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student lounging on her backpack and reading a book

Summer Reading ProgramKent Denver urges students and faculty to read widely during the summer. Studies indicate a direct correlation between academic success and leisure reading. For that reason, if no other, students should read extensively.

Summer should be a time to rediscover reading for pleasure. Choice of texts forms the foundation of the shift from “what do I have to read” to “what do I want to read.” Research on the efficacy of summer reading overwhelmingly supports that students get more from summer reading when they choose their own texts, pick books at reading levels appropriate to where they really are and choose topics and genres about which they truly care.

Rising 6th graders have one required text and one text of choice, rising 7th graders should read at least two books of their choice, and rising 8th–12th grade students may read three books of their choice. During the first week of English classes next year, students will be part of a celebration of summer reading to build a classroom community of inspired readers.

Below are links to some great resources for students to look for books they will want to read.

middle school english class reading in a circle

Middle School Reading Program

  • 6th grade: One required text: "Restart" by Gordon Korman (ISBN: 9781338053807) and one text of choice.
  • 7th grade: Two texts of choice. For each of these novels, students will create a “book bento” (inspired by Japanese bento boxes) to represent their book—example and instructions. A book bento is captured in a photo. This photo should include the book and 4-6 objects surrounding it that represent the story's important setting, themes, figurative language, and conflicts (not just the plot). Use objects you can find around your home. Arrange your items around your book and take a photo.
  • 8th grade: Three texts of choice.
two students reading together in english class

Upper School Reading Program

  • 9th-12th grade: Three texts of choice.

Overall Resources for Finding Books:

Excellent Resources for Finding and Evaluating YA Literature: