See you soon! But not too soon.
Our teachers thoughtfully design lessons with essential learning targets in mind, identifying key skills to support continued growth and preparing students for the next grade level. Some classes require specific materials for class so be sure to review class supply lists.
We'll meet you back here in the fall, ready to learn and grow and provide a high-quality education that will prepare you for the highest levels of academic success.
For this school year (2020-2021) we will not issue student lockers so that we can maintain proper social distancing and reduce contact contamination. Students will be required to use a backpack each day to carry around their books and essential materials. We will determine a plan for musical instruments and sports equipment at a later date.
Your Literature teachers ask you to write a brief summary about one of the books you read this summer. (There is an annotated selection of books listed below that previous 6th grade students have enjoyed reading. You may choose a book from this list or another of your choice; however, choose a book that you have not read before.)
The summary should be in paragraph form and include the:
- time and place (setting)
- names and details about the main character(s)
- the main problem (conflict) in the story.
You will be asked during the first week of school to bring the summary along with you to Literature class. You will use what you wrote to share the book with your Literature class.
Enjoy your summer and happy reading!
Curtis, Christopher Paul
BUD, NOT BUDDY
It’s 1936 Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and 10-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things; 2. He’s the author of “Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself”; 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his band of renown, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression.
WALK TWO MOONS
“After her mother leaves home suddenly thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother’s route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.”
George, Jean Craighead
JULIE OF THE WOLVES
To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When the village is no longer safe for her, Miyax runs away. But she soon finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness, without food, without even a compass to guide her.
THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH
This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth’s gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked “Which,” Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the “impossible” mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.
Katie worships her older sister, Lynn, who takes care of Katie and prepares her for the prejudice she will encounter as one of the few Japanese-American students in their school. When Lynn falls seriously ill, everything changes.
THE LAST MISSION
As World War II rages in Europe, young Jack Raab dreams of being a hero. He lies his way into the Air Corps, where his wartime experiences are more terrifying than he had ever imagined.
Giff, Patricia Reilly.
PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS
12-year-old Hollis Woods has been sent to (and running away from) one foster home after another all her life. She is an amazing artist. With descriptions of her drawings, Hollis tells a moving story of a deeply bonding relationship with her newest foster mother, artist Josie, and her dream of a perfect family. This is a 2003 Newbery Honor Book.
In this fourth installment of the Alex Rider Adventures, Alex finally breaks off from the control of MI6, the British Intelligence and acts on his own. He investigates and attempts to foil the plot of Damian Cray, world renowned pop star. Even more thrilling than the first three titles (STORMBREAKER, POINT BLANK, and SKELETON KEY)
At the beginning of the story, fifteen-year-old farm boy Eragon encounters magic and magical objects and quickly realizes that he is a gifted Dragon Rider. He takes on the dangerous and exciting task in fighting the evil powers that will destroy his Empire. This is Book 1 in the Inheritance series.
A FACE FIRST
12-year-old Kelley was horribly burned in an accident in the car driven by her mother. This thought-provoking novel allows the readers a glimpse into the painful process of rehabilitation of burned victims. An element of the mystery (Kelly does not really remember what happened in the car accident… could her mother be the one who caused the accident?) gives another layer of intensity to the story.
JACOB HAVE I LOVED
Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to find her identity.
When his beloved Redwall Abbey is attacked by a hoard of rats led by the vicious Cluny the Scourge, young Matthias Mouse finds that he has the makings of a warrior and a hero.
Funke, Cornelia. (Translated by Oliver Lastch)
THE THIEF LORD (Fantasy)
Prosper and Bo (12 and 5) are newly orphaned brothers who run away from their aunt and uncle because they plan to adopt the angelic-looking Bo but to send Prosper away to boarding school. They run to Venice, the magical city in their mother’s view. The Thief Lord (a masked young man who acts like a Robin Hood) take these two and some other street urchins under his wing. They live, like a family, in an abandoned movie theater. But the aunt has hired a detective to track the boys down. Will they be captured? Will the Thief Lord’s identity be exposed? And is the legendary Carousel really magical?
Meggie, 12-year-old, goes on a dangerous adventure in which she and her father are pursued by a group of sinister bandits, led by a man named Scorpio. Most intriguing are the identities of the bandits (who were fictional characters from story books) and the magical ability of Meggie’s father who can “read” people, animals, and objects OUT of and IN to books!
CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD
When after his mother’s death, Asta’s son, the nameless boy, found out that he not only had a name, but a noble name. He also found that his life is in danger, being wanted for dead of a crime he did not commit. While running for his life, he encounters Bear, a juggler with a secret and dangerous mission. This exciting, fast paced story set in 14th century England is the 2003 Newbery Winner.
Ryan, Pam Munoz.
Esperanza, 13, immigrated from Mexico to California with her mother after her father’s death. Her luxurious life before she came to the States was a stark contrast to her life as a migrant-worker in the 1930’s. Esperanza’s spirit helped her overcome all the harship and find hope and human dignity again. Inspired by the author’s grandmother’s stories, this lyrical novel won The Pura Belpre Author Medal in 2002.
Roy Eberhardt is the new kid–again. This time around it’s Trace Middle School in humid Coconut Grove, Florida. But it’s still the same old routine: table by himself at lunch, no real friends, and thick-headed bullies like Dana Matherson pushing him around. But if it wasn’t for Dana Matherson mashing his face against the school bus window that one day, he might never have seen the tow-headed running boy. And if he had never seen the running boy, he might never have met tall, tough, bully-beating Beatrice. And if he had never met Beatrice, he might never have discovered the burrowing owls living in the lot on the corner of East Oriole Avenue. And if he had never discovered the owls, he probably would have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime. Apparently, bullies do serve a greater purpose in the scope of the universe. Because if it wasn’t for Dana Matherson…Taken from Amazon.com review.
THE MOVES MAKE THE MAN
Reverse spin, triple pump, reverse dribble, stutter step with twist to the left, stutter into jumper, blind pass. These are me. The moves make the man.The moves make me.Jerome foxworthy — the Jayfox to his friends — likes to think he can handle anything. He handled growing up without a father. He handled being the first black kid in school. And he sure can handle a basketball.
Then Jerome meets bix Rivers — mysterious and moody, but a great athlete. So Jerome decides to teach bix his game. He can tell that bix has the talent. All he’s got to do is learn the right moves…. Taken from Amazon.com.
Twelve-year-old Michael Arroyo lives in the shadows of Yankee Stadium, home of his heroes, but a place that might as well be on a different continent since he can’t afford to see the inside. He also lives in the shadows of his Bronx neighborhood, hiding from the bill collectors and the officials who would separate him from his seventeen-year-old brother if they knew the two boys were living on their own. Baseball is Michael’s only salvation, along with his dream of playing in the Little League World Series-until a rival accuses Michael of being older than the league limit. With no parents and a birth certificate that is stuck in his native Cuba, the shadows in Michael’s life grow darker. But that is when heroes emerge, and for Michael, heroes don’t come any bigger than the Yankees. Taken from mikelupicabooks.com
THE WHALE RIDER
A poetic blend of reality and myth provides a riveting tale of adventure and passion. An ancient whale ridden by a mystical man rises from the sea, the rider throwing spears that blossom like seeds into gifts of nature. One last spear “-flew across a thousand years. When it hit the earth, it did not change but waited for another hundred and fifty years to pass until it was needed.” It sprouts when Kahu, a girl child, is born to the eldest grandson of the chief of the Maori in Whangara, New Zealand. Koro Apirana is disgusted; he needs a male child to continue the line of descent in the tribe. The years that follow further harden his heart toward his great-granddaughter in spite of the bottomless love and respect she showers upon him. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. —
Curtis, Christopher Paul
ELIJAH OF BUXTON
Eleven-year-old Elijah lives in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves near the American border. He’s the first child in town to be born free, and he ought to be famous just for that. Unfortunately, all that most people see is a “fra-gile” boy who’s scared of snakes and talks too much. But everything changes when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Now it’s up to Elijah to track down the thief–and his dangerous journey just might make a hero out of him, if only he can find the courage to get back home. Taken from Amazon.com
In 1941, bombs drop from the night skies of London, demolishing the apartment Nick Freestone lives in with his mother. Deciding the situation in England is too unstable, Nick’s mother sends him to live with his father in Burma, hoping he will be safer living on the family’s teak plantation.
But as soon as Nick arrives, trouble erupts in the remote Burmese elephant village. Japanese soldiers invade, and Nick’s father is taken prisoner. Nick is left stranded on the plantation, forced to work as a servant to the new rulers…..Taken from Amazon.com
Levine, Gail Carson
In a world in which elegance, beauty, and singing ability are revered, Aza is bulky, awkward, and homely. Her saving grace is that she can sing and has a gift of voice manipulation that she calls illusing. Through a chance meeting at her family’s inn, a duchess invites Aza to act as her companion and accompany her to the palace to attend the kings wedding. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
ELLA ENCHANTED (Fantasy)
At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.”
