Many of the students have been asking me about summer reading already so I thought I’d make an extra post with some summer reading information.

All students will need to select one of the following summer reading books for 8th grade. Here is the summer reading letter that is on the website:

8th Grade Summer Reading

Students will need to select one of the following books to read over the summer that will connect with
our first unit of study titled “College 101”. During this unit, students will be examining how teens set
themselves apart to get into colleges, and consider what will be necessary for success as higher
education evolves to meet the future. Below are the details of the three book choices:

The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales
In The Tequila Worm, Sofia tells about her experiences growing up in a Mexican American family
in Texas. Sofia excels at school and in ninth grade earns a scholarship to a boarding school in Austin, 300
miles away. But she must convince Papa and Mama to let her go, getting the clothes and money she
needs, and figuring out how she will fit in at an elite high school. Her many attempts to meet, and attain,
these challenges teach Sofia about her family and herself.
Lexile 830

We Beat the Street by Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, and Sharon M. Draper
Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt grew up in a tough neighborhood in Newark,
New Jersey. They were surrounded by drugs and violence, and were often tempted to fall into a life of
crime. Instead, they chose a different path. They stayed in school, got into college, went to medical
school, and became doctors. While each of the boys had a positive role model in his life, they couldn’t
have made it without each other—or their friendship pact to become doctors.
Lexile 860

YES WE CAN by Garen Thomas
Yes We Can: A Biography of President Barack Obama presents the compelling story of how
Barack Obama realized his dream of becoming the 44th
President of the United States. Along the journey
that eventually took him to the White House, he faced loneliness, prejudice, and self-doubt. In his
search for his identity, he found strength in his mother’s American and his father’s Kenyan heritages.
Lexile 1200


The only book mentioned that I have personally read is We Beat the Street and I highly recommend it. I even had a few students that read it this year and loved it! It is a look at how these three young men made a pact to all get out of their neighborhood and become doctors. A very uplifting story about overcoming your obstacles in life and never giving up.

However, if you are a student that is in advanced Language Arts, I highly urge you to read the book Yes We Can mainly due to the higher lexile score.


On another note, students that are interested should sign-up online with the Lexington Public Library for their summer reading contest. They fill out a summer reading log that they can print here: and once they have logged 15 hours submit to the library. They will then be entered to win some great prizes, such as gift cards and even a Kindle Fire!

Here is the full prize list: 

The library also comes up with a list of books recommended for teens to read. Great list if they aren’t sure what book to read next. The website is and you will just need to scroll down to the header that says “Teens.” 


It is really important that students continue their reading over the summer. Summer only seems like 2 1/2 months, but studies have shown that students that do not keep up with any reading over the summer lose a lot of their reading stamina when they come back to school in August. I encourage the kids to continue reading at least 1 book a month, although I know many will easily exceed that recommendation.

I also encourage them to hold off on the summer reading book until July or even the start of August (if they are a quick reader) so that the book stays fresh in their memory for any review activities or assignments at the start of the new year.


Happy reading!


~Mrs. Finley