Oak Hall School

Oak Hall Summer Reading 2018-2019

Our Mission

In every academic discipline, reading is a skill that is fundamental to success. Skills, however, may only be improved through consistent practice. In addition to providing such practice, our Summer Reading program aims to accomplish to following:

  • To create a community of readers with a shared frame of reference
  • To instill a genuine appreciation of reading independent of the classroom environment
  • To provide a lens through which students see themselves and others more clearly

Middle School Summer Reading Program

Upper School Summer Reading Program 


Over the summer, Oak Hall Middle School students read at least two books and complete a book log assignment on each. Each student reads one required book. These titles appear below. Students also read one or more additional independent books of their choosing and complete a book log on each additional book they read. The English teachers and the Oak Hall library staff are always happy to discuss potential Summer Reading books with students and parents. Additional suggestions for sources of quality Summer Reading are available on this webpage, in the English classrooms, and in the Oak Hall libraries. 

We encourage students to choose engaging books that provide just the right amount of challenge to stimulate vocabulary development and improve comprehension skills. To determine whether a book is just right, students should open the book to a page in the middle and count the words on the page they do not know. If they find two to three challenging words on a page, they have found a “just right” book.  

Middle School Required Reading

Students read the required book below over the summer and complete a book log assignment. In addition to the titles below they read at least one more independent reading book of their choosing and complete a book log assignment on their additional independent reading book or books.  

You are welcome to purchase DIGITAL editions of these books, when/where available.

GRADE 6:  The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster

GRADE 7:  The Giver, Lois Lowry

GRADE 8:  Paper Towns, John Green

Middle School Additional Reading Resources

Young Adult Library Services Association Awards and Booklists

The YALSA titles are selected for teens from 12 to 18 and “span a broad range of reading and maturity levels.”

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Awards

IBBY presents the international Hans Christian Andersen Award “to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.”

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Awards

The ALSC’s Notable Children Books lists include the Newbery, Caldecott,  Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books. ALSC are thought to be “especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.”

Commonsense Media Book Lists

Commonsense Media lists provide “age-appropriate ideas and inspiration for every interest."

We Need Diverse Books

The We Need Diverse Books’ mission is to put “more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children” and its vision is to see “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.”

Alachua County Kids’ Good Reading

Alachua County Teens’ Good Reading

The School Library Journal

The School Library Journal reviews and evaluates and other resources for “school librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens.”

The dual purpose of the Upper School One Book, One Teacher program is to match individual Oak Hall faculty members with students who have similar reading interests and to promote the concept of reading widely and well as a lifelong pursuit. The students choose a book from the provided book list based on their own interests, read it over the summer, and participate in a group discussion with other students and the sponsoring teacher shortly after the school year begins. The sponsoring teacher may contact his or her group members over the summer with questions or discussion topics. Some classes have additional summer reading requirements. 

Rising Grade 9 through Grade 12 students sign up for the One Book, One Teacher Summer Reading program in their Advisory group at the end of the school year.  After the end of the school year, students new to Oak Hall or students who have not yet signed up for summer reading should contact the teacher whose book group they would like to join. Their email addresses appear below.
Campbell, Scott, Oak Hall English, scampbell@oakhall.org -- The Legend of Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Origins by Ranae De Liz:  “On the hidden island of Themyscira, the Amazons, led by Queen Hippolyta, live in a kingdom of peace, protected by the gods. But the balance is upset when Hippolyta is granted what no immortal may have: a child, given life from the clay of the island. She is the princess Diana, who alone can sense the evil that is infesting the Amazons’ home.  But when a man from the outside world is brought to Themyscira as part of a conspiracy to overthrow its queen, Diana will risk everything to save his innocent life…and lose everything in the process” (Amazon.com Book Description).

DiBernardo, Lindsay, Oak Hall History, ldibernardo@oakhall.org -- King Peggy by Peggielene Bartels:  “A charming real-life fairy tale, King Peggy chronicles the astonishing journey of an American secretary who suddenly finds herself king to a town of 7,000 souls on Ghana's central coast, half a world away. Upon arriving for her crowning ceremony in beautiful Otuam, she discovers the dire reality: there's no running water, no doctor, and no high school, and many of the village elders are stealing the town's funds. To make matters worse, her uncle (the late king) sits in a morgue awaiting a proper funeral in the royal palace, which is in ruins. The longer she waits to bury him, the more she risks incurring the wrath of her ancestors” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Ho, Terrence, Oak Hall Art, tho@oakhall.org -- Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world is circumscribed by the high walls and frangipani trees of her family compound. Her wealthy Catholic father, under whose shadow Kambili lives, while generous and politically active in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home. When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili’s father sends her and her brother away to stay with their aunt, a University professor, whose house is noisy and full of laughter. There, Kambili and her brother discover a life and love beyond the confines of their father’s authority. The visit will lift the silence from their world and, in time, give rise to devotion and defiance that reveal themselves in profound and unexpected ways. This is a book about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred, between the old gods and the new” (Goodreads Book Description). 

Holtzman, Jason, Oak Hall English, jholtzman@oakhall.org -- Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made by David Halberstam:  “In Playing for Keeps, David Halberstam takes the first full measure of Michael Jordan's epic career, one of the great American stories of our time. A narrative of astonishing power and human drama, brimming with revealing anecdotes and penetrating insights, the book chronicles the forces in Jordan's life that have shaped him into history's greatest basketball player and the larger forces that have converged to make him the most famous living human being in the world” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Jackson, David, Oak Hall History & Upper School Head, djackson@oakhall.org -- Candide by Voltaire:  “Candide is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. One of the finest satires ever written, this lively tale follows the absurdly melodramatic adventures of the youthful Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunégonde, and tortured by the Inquisition. As Candide witnesses calamity upon calamity, he becomes disillusioned and discovers that all is not always for the best” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Karackattu, Sharon, Oak Hall Science, skarackattu@oakhall.org – Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach:  “Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it's possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth” (Amazon.com).

