Upper School SummerReads

Mrs. Mellin

Fran Mellin


Welcome to US SummerReads 2020. We are excited to recommend these recently published titles. You will find a variety of topics from the lighthearted to the more serious. When selecting a book, be aware that Young Adult (YA) indicates that content or themes are for more mature readers - often 8th grade and up. Trust yourself as a reader to find a good fit that you'll enjoy.

Ms. Spence

Ms. Spence 2019

In Search of Justice

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

A look at the history of racism in the United States, and how it came to be part of our institutions. 

Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang. 

Black Brother Black Brother
Dress Coded
We Are Power
Yes No Maybe So


A Good Kind of Trouble

Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. 

Just For Laughs

Stand Up, Yumi Chung
Middle School's a Drag

Listen Up! - Audio for 6s and 7s

Fabulous narrations bring these characters and worlds to life. A blend of newer and older titles. 

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.

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. Just optioned for a movie.

The Season of Styx Malone

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

Older Titles Not To Be Missed

The Parker Inheritance

Follow Candice as she unravels an old mystery centered around her grandmother - buried treasure and secrets await. A 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor book.

Scythe Series

Imagine a world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery and no death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life. Two teens challenge the status quo in this YA trilogy by Neal Shusterman. Not for the faint of heart. Scythe is a 2017 Printz Honor book.

The Hate U Give

This is the story of Star and the effects of death of her friend. Definitely for a more mature reader (YA) but so powerful. A 2018 Coretta Scott King and Printz Honor book.

The Thief

Gen flaunts his ingenuity and relishes his newest adventure. A 1997 Newbery Honor Book.

The Marrow Thieves

In this YA dystopian novel, First Nations members are on the run in a barren landscape. A 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Honor Book. 


Stealing a fairy spells bad news for Artemis.


Clea loves soccer but struggles to manage her life. Written by a Pike alum who draws on her own experiences.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Four kids are chosen for a mysterious mission. First in a series.

Good Omens

A sly end-of-the-world epic for mature readers. 

Get in the Game


Wrestling and sibling rivalry.

Dragon Hoops

Non-fiction. The trials of a high school basketball team trying to clinch the state title.


A gripping memoir of competition and identity.


A baseball player wonders about his identity. 

Other Worlds

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

A Hunger Games prequel featuring a teen Coriolanus Snow. 




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

Kingdom of Black
Anya and the Dragon

A 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor book. 

Shuri: a Black Panther Novel

A young scientist holds the key to defending Wakanda. 


Armed with a compass, beloved legends, and a mysterious stone, Max sets off on an epic quest.

The Beast Player

Elin's gift for communicating with the magical Royal Beasts may be her undoing. A 2020 Mildred L. Batchelder and Printz Honor book.

Family and Friends

Author Nic Stone talks about her road-trip adventure, Clean Getaway.

The Best At It

Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade at a new school. A 2020 Stonewall Honor Book.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

Zoe is determined to uncover the truth about the father she's never met. Has he been falsely imprisoned? 

Rick by Alex Gino

Rick wants to figure out who he is. The Rainbow Spectrum Club offers him new opportunities. 

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds. Ten different kids. Ten different ways to walk home from school. A 2020 Coretta Scott King Honor book.

Parked by Danielle Svetcov

Jeanne Ann is living in an orange van. Cal is determined to save her. Together they form a friendship. 

King and the Dragonflies

James' brother has suddenly died leaving James convinced that Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When his best friend goes missing, James has to face some hard truths. 

Pippa Park Raises Her Game

Pippa lives to play basketball but when her math grades drop, basketball stops, until a mysterious scholarship opens new opportunities. 

Any Day With You

As part of Kaia's creative arts camp, she is filming a short movie inspired by the Filipino folktales her beloved great-grandfather tells her. When Tatang decides that it is time to return to the Philippines, Kaia will do anything to convince him to stay. 

Shouting at the Rain

Summer on Cape Cod is looking grand, until a mean girl enters the picture. 

Hearts Unbroken

YA. Louise covers the controversial casting of her high school's drama production, The Wizard of Oz, for her school's paper. Winner of the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award. 

Quick Reads

Say Her Name: Poems to Empower

A collection of powerful poetry.

Once Upon an Eid

Short stories celebrating culture, faith, and community. 

They Called Us Enemy

Actor and activist George Takei's unflinching memoir of internment during World War II. Told in graphic format. A 2020 Asian Pacific American Literature Award winner.

Lety Alza Su Voz

Lety hopes to adopt a dog from the animal shelter where she works. English title: Lety Out Loud. A 2020 Pura Belpré Honor book.

Listen Up! - YA Audio

Fabulous narrations bring these characters and worlds to life. A blend of newer and older titles. 

Born A Crime

Memoir. The author narrates the story of his childhood in South Africa.

Lovely War

Historical fiction. The Greek gods each tell their version of World War I.

Raven Boys

First in a supernatural series. A rich boy's quirky interest in a dead Welsh king becomes a desperate quest to save multiple worlds.

The Lines We Cross

Realistic fiction. A cross-cultural romance and anti-immigration tensions in Australia, told in alternating voices.

Maisie Dobbs

Mystery. A former nurse turns enterprising sleuth. First in a series.


Science fiction. In a dystopian future America, foul-mouthed smuggler Prudence Wu is caught up in rebellion.

The Poet X

Realistic fiction. Xiomara navigates her Catholic faith, her talent for poetry, and her strict mother. Winner of the 2019 Printz Award. 

And then there were 4

Mystery. Murders or accidents? Four teens race against time to find out.


Memoir in verse. Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson narrates her powerful story of trauma, assault, and finding her voice.

Mysterious Adventures

The Newspaper Club
Seven Clues to Home
Worse Than Weird

Visiting the Past

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


USA, 1953. Jake knows that Soviet spies could be anywhere. Has he spotted one?

The Downstairs Girl

Jo Kuan defies expectations and reckons with family secrets in 1890s Atlanta.

Prairie Lotus

Set in 1880, Hanna is adapting to life in America and negotiating the townspeople's prejudice against Asians. 

Born to Fly by Steve Sheinkin. The true story of the 1st women's air race across the United States

The Enigma Game

 Set in Scotland during WWII, this story centers around code breaking and the Enigma Machine.

Leaving Lymon

As Lymon heads North music keeps him company. 

Author Ann Clare LeZotte introduces her novel set on Martha's Vineyard.

Echo Mountain

Set in Maine during the Great Depression, Ellie feels responsible for her dad's accident and she sets off to help him.

We Dream of Space

Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. It is 1986, and the Space Shuttle Challenger is ready for launch.

Close Calls

A interesting look at times when the President was in danger. 

The Natural World

Magnificent Migration

Follow the great herds of Africa during their migrations. Stunning photographs. 

The Eagle Huntress: The True Story of the Girl Who Soared Beyond Expectations

This is the memoir of the girl who defied tradition and learned to fly golden eagles. 

Rating Your Bunkmates and Other Camp Crimes
Stepping Stones

Jen did NOT want to leave the city. But here she is - stuck on a farm with her mom and new stepfamily.


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

Ordinary Hazards

Poet Nikki Grimes shares her personal journey through poetry in this YA memoir. A 2020 Sibert and Printz Honor book.

With The Fire on High

Emoni Santiago has a full plate between finishing high school and caring for her young daughter. She is determined to let her culinary talents soar.

Author Angie Thomas raps from her YA book On the Come Up, the story of Bri's journey to becoming a rapper.

Hey, Kiddo

Jarret Krosoczka's graphic memoir of growing up in Worcester, MA. A 2020 Odyssey Award winner.

Funny You Don't Look Autistic

Comedian Michael McCreary's memoir of living life differently. 

Almost American Girl, Robin Ha's graphic memoir of immigrating to America with her mother.

Binge-Worthy Series

Ranger's Apprentice and Royal Rangers by John Flanagan.

Found and Children of Exile by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

The Friendship List by Lisa Greenwald.

Charlie Hernandez by Ryan Calejo.

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Sharon Messenger.

Perfect Score by Rob Buyea.

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs.

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.