MBMS 8th Grade Full List

2021-2022 8th Grade Summer Reading 

Please read 2 books total (this is a change from prior years, so pay attention!) REQUIRED Reading 

The Outsiders 

Hinton, S.E.

Drama, Coming of Age 

Classic novel published in 1967 about Ponyboy Curtis and his gang the  Greasers, who are in constant conflict with the rival gang, the Socs  (pronounced Sosh-ez). After a fight where someone dies, Ponyboy and his  friend Johnny run away as they figure out how to deal with what happened,  and further tragedy strikes. 


CHOOSE: One non-fiction book from the list

o Allen, David - Getting Things Done for Teens 

o Fleming, Candace – The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia o Sheinkin, Steve – Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon o Spiegelman, Art – Maus 

o Thompson, Ben – Guts and Glory: The American Civil War 

o Wakatsuki Houston, Jeanne – Farewell to Manzanar 

o Watson, Jessica – True Spirit: The True Story of a 16-Year-Old Australian Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop, and  Unassisted Around the World


Getting Things Done for Teens: Take  Control of Your Life in a Distracting World  

Allen, David; Wallace, Mark; Williams,  Mike


Navigating school, social pressure, sports, music, and family commitments is  hard, and often leads to stress and reduced productivity. This book will help  readers design a “game strategy” to manage all of it with less stress, more  confidence, and more independence. Based on the internationally best selling book Getting Things Done. 

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion,  and the Fall of Imperial Russia 

(2014 Orbis Pictus Award winner)  

Fleming, Candace

Narrative non-fiction 

This is the gripping true story of Russia’s last royal family, the Romanovs, and  their tragic fall. It narrates intimate accounts of the events that brought  down this family’s empire, led to their brutal murder, and forever changed  the face of Russia.

Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the  World’s Most Dangerous Weapon 

(Newbery Honor book)  

Sheinkin, Steve

Historical Nonfiction 

The shocking discovery of how to split an atom in two launched a scientific  race that spanned 3 continents! Spies worked their way into the scientific  community. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and  genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the true  story of the atomic bomb.


Spiegelman, Art

Memoir, Graphic Novel 

A memoir about Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and  about his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his  story, and with history itself.

Guts and Glory: The American Civil War Thompson, Ben


From courageous cavalry rides deep into enemy territory to harrowing  covert missions undertaken by spies and soldiers, the events of the American  Civil War were filled with daring figures and amazing feats. This exhilarating  overview covers the biggest battles as well as captivating lesser-known  moments to entertain kids with unbelievable (and totally true) tales of one of  America's most fascinating conflicts.

Farewell to Manzanar 

Wakatsuki Houston, Jeanne

Narrative Non-fiction, Memoir 

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston shares her experiences of living at the Manzanar  internment camp during World War II and how it has influenced her life.

True Spirit: The True Story of a 16 Year Old  Australian Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop, and  Unassisted Around the World 

Watson, Jessica

Narrative Non-fiction, Memoir  

On May 15, 2010, after 210 days at sea and more than 22,000 nautical miles,  16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her 33-foot boat triumphantly back to  land. She had done it. She was the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted,  and nonstop around the world.


This is a list of optional books recommended by the MBMS English Department  teachers. This is only a list of novels we like if you want to read more than the  two required books.

And Then There Were None 

Christie, Agatha

Murder Mystery 

Ten strangers--each with a secret in their past--are summoned by an absent  millionaire to Indian Island, a private island off the coast of England and  begin to die one by one upon arrival.


Gyasi, Yaa

Historical Fiction 

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages,  each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of  comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be  captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and  sold into slavery. Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and  their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the  plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. 


(1999 National Book Award Finalist for  Young People’s Literature) 

Halse Anderson, Laurie

Mystery, Young Adult 

Melinda, a freshman in high school, calls the police on a party and  becomes an outcast. As she becomes socially outcast, she stops talking  anyone, and her only outlet is her art class. Through art she is able to reveal  what happened at that party as she seeks a way to deal with it. 

Out of the Dust 

(Newbery Medal book)  

Hesse, Karen

Historical Fiction, Poetry 

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on  her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl years of the  Depression.

Call of the Wild 

London, Jack

Adventure, Animal Fiction 

A domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara valley of California  is stolen from home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled  dog. Buck is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments and fight to  dominate other dogs in a harsh climate.

Boy’s Life 

McCammon, Robert

Mystery, Coming of Age 

Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake - a desperate rescue  attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible vision of death that will  haunt him forever. As Cory struggles to understand his father’s pain, he must  confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown -for his  father’s sanity and his own life hang in the balance.

The Harry Potter Series 

Rowling, J.K.

Fantasy, Mystery, Coming of Age 

Eleven year old famous wizard, Harry Potter, is sent to wizarding school to  learn magic. He ends up solving a mystery over life and death, all while the  most evil of wizards, Lord Voldemort, is trying to kill him.

X: A Novel 

Shabazz, Ilyasah; Magoon, Kekla

Historical Fiction 

A novel that documents the youth of Malcolm Little, who later became  Malcolm X, from his childhood to his imprisonment at the age of twenty. 

The Skinjacker Triology (Book 1- Everlost) Shusterman, Neil 


When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, a  shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer  exist; a limbo for lost souls, where, although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at  nothing--even skinjacking--to break free.