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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 and other history units throughout the year. These requirements are listed below.


The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo

This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who 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. No one knows what the treasure is or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.


Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

According the the description on Goodreads, "Asta's Son" is all he's ever been called. The lack of a name is appropriate, because he and his mother are but poor peasants in 14th century medieval England. But this thirteen-year-old boy who thought he had little to lose soon finds himself with even less - no home, no family, or possessions. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he may be killed on sight, by anyone. If he wishes to remain alive, he must flee his tiny village. All the boy takes with him is a newly revealed name - Crispin - and his mother's cross of lead.

Information that’s good to know is as follows:

  • You will be assessed in various ways on your summer reading books, so it is a good idea to underline as you read. Take special note of characters, important plot points, importances about setting (if any), theme, and just any “cool quotes.”
  • Please do not use library books, as you will, obviously, need to check them back in and be unable to access them in August. PLEASE OBTAIN YOUR OWN HARD COPY OF EACH REQUIRED TEXT!
  • For the required book, please buy a HARD COPY SO THAT YOU CAN BRING IT TO COLORADO! (I recommend the 25th anniversary edition.)


All students are required to read one book from the options below.

Please read all of the descriptions and notices about the lists before making your choice. (Of course, feel free to read more than three books!)

Please notice the “options” list is divided into categories. Titles with an asterisk indicate a heightened degree of difficulty.


The second book must be from the many options below. Of course, feel free to read more than two books!

Options (Book Three): Spend some time reading about the various titles below, either by researching from “” or by actually going to the book store and perusing the shelves. Then, choose one of the following. Notice the “options” list is divided into categories. (Titles with the asterisk indicate a heightened degree of difficulty.)

Also, some of these books may require parental approval.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

* The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

*Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

*Watership Down by Richard Adams

*The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

*A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

*The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

*I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

*My Antonia by Willa Cather

The Diary of Anne Frank (The full autobiography is the most worthwhile of the versions.)

*Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

*A Separate Peace by John Knowles

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

*Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

*The Unvanquished by William Faulkner

*The Reivers by William Faulkner

*The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

**The following titles, expressly recommended by Ms. Remaud, pertain thematically to other eighth-grade books. (Again, titles with the asterisk indicate a heightened degree of difficulty.)

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg

*The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

*The Help by Kathryn Stockett

*All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein

*The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

*Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay .

*The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearl; Orfeo by J.R.R. Tolkien

*The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

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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