Templeton Blog

Summer Reading

[fa icon="calendar"] 7/9/19 8:14 AM / by Templeton Academy

Templeton Academy


I missed the third day of junior year- because I failed to do my Summer Reading. My incredible-in-every-other-way English III teacher used summer reading to weed students out of class. I read John Irving’s The Prayer for Owen Meany. I loved reading- reading the book was not the issue for me to complete; rather she assigned a terrible, pointless project to go with it.  Now, 18 years later, I still remember it: track the different motifs throughout the book. One of the motifs included a baseball and even years later, I feel sure that the word baseball appeared over 100 times in the book. Years later, I do not know why the teacher thought counting the word baseball and quoting it would lead to academic success.  This assignment came before electronic books. The experience profoundly impacted the way I view summer reading as an assignment.

At Templeton Academy, we look for students, who are kind, curious, and have a growth mindset. We want students to love reading. We want students to be voracious readers- who read because they love it. We encourage students to read everything they can this summer- fiction and nonfiction- and books from authors of all walks of life. For our students, who are joining us, we encourage them to read books from previous grades. Our authors were specifically chosen and curated because of the stories they tell. We want students to read because they are curious and know it expands their mindsets rather than just reading to check off a to-do list or worse engaging in an hours long or days long activity in my case.

Books Mrs. Barbis is reading this summer:

Books for Students to Read

(if you are a 6th grader, you should read the 5th grade list, if you are an 8th grader, you should start with the 7th grade list)

5th Grade List

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by C. Paul Curtis

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Holes by Louis Sachar

6th Grade List

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Before Columbus – The Americas of 1491 by C. C. Mann

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

7th Grade List

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8th Grade List

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Animal Farm by George Orwell

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt

Interested in learning more about Templeton Academy and our philosophy on education? Check out our full digital resource for parents and students — The 2030 High School Graduate: Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's World!

Explore the Resource

Topics: learning community, lifelong learning

Templeton Academy

About Templeton Academy

Templeton Academy is an experiential micro school with locations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and in Nashville, TN. It offers an academically rigorous curriculum designed to foster intellectual curiosity through active learning and community exploration. The small class sizes ensure that each student has a front row seat in classes with an average size of 10. Our model combines a warm, inviting atmosphere with great teaching that allows our students to flourish. Schedule a visit soon.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Blyth-Templeton Academy voted a top DC high school for 2018 by readers of the Washington City Paper