must find a way to put to rest the ghosts they have disturbed.

Chasing Vermeer

by: Blue Balliett

When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

A Dog's Life

by: Ann M. Martin

A stray puppy named Squirrel relates her life story, beginning with her nurturing mother; providing details of her experiences with both nice and mean humans, busy highways, and the seasons; and ending with her meeting two friends.

The Girl Who Owned a City

by: O.T. Nelson

When a plague sweeps over the earth, killing everyone except children under twelve, ten-year-old Lisa organizes a group to rebuild a new way of life.


by: Jerry Spinelli

Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Donald Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.

Entering 8th Grade:

Bud, Not Buddy

by: Christopher Paul Curtis

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Letters from Rifka

by: Karen Hesse

In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family's flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.

Stolen Children

by: Peg Kehret

Amy, babysitting for little Kendra, must use her wits to save herself and the child after they are kidnapped by two thugs who are demanding money from Kendra's wealthy parents in exchange for the lives of the girls.

Things Not Seen

by: Andrew Clements

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

Touching Spirit Bear

by: Ben Mikaelsen

After his anger erupts into violence, fifteen year-old Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge SpiritBear changes his life.