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Middle School Reading Initiative

Fall is new book season, and the Prep library has a bunch of new books in—and more on the way! We have a few favorite Young Adult (YA) authors and some new books in a YA series: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (author of The Book Thief), Lu by Jason Reynolds (Book 4 in the Track Series), The Nameless City: Divided Earth (Final Book in the series) by Faith Erin Hicks, Colors by Jordie Bellaire, Swing by Kwame Alexander (author of Booked and Rebound), and many more.

New books for Upper School students include: Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, The Fifth Season Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, Three Continents by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and many more.

In the Middle School this academic year, we are challenging all students to read ten books (apart from the books they are reading in classes). We know that some students are more enthusiastic about reading than others; therefore MS English teachers have designated twenty minutes each week for “Silent Sustained Reading” in the library. All MS students should have a book that is not for their classes that they are reading.

Furthermore, the MS English teachers and the librarians have asked the students to create a reading goal for themselves. For instance, if the student is a fast reader and reads a lot, we encourage them to try several new genres, or to read books that are more complex. If the student is not an enthusiastic reader, they might set aside ten minutes (or more) before bed to read with a parent or sibling. We have created sewn reading badges (pictured above) to give to each student when they meet their goal (reading ten and twenty-five books). The seventh grade can continue their list through eighth grade (minus summer reading). This initiative is not about who gets to ten books first—it’s about who sets a personal goal for reading this year and reaches it!

We encourage you to check in with your child and to help them, if needed, set their reading goals. We are here to help them find books that will engage and inspire them. We also invite you to join your kids in the pastime of reading for pleasure!

– Catherine McKenzie, Associate Director of Library Services