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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12
Episcopal School of Dallas
A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12


The Middle School summer reading program has two parts.


These readings serve as touchstones for the discussion of other works of literature. These requirements are listed below.

All students entering the fifth grade must read one book in preparation for their English class, and one book in preparation for their history class.

For English, all students are required to read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. A story of courage, the book takes place in 1943. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has been occupied by Hitler's Third Reich. Soldiers stand on every street corner, and life has completely changed for ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen. - Book description adapted from Book Rags

For history, all students are required to read Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Percy Jackson is about a middle school boy who is about to be kicked out of school...again. However, that's the least of his troubles. Lately, the mythological gods and monsters of Greek mythology seem to be walking straight out of the pages of his textbook and into his life. Even worse, he's angered some of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. - Book description adapted from Amazon

If you have already read Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, please read The Sea of Monsters, the next book in the series. If you have already read the entire series, please begin Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series.

It is not necessary to write a report on these books. During the first weeks of school, the class will do several activities based on these stories.


All students need to read at least ONE work from the drop down list below for enrichment.

  • In addition to their required texts for English and History, fifth graders must read a minimum of one bookfrom the following list. 
  • Students are to prepare a reading chart for each of the three books, and any other books that are read over the summer. The reading chart is due the first day of school.
  • Students should be prepared to write about their enrichment text during the first week of school. As you read, consider how you might understand the book with regard to the following: How would you describe the challenges faced by one of the main characters? How would you describe the challenge itself? How did the main character deal with the challenge? What challenges have you faced in your life? What have you done to overcome these challenges? How have you learned to deal with challenging situations?

It is hoped that students will not restrict their reading to just three books, but rather enjoy reading all summer! When you return to school in the fall, some of the class discussions will focus on your reasons for choosing the books that appear on your reading chart: Do you simply love any book related to science fiction or fantasy? Do you love everything by a favorite author? Do you love any book that is related to a favorite topic such as sports or animals regardless of whether the book is a mystery, biography, or work of historical fiction? What kinds of books energize you? Get you thinking? Get you wondering?

Yellow highlight = Book available in ESD's Digital Library



The Abracadabra Kid; a Writer’s Life by Sid Fleischman Autobiography
The story of the Newbery award-winning children’s author who set out from childhood to become a magician.

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Realistic Fiction
Mr. Terupt is a great teacher. He knows how to make school fun, and he knows how to run a class. He knows how deal with all kinds of kids: the new girl, the bully, the troublemaker, the smart kid, the shy kid, and the reluctant learner; that is until an accident happens.

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: when placed next to radioactive material, a uranium atom splits in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents.

Boy by Roald Dahl
The author recounts his days as a child growing up in England - from his years as a prankster at boarding school to his envious position as a chocolate tester for Cadbury's.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Historical Fiction
This is the story of the unlikeliest of friends: the son of a Nazi commandant and a Jewish concentration camp inmate.

The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter
Sports Fiction
The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of a now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
Historical Fiction
Northerners, Southerners, generals, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

Children of the Dust Bowl: the True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp by Jerry Stanley
This book describes what happened to the migrant workers who traveled from the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma to California during the Depression and were forced to live in a federal labor camp.

The Double Life of Pocahontas by Jean Fritz
A biography of the famous American Indian princess and the roles she played in two very different cultures.

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
Families Fiction
Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarps’ parents disappear at sea when a typhoon hits their fishing village. The only thing that keeps her spirits up is the local restaurant that serves everything on a waffle, including fish and steak!

The Exiles by Hilary McKay
Families Fiction
The four Conroy sisters spend a wild summer at the seaside with Big Grandma, who tries to break them of their reading habit by substituting fresh air and hard work for books and gets unexpected results.

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Friendship - Fiction
During a student exchange program, seventh-graders Ivy June and Catherine share their lives, homes, and communities, and find that, although their lifestyles are total opposites, they have a lot in common.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen
Adventure Fiction
With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of a floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
Fairy Tales
Rather than marry a cruel king or a seemingly dim-witted prince, an enchanted goose girl endures imprisonment, capture by several ogres, and other dangers before learning exactly who she is.

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
Historical Fiction
While her father works on the Manhattan Project, eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan lives in Los Alamos Camp and becomes friends with Suze, another young girl like herself.

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
Realistic Fiction
In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day. But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick.

Honus and Me by Dan Gutman
Sports Fiction
Joey, who loves baseball but is not very good at it, finds a valuable 1909 Honus Wagner card and travels back in time to meet Honus.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Adventure Fiction
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.

In the Wild by Safia Nordin
Adventure Fiction
The last thing Amanda wants to do is spend a week in the forest with her classmates, who make her life miserable. However, when she and Philip, the class bully, overturn their raft, they begin a week-long struggle for survival.

Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson
Historical Fiction
While living on a Vermont poor farm during 1855 and 1856, Jip learns his identity and that of his mother and comes to understand how he arrived at this place.

Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park
Friendship Fiction
During the 1950s, Maggie struggles to will her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers to a victory in the World Series and wishes that her friend Jim, a soldier in Korea, would answer her letters.

The Last Invisible Boy by Evan Kuhlman
Families Fiction
In the wake of his father’s sudden death, 12-year-old Finn feels he is becoming invisible as his hair and skin become whiter by the day, and so he writes and illustrates a book to try to understand what is happening and to hold on to himself and his father.

The Last Mission by Harry Mazer
Historical Fiction
In 1944, a fifteen-year-old Jewish boy tells his family he will travel in the West but instead enlists in the United States Air Corps and is later taken prisoner by the Germans.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Adventure Fiction
After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, the god of the sea, 12-year-old Percy Jackson is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

Mailbox by Audrey Shafer
Realistic Fiction
Twelve-year-old Gabe grew up in the foster care system until a social worker located his Uncle Vernon two years before. When he comes home to discover that his uncle has died of a heart attack, he's terrified of going back into the system--so he tells no one.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
Friendship Fiction
In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor a fellow student, deal with her grandmother’s departure and make friends over the course of a busy summer.

Midnight Magic by Avi
Adventure Fiction
A mischievous princess and a servant boy team up with a magician who does not believe in magic to confront a mysterious ghost.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Animals Fiction
Old Yeller was an ugly stray dog, and a clever one.. Travis would soon find out how this strong and courageous dog would be a big help on the frontier, especially with Papa away on a long cattle drive.

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
Animals Fiction
A young boy decides to raise two owlets as pets. Wold and Weeps provide fun and excitement for him in Canada, where he lives.

Park’s Quest by Katherine Paterson
Families Fiction
Eleven-year-old Park makes some startling discoveries when he travels to his grandfather’s farm in Virginia to learn about his father, who died in the Vietnam War.

The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss
Adventure Fiction
When Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, accompany their father, an academic, to his homeland of Egypt for a research assignment, they become involved in a mystery surrounding an ancient, lost pharaoh.

Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay
Families Fiction
After she learns that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron’s relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes until they help her go back to Italy, where she was born, to find a special memento of her past.

Saraswati’s Way by Monika Schroder
Realistic Fiction
Leaving his village in rural India to find a better education, mathematically gifted twelve-year-old Akash ends up at the New Delhi train station, where he relies on Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, to guide him as he negotiates life on the street, resists the temptations of easy money, and learns whom to trust.

Savvy by Ingrid Law
Adventure Fiction
Just as Mibs Beaumont celebrates her 13th birthday and her magical power is revealed, her father is injured in a terrible accident.

Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn
Historical Fiction
In 1944, while her brother is overseas fighting, eleven-year-old Margaret gets a new view of the school bully, Gordy, when she finds him hiding his own brother, an army deserter, and decides to help him.

Summer Ball by Mike Lupica
Sports Fiction
Thirteen-year-old Danny must prove himself all over again for a disapproving coach and against new rivals at a summer basketball camp.

Switching Well by Peni Griffin
Adventure Fiction
Two 12-year-old girls in San Antonio, Ada in 1891 and Amber in 1991, switch places through a magic well and try desperately to return to their own times.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Adventure Fiction
Gen flaunts his prowess as a thief and looks forward to an adventure which will take him to a remote temple where he will try to steal a precious stone.

The Thing about Georgie by Lisa Graff
Friendship Fiction
Georgie’s dwarfism causes problems, but he could always rely on his parents, his best friends, and classmate Jeanie the Meanie’s teasing until a surprising announcement, a new boy in school, and a class project shake things up.

The Tiger’s Apprentice by Laurence Yep
Adventure Fiction
Tom has always felt different from everyone else, but he has no idea how different he really is until he learns that he is the latest in a long line of magic-wielding beings called Guardians.

Trapped by Peg Kehret
Animals - Fiction
When his owner finds an illegal animal trap in the woods, Peter the cat faces grave danger as he tries to help his human friends find the culprit who set the trap.

The Trouble with Tuck by Theodore Taylor
Animals - Fiction
A young girl trains her blind dog to follow and trust a seeing-eye companion dog.

Under the Baseball Moon by John H. Ritter
Sports Fiction
Andy and Glory, two 15-year-olds from California, pursue their respective dreams of becoming a famous musician and a professional softball player.

Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury
Historical Fiction
Tomi’s biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice
Historical Fiction
Alone in the frontier wilderness in the winter of 1839, 11-year-old Nathan runs afoul of a renegade killer known as Weasel.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Realistic Fiction
This book follows Holling Hoodhood through a school year. Everyone at Camillo Junior High is either Catholic or Jewish—except for Holling.

White Mountains by John Christopher
Adventure Fiction
Strong in action and suspense, this science fiction tale describes a world where human life and thought are controlled. To escape this fate, three boys go on a long, dangerous journey.

Lower School

4344 Colgate Avenue
Dallas, Texas, 75225

Middle & Upper School

4100 Merrell Road
Dallas, Texas, 75229

Wolf Run Ranch

located near Anna, Texas

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