Middle school students and summer reading don’t always go together. However, summer school is an important experience for many students. For this reason, it’s important to choose books that will engage young readers and keep them interested. Below are four books that work well for any summer school program geared toward middle school students.
This celebrated novel chronicles the journey of Bruno, a young German boy faced with the atrocities of the Holocaust. During the course of the story, Bruno befriends a young Jewish boy and learns that they are not so very different. Combining history with fiction, this book is both moving and informative, and it will keep middle school students thinking.
This book is about an orphan named Hugo who lives inside a train station in Paris. To survive alone, Hugo depends on thieving and secrecy. During the book, Hugo meets a bitter old man and a young girl, and he embarks on a journey of adventure and mystery.
This book follows the experiences of Greg, a kid in middle school who is smaller and less popular than most of his peers. When his best friend starts to become more popular, Greg has to do everything he can to save their friendship. Students can often relate to the characters in this book, making it the perfect choice for nearly any summer school class.
Though summer school programs may not be long enough to tackle the entire Harry Potter series, middle school students can usually get through the first few books. Many students have also seen the movies based on these books, which gives the series even more relevance. Even those students who haven’t seen the movies can appreciate the fantasy, struggle between good and evil and the depths of the characters featured in Harry Potter.
These are just a few of the books middle school teachers can use to engage their students during summer school programs. Teachers can make the process even more fun for students by allowing them to choose from among several different books. Regardless of what reading material is chosen, teachers should try to get students motivated by allowing them to discuss what they read, ask questions and watch movies or documentaries related to the book’s subject matter.