Middle School SummerReads

Mrs. Mellin Recommends...

Fran Mellin

Graphic Novels

The Amber Anthem


White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio. The 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner.

All the Pieces Fit




Sea Sirens


Friendship Stories

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate. If you've read The One and Only Ivan, this is a must-read!

Shouting at the Rain

Will a mean girl ruin summer on the Cape?

Becoming Brianna

The newest in the Emmie & Friends series.


These eleven-year-olds plan a daring scheme while at camp. 

Family Stories


A 2020 Asian Pacific American Literature Award winner. 



Fantasy and Science Fiction


Author Carlos Hernandez talks about his new book, Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, with Rick Riordan.

Shuri: a Black Panther Novel


At Last, Jedi

The thrilling conclusion to the Jedi Academy series!

Astronuts: The Plant Planet


Anya and the Dragon

A 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor Book.


A sweeping adventure of Mulan's pre-warrior days.

Sports and Adventure 

The Turnover
Black Brother, Black Brother
Balance Beam Boss

Audio and Read Aloud Gems, Old and New

The Phantom Tollbooth

Enjoy this classic read aloud by The Office’s Rainn Wilson.

The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez

Humor with a little magic.

Moo: A Novel

Realistic fiction with a touch of humor, written partially in poems. 

We're Not From Here

Science fiction. A 2020 Odyssey Award Winner.

The Season of Styx Malone

Realistic fiction with a bit of adventure. A 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Raymie Nightingale

Heartwarming realistic fiction. 

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Fantasy adventure. A 2020 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Beyond the Bright Sea

Quiet historical fiction set off the coast of Massachusetts. 

Dead End in Norvelt

Humorous realistic fiction. Winner of the 2012 Newbery Award and read by the author.


Classic fantasy. A 2014 Odyssey Award Honoree, read by Kate Winslet.

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island

Heartwarming realistic fiction.

The Wizards of Once

Fantasy. A 2018 Odyssey Award Honoree.

2020 Award Winners from the American Library Association 

The Grizzly Mother

The Grizzly Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (“Bret D. Huson,” Gitxsan) illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia). An American Indian Youth Literature Honor book. Follow a mother bear in Northwest British Columbia as she teaches her cubs what they need to survive on their own.

Stargazing written and illustrated by Jen Wang. Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award.

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti.  A Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor book. Mafalda struggles with the idea that she is going blind but finds inspiration from an unusual source. Read this if you liked Out of My Mind

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle written by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña. A Pura Belpré Award winner. Our 3rd grade students loved the energetic movement in this story of Daisy’s twilight ride through her California town, and chose it as Pike’s Mock Caldecott winner this year.

The Undefeated written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The Randolph Caldecott Medal winner, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner, and a John Newbery Honor book. 

Other Words for Home

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. A John Newbery Honor Book. Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria, to live in Ohio.

Author Lynne Kelly introduces her book, Song for a Whale, an Odyssey Honor Book and Schneider Family Award Winner.

Each Tiny Spark

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya. A Schneider Family Honor Book. Emilia navigates life with ADHD while adjusting to her dad's return from active duty.

All In A Drop

All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World by Lori Alexander. A Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book. Learn about the first person to build a microscope - in the 1600s!

When Aidan Became a Brother

When Aidan Became a Brother written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. A Stonewall Award winner. This is a warm story about an expanding family.

The Book Rescuer

The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come written by Sue Macy, illustrated by Stacy Innerst. A Sydney Taylor Book Award winner. In this illustrated biography of Aaron Lansky, Macy and Innerst both take inspiration from Jewish culture and heritage.

ALA Youth Media Award Summaries

American Indian Youth Literature Award: honoring work by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Asian/Pacific American Literature Award: honoring work about Asian/Pacific American heritage.  
Mildred L. Batchelder Award: outstanding book published internationally.
Pura Belpré Award: excellent portrayal of the Latinx experience. 
Randolph Caldecott Award: distinguished illustration. 
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award: distinguished book for beginning readers. 
Coretta Scott King Book Award: appreciation of African American culture. 
John Newbery Award: distinguished writing. 
Odyssey Award: best audiobook production.
Michael L. Printz Award: literary excellence in young adult literature.
Schneider Family Award: artistic expression of the disability experience. 
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal: distinguished informational book. 
Stonewall Award: exceptional merit relating to the GLBT experience. 
Sydney Taylor Book Award: authentic portrayal of the Jewish experience.

Ms. Spence: Great New Books

Ms. Spence 2019


Aggie Morton Mystery Queen

Focused on Our Environment

Author Angela Dominguez reads from Stella Diaz Never Gives Up! 

Bring Back the Wolves

Author Leslie Bulion reads from Amphibian Acrobats

Historical Fiction

A Place to Belong
Stone River Crossing



The Very Short, Entirely, True History of Mermaids
Unlocking the Universe
Changing the Equation



The Bad Guys: The Baddest Day Ever


Realistic Fiction

The List of Things That Will Not Change

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone. A special and hilarious road trip. 


Lalani ot the Distant Sea


Fantasy Series Recommended by Students

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

The Grimm Trilogy by Adam Gidwitz

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland

Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski

Going Down Home With Daddy

Going Down Home with Daddy written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter. A Caldecott Honor Book. A joyous celebration of family reunions.

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López. A Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The story of Teresa Carreño, a child prodigy who played piano for Abraham Lincoln.