Category Archives: Summer Reading

Student Book Lists: Summer Reading Grade 10/11

Yesterday was the first day of school and the day that the summer reading assignments were due. My students were relieved and annoyed to discover that I would not be collecting them and they would not be sharing them until their first full English class. This year we did an orientation day for the first day where students had each class for 15 minutes and we spent time getting to know each other.

Today was the first full day of classes and I met with my Grade 10/11 English class. This year we have just 2 juniors, and one of them in an ELL from China, she is not in my English class, so we combined the two grades for most of their classes. Today’s class was about 70 minutes of students book talking. It was awesome! I loved hearing the kids thoughts on the books I had read, and hearing about new books I’m unfamiliar with. The kids shared great insights and inquiry as well as some pretty creative analysis. We had two power points, three papers, a blog, and a website. And the kids just talked about their books.

In addition to the free choice books, they had to read a book on Christian living and write a response paper. I’ve just started reading those and they are good! Some good thinking, although it is clear to me that I need to do more work with them on how to write a response paper. When they talked about their books today, they expressed their thoughts well, but when it came to the written responses, they seem to have a harder time expression their thinking. I’m excited; something to work on!

Tomorrow I will have the Senior English class and my Freshmen English class. I look forward to hearing about their books. 

Here is the list of books from the 10/11 English:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days & Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney

Kingdom Keepers:Power Play & Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game by Ridley Pearson

Looking for Alaska & The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green & The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Woods Runner & Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen

Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti & Samson: A Savior Will Rise by Shawn Hoffman

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston & The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano


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Reading Ladder: The Magician’s Nephew-The Dream House Kings

One of the middle schoolers I am working with this summer is reading The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis for one of his summer reading books. I’m sure I read it when I was young. We had a box set of the Narnia series and I remember my mom reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I have vague recollections of some of the other books, but I don’t really remember the other stories. So I am reading The Magician’s Nephew along with my student and am currently at the part where they have arrived in Narnia as the Lion is singing into existence creation. What a cool depiction of the Genesis 1 Creation account! The Bible says that God spoke everything into being, but I really like the idea of the lion’s song and music creating the world!

The book is also reminding me of Robert Liparulo’s Dream House Kings series. The King family discover doorways in their attic that transport them to different worlds and points in history. In The Magician’s Nephew, Digory and Polly use rings and pools of water to travel. Both books play with the idea of what if someone from another world came into the modern world on Earth. Both books are thrilling, mysterious, and full of adventure and meaning.

Anyone from age 8 or so and up will enjoy The Magician’s Nephew. The Dream House Kings (a 6 book series) is a little darker and a little more violent. I would say its more appropriate for ages 12 and up. The Dream House Kings is good for those who like suspense, mystery, etc, maybe even horror.





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Book List Topic: World War II

Here are some books on World War II that I recommend. This list is by no means exhaustive!

Fiction Titles

The Book Thief

Code Name Verity

Between Shades of Gray

Boy at War

Code Talker

The Devil’s Arithmetic

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Sarah’s Key


NonFiction Titles

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy


Graphic Novels

Resistance by Jablonski

Maus I, II by Spiegelman

A Bag of Marbles by Joffo




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What’s your plan?

What is your plan for summer reading? Of course many schools require summer reading and those requirements vary quite a bit. I’ve created my own summer reading plan. There is a stack of professional development books that I am hoping to get to and then there are the books that I want to read before putting into to my classroom library. There are the ones that I need to read or re-read in preparation for teaching, and the ones that I just plain have been wanting to read.

In the coming days I’ll try to get those lists up, as well some other suggestions for interesting reading.

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