D65 EPL Middle School Summer Reads

Book List , Teen


Title: Contagion
By: Erin Bowman
Published: 2018

After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project--including its members' dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried--and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

On A Sunbeam

Title: On A Sunbeam
By: Tillie Walden
Published: 2018

A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love, only to learn the pain of loss.


Title: Pashmina
By: Nidhi Chanani
Published: 2017

Indian-American teen, Priyanka "Pri" Das, attempts to reconnect with her mother's homeland through a magical pashmina shawl.

Six of Crows

Title: Six of Crows
By: Leigh Bardugo
Published: 2015

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.

Grand Theft Horse

Title: Grand Theft Horse
By: G. Neri
Published: 2018

The story of trainer Gail Ruffu, who rescued her own horse from unscrupulous co-owners. As she stood up for the humane treatment of racehorses, she also faced down a system that caused their deaths.

The Disappearances

Title: The Disappearances
By: Emily Bain Murphy
Published: 2018

Every seven years, an important thing, like scent, disappears from the town of Sterling and Aila, sixteen, is determined to find the cause and how her recently-deceased mother was involved.

The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the best burger in Los Angeles)

Title: The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the best burger in Los Angeles)
By: Amy Spaulding
Published: 2018

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people's lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby's been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she's thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she's competing against the girl she's kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship. But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She also unwittingly becomes friends with Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in Los Angeles, and she's struggling to prove to her mother--the city's celebrity health nut--that she's perfectly content with who she is. Just as Abby starts to feel like she's no longer the sidekick in her own life, Jordi's photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight. Instead of feeling like she's landed a starring role, Abby feels betrayed. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image others have of her?

Dactyl Hill Squad

Title: Dactyl Hill Squad
By: Daniel Jose Older
Published: 2018

It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as the Civil War rages between raptor-mounted armies down South. Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum are on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and a number of their fellow orphans are kidnapped by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker. Magdalys and her friends flee to Brooklyn and settle in the Dactyl Hill neighborhood, where black and brown New Yorkers have set up an independent community--a safe haven from the threats of Manhattan. Together with the Vigilance Committee, they train to fly on dactylback, discover new friends and amazing dinosaurs, and plot to take down Riker. Can Magdalys and the squad rescue the rest of their friends before it's too late?


Title: Polaris
By: Michael Northrop
Published: 2017

In the 1830s Owen Ward is cabin boy on the Polaris, a ship on a voyage of scientific exploration, when illness and a mutiny off the coast of Brazil cause the adult crew to abandon the ship, leaving the handful of young cabin attendants and deckhands behind. The young seafarers are determined to bring their ship to safety, but when one of them disappears they begin to suspect that there is something deadly on board with them.

Ghost Boys

Title: Ghost Boys
By: Jewell Parker Rhodes
Published: 2018

After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Til

Insignificant Events in the  Life of a Cactus

Title: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
By: Dusti Bowling
Published: 2017

New friends and a mystery help Aven, thirteen, adjust to middle school and life at a dying western theme park in a new state, where her being born armless presents many challenges.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

Title: We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
By: Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson
Published: 2018

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art, prose, and poetry, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

A Few Drops of Red: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

Title: A Few Drops of Red: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
By: Claire Hartfield
Published: 2018

Examines the events and forces leading up to 1919 race riots in Chicago.

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor

Title: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor
By: Sonia Sotomayor
Published: 2018

In this adaptation for middle graders based on her bestselling adult memoir, My Beloved World, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor's extraordinary life inspires. Her achievement serves as a true testament to the fact that no matter the obstacles, dreams can come true. Includes an 8-page photo insert. Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, was a young girl when she dared to dream big. Her dream? To become a lawyer and a judge. As Justice Sotomayor explains, "When I was a child my family was poor and we knew no lawyers or judges and none lived in our neighborhood. I knew nothing about the Supreme Court and how much its work in reinterpreting the Constitution and the laws of the United States affected peoples' lives. You cannot dream of becoming something you don't even know about. That has been the most important lesson of my life. You have to learn to dream big dreams." Sonia did not let the hardships of her background--which included growing up in the rough housing projects of New York City's South Bronx, dealing with juvenile diabetes, coping with parents who argued and fought personal demons, and worrying about money--stand in her way. Always, she believed in herself. Her determination, along with guidance from generous mentors and the unwavering love of her extended Puerto Rican family, propelled her ever forward.

House Arrest

Title: House Arrest
By: K.A. Holt
Published: 2015

Young Timothy is sentenced to house arrest after impulsively stealing a wallet, and he is forced to keep a journal into which he pours all his thoughts, fears, and frustrations.


Title: Refugee
By: Alan Gratz
Published: 2017

Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

All the Stars Denied

Title: All the Stars Denied
By: Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Published: 2018

When resentment surges during the Great Depression in a Texas border town, Estrella, fifteen, organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos and soon finds herself witih her mother and baby brother in Mexico.

A Time to Dance

Title: A Time to Dance
By: Padma Venkatraman
Published: 2014

In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident

Dream Jumper

Title: Dream Jumper
By: Greg Grunberg & Lucas Turnbloom
Published: 2016

Ben has a gift. He can jump into other people's dreams. So when his classmates start falling victim to an evil dream monster, he knows he has to do something. But can he get to them in time? With help from a mysterious companion, Ben just might be able to defeat the monster and save his friends . . . if he can harness the power within.

Like Vanessa

Title: Like Vanessa
By: Tami Charles
Published: 2019

Vanessa Martin dreams of following in the footsteps of the first black Miss America, Vanessa Williams, but the odds are against her until a new teacher at school organizes a beauty pageant and encourages Vanessa to enter.

Every Shiny Thing

Title: Every Shiny Thing
By: Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison
Published: 2018

Seventh-grader Lauren begins stealing to help children who, like her brother Ryan, are on the autism spectrum. When Lauren recruits Sierra, in foster care in Lauren's neighborhood, Sierra knows she has more to lose than her friend. Enabling Lauren's lawbreaking could cost Sierra everything.

You Don’t Know Everything Jilly P.

Title: You Don’t Know Everything Jilly P.
By: Alex Ginno
Published: 2018

When her new baby sister is born deaf, Jilly makes an online connection with a fellow fantasy fan, who happens to be black and deaf, and begins to learn about the many obstacles that exist in the world for people who are different from her

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes & Friendship

Title: Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes & Friendship
By: Irene Latham and Charles Waters
Published: 2018

Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, present paired poems about topics including family dinners, sports, recess, and much more. This relatable collection explores different experiences of race in America.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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