Ninth Grade Summer Reading

Getting Started

Choose a book from the list & start reading. Take some notes as you read.

Your notes should focus on the following:

  • Major plot events, including turning point(s)
  • Major characters, including names, ages, characteristics, and relationships to other characters
  • Setting, including description of the time and place of the action
  • Conflicts and resolutions

Your notes will assist you in completing your project when school begins, but the notes themselves are not the project.

For additional information, please contact Executive Director of Humanities Amanda Caldwell (315-622-7169 or ACaldwell@liverpool.k12.ny.us) or LHS Principal Michael Baroody (315-453-1500 or MBaroody@liverpool.k12.ny.us).

Annotated Bibliography for All Grade 9 Students

You must select one book of your choice from this annotated list. Lexile scores are listed as a means of gauging complexity level (an average Lexile level for a beginning 9th grade text is approximately 800-900L). Parental review of this list is encouraged in order to assist students in making personally challenging and satisfying choices. 

Adeyemi, Toni. Children of Blood and Bone. A stunning world of dark magic and danger in a West African-inspired fantasy debut, featuring a strong-willed protagonist who has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. (670L)

Reynolds, Jason & Kiely, Brendan.  All American Boys. Two teens – on black, one white – grapple with repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. (770L)

Gratz, Alan. Refugee. A Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. A Cuban girl in 1994. A Syrian boy in 2015. All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. (800L)

Nelson, Jandy. I’ll Give You the Sun.  As twins, Noah and his sister Jude struggle with the gift of almost telepathic closeness and a parallel burden of jealousy and anger. Their viewpoints alternate in this richly plotted novel, with Noah telling the sections when they are thirteen, and Jude the parts where they are sixteen. (740L)

Murphy, Julie.  Dumplin.  Willowdean is confident, funny, and comfortable in her own skin, even though some people would call her fat.  Then she falls for Bo, who seems to like her back.  A Texas beauty pageant, changing friendships, new romance and a protagonist who loves Dolly Parton, this is an entertaining novel.  (710L)

Shusterman, Neal. Unwind. In America after the Second Civil War, The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding" so that troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound. With breathtaking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds. (740L)

Shusterman, Neal.  Challenger Deep. Caden Bosch is fifteen, fiercely intelligent, and an aspiring artist who enjoys illustrating the computer games he and his friends create. He is also schizophrenic, drifting further from the present and deeper into his own mind until he is living in dual realities, both frightening and confusing. (800L)

Ng, Celeste. Little Fires Everywhere. A meditation on the nature of motherhood, the dangers of privilege and a cautionary tale about how even the tiniest of secrets can rip families apart. (870L)

Toten, Teresa.  The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B.  OCD teen, Adam, falls in love with Robyn, a girl in his support group and decides this might help him be “normal”.  However, a hoarder mom and a divorced dad with a new baby complicate things. (620L).

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming.  Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.  (990L)

Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down. Fiercely stunning novel told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. (720L)

Reynolds, Jason, & Danica Novgorodoff. Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel. The Rules. When his brother is shot and killed, Will knows he needs to follow them and get revenge. But can he? Jason Reynolds’ stunning novel-in-verse is taken to the next level when accompanied with Danica Novgorodoff’s evocative artwork. (630L)

Kwame Alexander.  Booked.  Told through a series of poems.  Soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. (660L)

Oseman, Alice. Heartstopper, Vol. 1. Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance.  Graphic Novel (440L)

Marrin, Albert.  Flesh and Blood So Cheap:  The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy.  One hundred years ago, a fire broke out in a garment factory in New York City that took the lives of 146 workers, primarily poor Jewish and Italian immigrants. It had an enormous impact on workplace conditions that reverberates even today.  (1000L)

Slater, Dashka. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives.  If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight. (930L)

We know access to physical books might be limited, so here’s where you can find free Online Access.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL ebook/audiobook

Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL audiobook

Reynolds, Jason & Danica Novgorodoff. Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook; OCPL ebook

Kwame Alexander. Booked. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL ebook/audiobook

Oseman, Alice. Heartstopper, Vol. 1. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook; OCPL ebook

Marrin, Albert. Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook; OCPL ebook

Slater, Dashka. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives.
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL ebook/audiobook

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL ebook/audiobook

Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL audiobook

Reynolds, Jason & Danica Novgorodoff. Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook; OCPL ebook

Kwame Alexander. Booked. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL ebook/audiobook

Oseman, Alice. Heartstopper, Vol. 1. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook; OCPL ebook

Marrin, Albert. Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy. 
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook; OCPL ebook

Slater, Dashka. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives.
Sora: OCM BOCES ebook/audio book; OCPL ebook/audiobook

Here are some online resources to help with online access to texts:

First stop, our library’s eBooks & Audiobooks page

The Liverpool Public Library has lots of resources to help too

Also, check out these resources:

Overdrive

LibriVox: free public domain audiobooks

Project Gutenberg: lists free audio & computer generated readings 

Open Culture: free recordings of short stories & books on the web 

Sora Reading: How to Use

* Please do your best to choose a comparable text if you can’t find one listed on the previous pages.