These are the five options for rising seventh graders to choose from for their summer reading assignment (all descriptions courtesy of amazon):
Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian James WilliamsBrady loves life on the Chesapeake Bay with his friends J.T. and Digger. But developers and rich families are moving into the area, and while Brady befriends some of them, like the DiAngelos, his parents and friends are bitter about the changes. Tragedy strikes when the DiAngelos’ kayak overturns in the bay, and Brady wonders if it was more than an accident. Soon, Brady discovers the terrible truth behind the kayak’s sinking, and it will change the lives of those he loves forever. Priscilla Cummings deftly weaves a suspenseful tale of three teenagers caught in a wicked web of deception.
The New York Times Bestseller! The story of an outcast boy, his eccentric dad, and the scary underground world they discover through secret TUNNELS.
14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when Dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a secret subterranean society. "The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era--because the Colony is ruled by a cultlike overclass, the Styx. Before long--before he can find his father--Will is their prisoner.... [first in a series of five (so far).]The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A Newbery Honor Book author has written a powerful and gripping novel about a youth in Nazi Germany who tells the truth about Hitler.
Bartoletti has taken one episode from her Newbery Honor Book, HITLER YOUTH, and fleshed it out into thought-provoking novel. When 16-year-old Helmut Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for treason. Sentenced to death and waiting in a jail cell, Helmut's story emerges in a series of flashbacks that show his growth from a naive child caught up in the patriotism of the times , to a sensitive and mature young man who thinks for himself.Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. [Yellow Fever took the lives of 10% of Philadelphia's population - 5,000 people - in 1793.]
Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
"It's a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me."
Holly is in her fifth foster home in two years and she's had enough. She's run away before and always been caught quickly. But she's older and wiser now--she's twelve--and this time she gets away clean.
Through tough and tender and angry and funny journal entries, Holly spills out her story. We travel with her across the country--hopping trains, scamming food, sleeping in parks or homeless encampments. And we also travel with her across the gaping holes in her heart--as she finally comes to terms with her mother's addiction and death.
Runaway is a remarkably uplifting portrait of a girl still young and stubborn and naive enough to hold out hope for finding a better place in the world, and within herself, to be.