Southfield Public Schools’ Summer Book Club

Southfield Public Schools | Summer Reading List

Pre-School

One-osaurus, Two-osaurus
Words by Kim Norman
Pictures by Pierre Collet-Derby
One-osaurus, two-Osaurus, three-Osaurus, four! Look there, in a child's bedroom, where some prehistoric pals are gathered in a counting game. Nine dinosaurs are playing a sing-song rendition of hide-and-seek--but something isn't adding up. Where is number ten?
Please, Baby, Please
Words by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
Pictures by Kadir Nelson
A toddler's antics keep his mother busy as she tries to feed him, watch him on the playground, give him a bath, and put him to bed
Colors of Me
Words by Brynne Barnes
Pictures by Annika M. Nelson
A young child questions the significance of skin color and wonders if the natural world believes any particular color to be more important than another.
The Zoo: A Can-You-Find-it Book
Sarah L. Schuette
Treat kids to a seek-and-find field trip to the zoo.
The Day the Crayons Quit
Words by Drew Daywalt
Pictures by Oliver Jeffers
When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?
Words by Bill Martin, Jr.
Pictures by Eric Carle
Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a teacher looking at them.
Kindness is My Superpower: A Children's Book About Empathy, Kindness and Compassion
Alicia Orego
Kindness is something anyone can learn: Give to others and ask nothing in return. Helping others is simply the best thing to do. When you are kind, kindness comes back to you.

1st Grade

We are Growing!
Laurie Keller
Walt is not the tallest or the curliest or the pointiest or even the crunchiest. A confounded blade of grass searches for his 'est' in this hilarious story about growing up.
Hair Love
Words by Matthew A. Cherry
Pictures by Vashti Harrison
A little girl's daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners
Words by Joanna Ho
Pictures by Dung Ho
A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's.
The Bad Seed
Words by Jory John
Pictures by Pete Oswald
The bad seed changes his mind about being bad and decides that he wants to be happy.
Caterpillar to Butterfly
Laura Marsh
Describes a caterpillar's four stages of life.
It's Not Easy Being a Bunny
Words by Marilyn Sadler
Pictures by Robert Bollen
Tired of being a bunny, P.J. Funnybunny decides to become a bear. But hibernating is so dull, he thinks he'd rather be a bird, or a pig . . . or a possum. . . . And so it goes, until P.J. learns that bunnyhood is not so bad after all.
The Book With No Pictures 
B. J. Novak
In this book with no pictures, the reader has to say every silly word, no matter what.

2nd Grade

Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird
Words by Misty Copeland
Pictures by Christopher Myers
American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own.
Sumo Joe 
Words by Mia Wenjen
Pictures by Nat Iwata
Sumo Joe and his friends pretend to be sumo wrestlers, but when his little sister who takes Aikido wants to join them, Sumo Joe must choose between his friends and his sister.
Under my Hijab
Words by Hena Khan
Pictures by Aaliya Jaleel
As a young girl observes that each of six women in her life wears her hijab and hair in a different way, she considers how to express her own style one day.
Me, Frida: Frida Kahlo in San Francisco
Words by Amy Novesky
Pictures by David Diaz
Artist Frida Kahlo finds her own voice and style when her famous husband, Diego Rivera, is commissioned to paint a mural in San Francisco, California, in the 1930s and she finds herself exploring the city on her own.
Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up
Words by Melissa Thomson
Pictures by Frank Morrison
Keena Ford chronicles her many mishaps as she begins second grade.
Your Name is a Song
Words by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Pictures by Luisa Uribe
Saddened by her classmates' and teacher's mispronunciations of her name, a girl is empowered by her discovery that names are like songs when she and her mom celebrate the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names.

3rd Grade
4th Grade

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Words by Derrick Barnes
Pictures by Gordon C. James
Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Words by Louis Sachar
Pictures by Julie Brinckloe
Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story.
Hoot
Carl Hiaasen
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

5th Grade

Wishtree
Words by Katherine Applegate
Pictures by Charles Santoso
When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires--literally.
One Crazy Summer
Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
Love That Dog
 Sharon Creech
A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

6th Grade

As Brave as You
Jason Reynolds
When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires--literally.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Jacqueline Woodson
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

7th Grade

The Night Diary
Veera Hiranandani
Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.
Harbor Me
Jacqueline Woodson
When six students are chosen to participate in a weekly talk with no adults allowed, they discover that when they're together, it's safe to share the hopes and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world.

8th Grade

When You Reach Me
Rebecca Stead
Four mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever. By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life.
A Good Kind of Trouble
Lisa Moore Ramée
After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.

9th Grade

The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
During the summer of 1964 in rural South Carolina, a young girl is given a home by three black, beekeeping sisters. As she enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, she discovers a place where she can find the single thing her heart longs for most.
Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny
Hill Harper
Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, Harper, a young black actor and graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, offers similar inspiration to young men clamoring for advice and encouragement at a time when popular culture offers little positive direction.
Letters to a Young Sister: Define Your Destiny
Hill Harper
Author Harper's vision for young women on facing tough issues and becoming the architect of your own life. Harper delivers straight talk, interspersed with questions answered in the form of e-mails written by well-known, accomplished women.
A Wrinkle In Time
Madeleine L'Engle
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

10th Grade

Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers
Michelle Obama
This volume for young people is an honest and fascinating account of Michelle Obama's life led by example. She shares her views on how all young people can help themselves as well as help others, no matter their status in life. She asks readers to realize that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?
The Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talkingin Harlem.

11th Grade

Purple Hibiscus
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In the city of Egunu, Nigeria, fifteen year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a somewhat cloistered life. Their father is a wealthy businessman, they live in a beautiful home, and attend private school. But, through Kambili's eyes, we see that their home life is anything but harmonious.
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
In the course of his wanderings from a Southern Negro college to New York's Harlem, an American black man becomes involved in a series of adventures.

12th Grade

Kindred
Octavia E. Butler
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Yet each time Dana's sojourns become longer and more dangerous, until it is uncertain whether or not her life will end, long before it has even begun.
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood
Trevor Noah
Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.


University Middle and High School Academies | Summer Reading List


6th Grade
A Long Walk to Water: a Novel
Linda Sue Park
When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven.

7th Grade
The Crossover: a Basketball Novel
Kwame Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
8th Grade
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
Words by Bernard Evslin
Pictures by  William Hofmann
Retellings of the ancient Greek myths, arranged in four sections: the Gods, Nature Myths, Demigods, and Fables. Includes a brief section on words from the Greek myths which are part of the English language.
9th Grade
The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream
Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt; with Lisa Frazier Page
Three doctors grew up in the streets of Newark, facing city life’s temptations, pitfalls, even jail. But one day these three young men made a pact. They promised each other they would all become doctors, and stick it out together through the long, difficult journey to attaining that dream.
10th Grade
Lay That Trumpet in our Hands
Susan Carol McCarthy
In 1951, the brutal murder of nineteen-year-old Marvin Cully transforms the town of Mayflower, Florida, into a battleground as violence erupts across the state and the NAACP joins in the efforts to uncover the killers.
11th Grade
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother
James McBride
James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in this poignant and powerful debut.
11th Grade - Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition
And Still we Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City Students
Miles Corwin
Bestselling author of "The Killing Season" and veteran "Los Angeles Times" reporter Miles Corwin spent a school year with twelve high school seniors -- South-Central kids who qualified for a gifted program because of their exceptional IQs and test scores.
12th Grade
The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho; translated by Alan R. Clarke
An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.
12th Grade - Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition
Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi
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.

ajax-loader
Scroll to Top