2024 Summer Reading

2024 JJMS Summer Reading (For Current 5th, 6th and 7th grade students)

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

At JJMS we place a high value on independent reading. Reading is an essential skill for academic success and personal growth. It also helps students develop their critical thinking, creativity, and empathy. 

That is why we have designed a summer reading program for our middle school students, based on the theme of belonging. Belonging is a universal human need, and it affects how we see ourselves and others. Belonging also relates to many topics that our students will explore in their ELA classes next year, such as identity, culture, diversity, and community. 

At John Jay Middle School, we spend a considerable time creating community within each of our classrooms during the year. We do this through community building circles and various activities throughout the year. We are hopeful that the messages in the books listed below will help students build community and a sense of belonging in our classrooms. 

Reading Requirements: 

  • Rising 6th –8th grade students are required to read ONE book from the list below. 

Each book offers a different perspective on the theme of belonging, and we encourage students to choose the one that interests them the most. Students should be ready to discuss their book and participate in activities in their ELA classes when they return in September.  Students must be finished with the book(s) by Friday, September 6, 2024.

We strongly encourage students to jot down notes while they are reading to help them with the class discussions/activity.  Possible suggestions for notetaking: 

  • thoughts about the characters 
  • setting 
  • conflicts  
  • any other thoughts they have around the theme of belonging.   

While this is the only required reading, students are encouraged to read regularly to foster strong reading habits. 


Unsettled by Reem Faruqi (novel in verse) 

Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry (novel in a combination of verse and prose) 

Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Gabriela Epstein (graphic novel) 

The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy  

Brave Like That by Lindsey Stoddard  

All the titles on this list are available in the JJMS eBook collection (Sora) or the Westchester Library System (WLS) eBook collection.  Many of them are also available as audiobooks.  Here is the link to the JJMS Library page where you can find tutorials on how to access our eBook library.  

We hope that you and your children will enjoy reading these books and exploring the theme of belonging. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our summer reading program. Have a wonderful summer and happy reading! 


Middle School ELA Department and Jenn Useted, Library Media Specialist