Karow, Libby, Oak Hall World Language, lkarow@oakhall.org -- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne:  “Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Leljedal, Scott, Oak Hall Mathematics, sleljedal@oakhall.org -- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway:  The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal -- a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.” (Amazon.com Book Description).

 Margerum, Jim, Oak Hall Mathematics, jmargerum@oakhall.org -- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame"The adventures begin when Mole, feeling all the restlessness that springtime brings, abandons his burrow to discover the magic of the great river. With the able assistance of Rat, Mole learns to row and swim, and the chums fill their idyllic days with summertime rambles along the river and cozy fireside feasts on crisp nights. The pair take to the open road with the pleasure-loving Toad, track reclusive Badger to his snug lair, and stand together to reclaim Toad Hall from an invasion of stoats, ferrets, and weasels” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Perlette, John, Oak Hall Mathematics, jperlette@oakhall.org -- Tough as they Come by Travis Mills: “Thousands of soldiers die every year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost—Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation. Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter. Travis inspires thousands every day with his remarkable journey. He doesn’t want to be thought of as wounded.  ‘I'm just a man with scars,’ he says, ‘living life to the fullest and best I know how.’.” (Amazon.com Book Description). 

Ponzio, Robert, Oak Hall Art, rponzio@oakhall.org -- Lost Names by Richard Kim:  “In this classic tale, Richard E. Kim paints seven vivid scenes from a boyhood and early adolescence in Korea at the height of the Japanese occupation, 1932 to 1945. Taking its title from the grim fact that the occupiers forced the Koreans to renounce their own names and adopt Japanese names instead, the book follows one Korean family through the Japanese occupation to the surrender of the Japanese empire. Lost Names is at once a loving memory of family and a vivid portrayal of life in a time of anguish” (Amazon.com Book Description).

 Sangco-Jackson, Generosa, Oak Hall World Language & English, gsjackson@oakhall.org and Schmidt, Alyssa, Oak Hall World Language & English, aschmidt@oakhall.org -- The Odyssey, Translated by Emily Wilson (ISBN 978-0393089059) – This translation is required and should be a physical copy of the book: The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty, and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home. In this fresh, authoritative version―the first English translation of The Odyssey by a woman―this stirring tale of shipwrecks, monsters, and magic comes alive in an entirely new way” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Serrano, Krystal, Oak Hall World Language, kserrano@oakhall.org -- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:  “Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life” (Goodreads Book Description).

Smith, Evelyn, Oak Hall MS/US Librarian, esmith@oakhall.org Turtles All the Way Down by John Green:  “Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Westfall, Andy, Upper School History, awestfall@oakhall.org -- Beloved by Toni Morrison: “Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.” (Amazon.com Book Description).

Weston, Marna, Upper School History & Director of Forensics, mweston@oakhall.org -- Before His Time: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore, America's First Civil Rights Martyr by Ben Green“Before Martin Luther King Jr. began to preach from his pulpit in Montgomery, before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, and before Rosa Parks' famous bus ride, a man named Harry T. Moore toiled in Jim Crow Florida on behalf of the NAACP and the Progressive Voters’ League. For seventeen years, in an era of official indifference and outright hostility, the soft-spoken but resolute Moore traveled the back roads of the state on a mission to educate, evangelize, and organize. On Christmas night in 1951, in Mims, Florida, a bomb placed under his bed ended Harry Moore’s life. His wife, Harriette, died of her wounds a week later. Although Florida’s governor reopened the case in 1991, no one was ever convicted of this crime. Using previously unavailable FBI files, Green introduces his readers to the good and the bad, the villainous and the virtuous, in Jim Crow Florida. In doing so, he offers a poignant and gripping memorial to the pioneering work of Harry T. Moore, one of the earliest martyrs of the modern civil rights movement” (Amazon.com Book Description).

 Wharton, Charles, Oak Hall History, cwharton@oakhall.org -- Guns, Germs, Steel by Jared Diamond: “In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war -- and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.” (Amazon.com Book Description).

 Wilson, Kristin, Oak Hall Science, kwilson@oakhall.org -- Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld: “This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven't met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master's degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won't discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane's fortieth birthday fast approaches. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip's friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming...And yet, first impressions can be deceiving” (Goodreads Book Description).

PRE-ADVANCED PLACEMENT (GRADE 9):  Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE (GRADE 11):  For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway

Young Adult Library Services Association Awards and Booklists

The YALSA titles are selected for teens from 12 to 18 and “span a broad range of reading and maturity levels.”

Commonsense Media Book Lists

Commonsense Media lists provide “age-appropriate ideas and inspiration for every interest.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books’ mission is to put “more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children” and its vision is to see “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.”

Alachua County Teens’ Good Reading

The School Library Journal

The School Library Journal reviews and evaluates and other resources for “school librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens.”

JSTOR now at the Oak Hall School Library

Oak Hall School students, faculty, and staff now have access to JSTOR, which provides more than 10 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines to help meet our community's information needs. 

Oak Hall Library Catalog

Search the Oak Hall Middle and Upper School Library holdings using the Follett Destiny Online Public Access Catalog.

Quill Magazine 2015-2016

Quill is Oak Hall Middle and Upper School's literary magazine of poetry, prose, and art.

Quill is available here.

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