WJSHS Summer Reading for ALL Students

The Watervliet City School District will continue its literacy initiative at the middle and high school level by requiring all students entering grades 7-12 to complete the summer reading project. Summer reading provides an excellent opportunity for students to stay connected to literature, to enhance literacy skills developed during the school year, and to gain knowledge. [Download a printer-friendly information packet for summer reading project]

This year, one reading task is required. This reading must be completed over the summer and will be a component of the students’ first quarter grade. Students will choose a novel to read and then complete a project to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the novel. Details about the assignment

Additionally, a list of recommended book titles representing several genres has been compiled by the Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School English Department and school librarian. Students looking for engaging books to read will find that the list contains many excellent and high interest choices. The utmost care has been taken to prepare lists with a large variety of books appropriate for middle school and high school students, but parents are urged to review the titles with their children and make choices as a family.

Teachers in the Jr./Sr. High School English Department are avid, enthusiastic readers, who understand the power of literature to change lives. We are more than willing to answer questions about books and to recommend specific titles to students. We look forward to discussing summer reading books with the students in the fall. The summer reading project will be collected by the student’s ELA teacher by Friday, September 15.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Tami Karbowski at tkarbowski@vlietshools.org or Watervliet administration at 518-629-3200.

The Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School English Department

Summer Reading 2023 Assignment and Activity Ideas


  • Choose a book that interests you. We have provided a list of engaging titles below for you to explore if you are looking for recommendations. You can visit the Watervliet Public Library, the Sora App, or purchase your book from a bookstore.
  • Read your book.
  • Share your book by completing ONE of the activities below.
  • Submit your project to your ELA teacher by Friday, September 15.

Book Project Activities:

  1. Interview: Interview a character from your book. Write at least 10 questions that will give the character the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about his/her role in the story. Then pretend you are the character and answer the questions. Questions must be thoughtful and should not be factual.
  2. Diary: Write a diary that one of the story’s main characters might have kept before, during, or after the book’s events. You must include the character’s thoughts and feelings in the diary. Remember to tell me if the diary entries take place before, during or after the book. At least 7 entries are required.
  3. Letter to movie producer: Imagine that you are the author of the book you have just read. Suddenly the book becomes a bestseller. Write a letter to a movie producer trying to get that person interested in making your book into a movie. Explain in detail why the story, characters, and setting would make a good film. You may only use books that have not already been made into movies. NOTE: Limit the amount of summary in your letter – you need to include an analysis of the story.
  4. Diorama: Construct a 3 dimensional scene that includes models of people, buildings, plants, or animals of one of the main events of the book. Include a written description of the scene that explains: 
    • the setting
    • characters present
    • when the scene took place in the book
    • what is happening in the scene
    • how the scene is important to the book.
  5. Travel Brochure: Prepare a 3-fold travel brochure advertising the setting of your book using pictures that you have found or drawn. This brochure should persuade people to visit the setting of your book. Somewhere in your brochure you must include a detailed description of the setting of your book. Your brochure should have information on the front and back and there should not be any blank panels on your brochure.
  6. A New Ending! Now you can choose what happens to the characters in your book by writing a new ending. Please include a short one paragraph summary of your book (including the real ending) at the beginning of your writing and add a new, detailed ending of the book as the conclusion. This new ending should be at least two pages typed and double-spaced.
  7. Timeline: Make an illustrated timeline showing the important events of the story from the beginning of the book to the end. Each event on the timeline should have a picture and a 1-2 sentence caption explaining what the event is. On the back of your timeline draw a map showing the locations where the events on your timeline took place. Remember, timelines are always in chronological order. (15-20 main events should be described on your timeline)
  8. Newspaper: Create a newspaper for your book. Summarize the plot in one article; cover the weather in another, do a feature story on one of the more interesting characters in another. Include advertisements that would be pertinent to the story. Remember to format your newspaper so that it looks like a newspaper. All information in the newspaper must be things that you have written. You cannot copy articles or other information word for word from any other source. If you copy information you will not receive credit for the project.
  9. Make a Collage: Using magazine pictures create a collage on a poster board that describes your book. Your poster board should be FULLY covered in pictures, with no poster board showing. In your writing, describe what each picture represents and how it relates to your book. You should include a one page typed and double-spaced summary explaining your collage.
  10. Poster: Make a poster advertising your book so someone else will want to read it. Posters must be:
    • The size of a full size sheet of construction paper or poster board
    • Posters should not have blank space (use the whole sheet of paper)
    • Illustrated with a scene or scenes from the book
    • The title and author must be on the poster
    • In your writing describe why someone should read your book. Be creative!
    • You should include a one page typed and double-spaced summary of your poster.
  11. Comic Book: Make your book into a comic. Your comic should tell the story of your book, so don’t leave out any important events. Don’t forget to design a cover for your comic book, and remember, comic books have captions (or thought bubbles, etc.) so the characters can talk. Provide as much detail as possible about the story in your comic.
  12. TikTok: Create a TikTok of an important event in the book. Your TikTok should address why the event is important and how the event helps to develop the theme of the book. Must be 2-3 minutes long.

Summer Reading 2023 Book Ideas

Ghost by Jason Reynolds Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds Love from A to Z by S. K. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Dear Martin by Nic Stone Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer
Black Boy by Richard Wright Hoops by Walter Dean Myers The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
Wishing Tree by Katherine Applegate Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossein Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite
Refugee by Alan Gratz Turtles all the Way Down by John Green An Ember in the Ashes by Sahaa Tahir
On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak We Were Liars by E Lockhart Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon The Unteachables by Gordan Korman
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis The Maze Runner by James Dashner New Kid by Jerry Craft
Becoming by Michelle Obama It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini Tight by Torrey Maldonado
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone El Deafo by Cece Bell
Black Brother Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Some Places More Than Others by Rhenee Watson One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner The Uglies by Scott Westerfield Wings of Ebony by J. Elle
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia Everything Everything by Nicole Yoon They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros Going Bovine, Libba Bray All Boys aren’t Blue by George Johnbson
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams

To download digital books visit: https://soraapp.com/library/capitalregionny/campaign-sora-sweet-reads-503/page-1

To sign into SORA:

  • Click “Find my School” and type in “Capital Region BOCES”
  • Scroll down and find “Watervliet City Schools”
  • Username is your school email