Summer Reading » Summer 2022 Deer Park ISD Junior High Grade Summer Reading Selections

Summer 2022 Deer Park ISD Junior High Grade Summer Reading Selections

What is the Deer Park ISD philosophy behind summer reading?

Deer Park ISD encourages all students to read during the summer to:

  • Help students maintain English Language Arts skills over the summer break.
  • Expose students to quality literature that they might not pick up on their own.
  • Promote independent reading, inquiry, and scholarship that will facilitate students as life-long learners.

How were the books chosen for these lists?

Administrators, DPAC and AP English teachers met to discuss and determine the reading list. Books were chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Appropriate readability for independent summer reading.
  • High interest for students at the designated grade-level.
  • Quality literature that will benefit students in Pre-AP courses as they prepare to participate in AP courses in high school.

Starting Summer 2022, summer reading for junior high students enrolled in any English Language Arts class, entering grades 6, 7 or 8, is an extra-credit option. This includes DPAC (previously PAP) courses.

Students who read one of these books and complete a project (from the two choices listed here) on it can receive up to 10 extra-credit points on a major grade in the first 9-week grading period. The total number of points received is up to the teacher’s discretion and will be based on the quality of the student’s work. Projects must be turned in within the first two weeks of school.


Option 1: Character Journal

A character journal is a journal/diary written from the perspective of a character in a book. The reader writes in the first-person voice of the character in response to the unfolding of events in the book, much like a personal journal/diary you might keep for yourself. A character journal helps you as a reader CONNECT with a character. It proves your understanding of what a character goes through – thoughts, actions, emotions, hopes, feelings, plans. The character must express his/her inner feelings about what is happening to him/her. In keeping a character journal, the reader becomes more involved in the literature and attains a deeper immersion in the role of the character.


Your character journal must include at least four entries; each entry must be at least 200 words in length. Each entry must be original. Grades will be based on the quality of writing, the chances taken, and the degree to which you are able to capture the character or show insight into the character’s plight.

Option 2: Letter to the Author

Write a letter of at least 500 words in which you discuss the author’s work. Your letter should include at least one of the following:

  • Discussion /question about theme
  • Discussion/ question about character
  • Discussion/question about setting
  • Discussion/question about the author’s inspiration for the story


Even though the letter is relatively informal, it must be written in well-organized paragraphs. Every point you make or question you have should be supported with a specific textual reference, including a direct quote and page number. If you praise the author, explain what specific choices the author made and explain how it contributed to the novel’s effectiveness. If you want to complain about something, the same holds true. Cite a specific choice that you think did not work effectively and explain why it did not work. Your grade will be based on the thoughtfulness of your responses.

*Please note: Several of these books have associated movies. It is critical therefore, that in order to receive credit, students include textual evidence that shows the student actually read the book.

Book Choices can be found below: