7/8 Independent Reading Program

“The best way to prepare for high school is to be a middle school reader.” - Rebeccah Kilian, Director of Secondary School Counseling
“There's no lack of intelligence among young people, but they do have less experience focusing for longer periods of time and reading long-form text. Being able to read long-form text is crucial for understanding complex issues and developing critical thinking skills.” - Jean M. Twenge, PhD, author of the book iGen and professor of psychology at San Diego State University.

Building a Culture of Reading at Town School

Practice improves performance in sports, dance, music, math, and more. The same applies to reading! Kids will become more skillful at reading by simply reading more. And 7th and 8th grades are crucial years for cementing the habit of independent reading.

Below are reading events and opportunities the Town School Library has for 7/8 students.


The Parent Teen Book Club is a way for parents and students to connect with each other through reading. Parent and teens will discuss their book club books in order to learn each other's perspectives and open up dialogue around important issues.

1. As a family, pick one of the books below to read. If you don't like the choices, pick your own!

2. Email library@townschool.com to notify the library that you are participating. Let us know the number of books you need, and we'll send home the books along with a book review to fill out when you are done. You'll periodically receive emails from the library checking in and answering any questions you have.

3. Turn in the books and review when you are done reading.

That's it! This is the simplest book club ever!

Potential Parent Teen Book Choices

(please read over reviews, which contain talking points)


Adults and students in grades 3 - 8 are encouraged to take the personal challenge to read 40 books in one year over a variety of genres. It isn’t as impossible as it seems! Print out the tracker to try.


Town is honored to host two distinguished author visits exclusively for our 7th and 8th graders. A limited supply of books will be given away to students and parents on a first come, first serve basis. Email library@townschool.com for a chance to get a free book.

    • Nov 5th - Stacey Lee - Chinese American author of historical fiction novels Outrun the Moon and Under A Painted Sky for 7th grade and up. She is also a member of the We Need Diverse Books campaign. http://www.staceyhlee.com/
    • May 13th - Elizabeth Acevedo - Afro-Dominican American performer and author of The Poet X. Her second book With the Fire on High will be released in May. http://www.acevedowrites.com/


October 9th - 12th is Teen Read Week, when libraries around the world encourage teens to become readers and library users. We celebrate during 6th - 8th lunch recess with games, giveaways, and of course, reading.

Teen Read Week 2018 - 2019


Each vacation break (December, February, and April), the library challenges to students to read a book or books that features a character, viewpoint, or topic often underrepresented in books, then discuss those books over pizza and doughnuts after break. Emails with more details go out closer to the dates.