All students are required to read AT LEAST THREE books and complete a log for each. Each student must read and write a log for the one required book title from the list below. Students must choose two additional titles from any source on any topic and write a log on each. For maximum benefit and incentives, students are encouraged to read many, many books!
Download Required Books for K–12 printable lists.
TITLE & SYNOPSIS
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
When Pete the Cat wears his new white shoes while walking down the street, stepping into piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other messes, his shoes change colors.
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Officer Buckle's safety presentation at Napville Elementary School is always ignored. It's so dull, in fact, that it puts audiences to sleep. Z Z Z z z z z... But soon, children are paying attention...to Officer Buckle's new police dog, Gloria, who stands behind him, impishly miming the dire consequences and accidents involved in not using one's head. Buckle is surprised to see the children suddenly so attentive, even applauding and laughing, and each time he checks on Gloria, she is sitting at attention.
The Stories Julian Tells
Julian is a quick fibber and a wishful thinker. And he is great at telling stories. He can make people—especially his younger brother, Huey—believe just about anything. Like the story about the cats that come in the mail. Or the fig leaves that make you grow tall if you eat them off the tree. But some stories can lead to a heap of trouble, and that's exactly where Julian and Huey end up!
Fifth-grader Nick Allen knows just how to make school cooler. In third grade, he transformed Miss Deaver's room into a tropical paradise with some paper palm trees and a sandy beach. In fourth grade, he taught his classmates to mimic the high-pitched calls of blackbirds. But now, in fifth grade, he's come up with his most ingenious idea yet. After learning about the origins of words, he decides to change the word pen to frindle. At first, it seems like a harmless prank, a way to annoy his dictionary-obsessed teacher. Then the whole class starts using the new word, and the joke spreads across town like wildfire. Suddenly Nick finds himself in the middle of a media frenzy over frindle. Will Nick emerge from the controversy a troublemaker or a hero?
The Mighty Miss Malone
Twelve-year-old Deza Malone has a close and loving family, and she's the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana. But times are tough, and it's hard for black men like Deza's father to find work. Desperate to help his family, Deza's father leaves town to look for work, and soon Deza, her mom, and her older brother, Jimmie, are setting off in search of him. Along the way, they experience many Depression-era hardships, including living in a shantytown and riding the rails, all the while never giving up the hope of being together again.
Christopher Paul Curtis
August Pullman is not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. Sure, he's a huge Star Wars fan, he loves his dog, and he's got a pretty good sense of humor. But August was born with a craniofacial abnormality — a genetic defect that caused his facial features to be severely deformed. His life has never been "normal." Despite his differences, August and his parents decide to transition him from homeschool to private school now that he's entering fifth grade. It's the start of middle school, they reason, so everyone will be new. But August has to deal with so much more than just being new. Will he make friends? Will he decide to stay at the school? And can the people around him learn to see past his appearance? This brilliant, sensitive story — narrated not only by August, but also by his older sister, his classmates, and other kids in his life — takes an insightful look at how one person's differences can affect the lives of so many others.
R. J. Palicio
Young, 16-year-old Steve Harmon, an amateur filmmaker, finds himself facing the death penalty for the murder of a Harlem drugstore owner. A Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book.
Walter Dean Myers
Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra
Tess loves math because it's the one subject she can trust—there's always just one right answer, and it never changes. But then she starts algebra and is introduced to those pesky and mysterious variables, which seem to be everywhere in eighth grade. When even your friends and parents can be variables, how in the world do you find out the right answers to the really important questions, like what to do about a boy you like or whom to tell when someone's done something really bad? Will Tess's life ever stop changing long enough for her to figure it all out?
Elijah of Buxton
The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit, Elijah is best known in his hometown as the boy who threw up on Frederick Douglass. (Not on purpose, of course — he was just a baby then!)
But things change when a former slave calling himself the Right Reverend Zephariah W. Connerly the Third steals money from Elijah's friend Mr. Leroy, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the south. Elijah joins Mr. Leroy on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the disreputable preacher, and he discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled — a life from which he'll always be free, if he can find the courage to go back home.
Christopher Paul Curtis
Blood Is Thicker: Bluford High Series
Sixteen-year-old Hakeem Randall can't take it anymore. First, he learns that his father is sick and that his parents can no longer afford their home. Then he finds out he has to leave his friends at Bluford High and move in with his uncle in faraway Detroit — where he has to share a bedroom with his moody, secretive cousin Savon. Once childhood friends, he and Savon have since grown apart — and they're headed for a confrontation that promises to change their lives forever.
Three Little Words: A Memoir
Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative, humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.
The daughter of a plantation owner and his Negro mistress struggle to survive in the war-torn South. Here is the classic--and true – story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress, a Southern Civil War heroine to rival Scarlett O'Hara. Vyry bears witness to the South's prewar opulence and its brutality, to its wartime ruin and the subsequent promise of Reconstruction.
Margaret Walker Alexander
(Casey, Davis, McWillie, Power, Bailey, Northwest, Forest Hill, Jim Hill, and Murrah)
Download Required Books for K–12 printable list.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Where the Wild Things Are
The Firekeeper's Son
Linda Sue Park
Sasquatch Escape: The Imaginary Veterinary Book I
The Lion Who Stole My Arm
Fish in a Tree
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
A Long Walk to Water
Linda Sue Park
The Moon is Down
Gathering of Old Men
The Kite Runner
Heart of Darkness
Note: Program schools may recommend that additional books are read during the summer in preparation for coursework during the upcoming school year. Those listed above are the minimum books required by the District for each grade level and program school.