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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.

Required reading (book one) for English: The Giver by Lois Lowry Science Fiction/Fantasy

The novel follows Jonas, a twelve-year old, as he transitions from being a dependent to an adult living in a sterile, isolated Community without choice. The society has eliminated pain by converting to “sameness” which has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. The Community lacks any color, memory, climate, and terrain. Jonas inherits the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the insight to make. He is receiving these memories from the old Receiver who has now been deemed The Giver. As Jonas goes through his training, his eyes are opened to the atrocities of his controlled life and that he must change it.

Required reading for History: The Well by Mildred Taylor Historical Fiction/Novelette

When the drought hits their community, the Logan family welcomes all their neighbors to use their well, yet despite their generosity, Charlie Simms continues to insult the two young Logan boys because they are black, and tension begins to mount.

Expectations: You will be assessed in various ways on your summer reading books, so it is a good idea to underline and annotate notes in the margins as you read. Take special note of characters, important plot points, setting, and theme. Do not use library books or books previously owned and annotated; instead, you will need to purchase new books for the summer reading!


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

If you have read any of these books before, you cannot choose to read those books for this requirement. Select books that you have not read before. Of course, feel free to read more than your required books!


Please read all of the descriptions about the books before making your choice. Of course, feel free to read more than your required books!

If you read any of these books before, you cannot choose to read those books to read again for this requirement. Select books that you have not read before.


The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
Historical Fiction
Widge is an orphan with a rare talent for shorthand. His fearsome master has just one demand: steal Shakespeare's play "Hamlet"--or else. Widge has no choice but to follow orders, so he works his way into the heart of the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare's players perform.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech
Realistic Fiction
It started out as an ordinary summer, but the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny discovered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change.

The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman
Historical Fiction/Friendship
In 1949, 13-year old Francine goes to Catholic school in Los Angeles where she becomes best friends with a girl who questions authority and is frequently punished by the nuns, causing Francine to question her own values.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Realistic Fiction
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged because she cannot tell them otherwise. However, Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous, but there is another mother and father there, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
Historical Fiction
Rifka knows nothing about America when she flees from Russia with her family in 1919. She dreams she will at last be safe from the Russian soldiers and their harsh treatment of the Jews in the new country.

Cracker: the Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata
Historical Fiction/Animals
Told in part through the uncanny point of view of a German shepherd, this book is an action-packed glimpse into the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a dog and her handler.

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
In book 4 of The Narnia Chronicles, the Pevensie siblings travel back to Narnia to help a prince denied his rightful throne as he gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king.

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
Historical Fiction
In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lindstrom's tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated—until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country's treasure—and their lives.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Historical Fiction/Animals
In 1914, Joey, a young horse, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. It is his courage that touches the soldiers around him, though his misses the farmer’s son he left behind.

All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall
Realistic Fiction
This novel is based on a true account of four inner city students and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Weaving together the different personal stories of the kids, their teacher, and the community that surrounds them, it’s a story of math, life, and good-tasting barbecue.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Realistic Fiction
Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.

Billy Creekmore by Tracey Porter
Adventure Fiction
This is the tale of a young boy with mystifying powers and the gift of storytelling. His life in an orphanage is cruel and bleak, so when a stranger comes to claim Billy, he sets off on an extraordinary journey. From the coal mines of West Virginia to the world of a traveling circus, he searches for the secrets of his past, his future, and his own true self.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Mystery/Science Fiction
By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. Then, a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Historical Fiction
An African-American family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

Timothy of the Cay by Theodore Taylor
Adventure Fiction
In the novel, The Cay, a young white boy and an old black man are stranded on a small, sandy cay in the Caribbean Sea following a shipwreck. This prequel-sequel tells the rest of their tale in alternating chapters--the compelling story of two very different people who share the courage and tenacity to turn their dreams into reality.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar, but his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure.

Escape under the Forever Sky by Eve Yohalem
Realistic Fiction
You’d think that being the daughter of the American ambassador to Ethiopia would be one adventure after another, right? Lucy Hoffman finds more than an adventure when she is kidnapped, and she must use all her knowledge of Africa to escape and find her way to freedom.

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

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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