Barry, Dave and Pearson, Ridley
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS (Fantasy)
This is a prequel to Peter Pan. The early chapters introduce the Peter, leader of a group of orphan boys being sent into slavery aboard the Never Land, and Black Stache, a fearsome pirate who commands a villainous crew. New characters include Molly Aster and her father. Molly, at 14, is an apprentice Starcatcher, a secret society formed to keep evildoers from obtaining “starstuff,” magic material that falls to earth and conveys happiness, power, increased intelligence, and the ability to fly. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
LAST SHOT, A FINAL 4 MYSTERY
This action-packed mystery is set at the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament. Eighth-graders Steven Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are aspiring journalists and winners of the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association 14-and-under writing contest. Their prize is a trip, with press credentials and reporting responsibilities, to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the Superdome, they overhear a blackmail threat leveled at Minnesota State University’s star player. The mystery unfolds…… Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
MY LIFE WITH THE CHIMPANZEES (Non-fiction)
Noted scientist and conservationist Goodall provides listeners with stories about her life and her experiences studying chimpanzees in Africa. She talks about her first exposure to animals at a farm near her home and how the book Dr. Doolittle helped crystallize her desire. Later Goodall comments on her first trip to the continent and how meeting Dr. Louis Leakey led to her life’s work, living among the animals, learning their behaviors, and bringing that information to the rest of the world. Though this tape starts out as an autobiography, it focuses mostly on the work of the Goodall Institute and “Roots and Shoots,” organizations created to encourage the protection of animals and their habitats. The author reads her own tale and seems sort of detached even when discussing her interest in saving the world’s animals. The book also lacks depth, glossing over Goodall’s life and telling her story simply, which could make this tedious listening for adults. For public and school libraries. Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
At age 11, Caddie Woodlawn is the despair of her mother and the pride of her father: a clock-fixing tomboy running wild in the woods of Wisconsin. In 1864, this is a bit much for her Boston-bred mother to bear, but Caddie and her brothers are happy with the status quo. Written in 1935 about Carol Ryrie Brink’s grandmother’s childhood, the adventures of Caddie and her brothers are still exciting over 60 years later. With each chapter comes another ever-more exciting adventure: a midnight gallop on her horse across a frozen river to warn her American Indian friends of the white men’s plan to attack; a prairie fire approaching the school house; and a letter from England that may change the family’s life forever. Taken from Amazon.com.
All of these books have friendship themes, and many of these books are the beginning of a series. It is our hope that you will be captivated by the stories and that you will enjoy your reading this summer. Please also complete the assignments as described below.
Read two books:
- The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
- Any other book of your choice from the list below.
- Complete the book response sheet for The City of Ember and your book of choice from the list so you can remember what you have read. Bring those papers on the first day of class, and come to class the first day prepared to interact with others about your books!
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Airborne by Kenneth Oppel
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- Flipped by Wendelin VanDraanen
- Flush by Carl Hiassen
- Four Miles to Pinecone by Jon Hassler
- Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
- Hoot by Carl Hiassen
- Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Scat by Carl Hiassen
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- The Navigator by Eoin McNamee
- The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry
- The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Your English class summer reading requirement as you enter grade eight is to read two books you find on the booklist here. After reading, you should prepare a book report of roughly 200 words for each book. Your report should briefly tell (in one or two sentences) the plot of the book, describing the WHO? WHAT? WHERE? and WHY? The majority of your report should reveal what you think. Choose one of these approaches if you would like:
- The strengths and weaknesses of the book
- Comparing the book to another similar one you’ve read
- Morals or lessons
- How it met your expectations
- Evaluating the behavior/choices of the main character
Any additional reading you do this summer (whether or not they are titles from this list) may be reported the first week of school and will earn extra credit.
Click on the links below to jump to that section of the list:
Burnett, Frances Hodgson
The Secret Garden
Mary, a self-centered girl, and Colin, and pampered invalid boy come to understand compassion and generosity within a mysterious abandoned garden. (1911)
Four Westerners are hijacked and kidnapped in the Tibetan mountains, where they are held in a hidden valley, known as Shangri-La. (1933)
The Light in the Forest
A white boy, captured by Indians as a four-year-old, comes to understand and love the Indian culture over his own. (1953)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
This story tells of the difficulties and delights of life for Francie and her Irish family in New York in the early 1900’s. (1937)
Of Mice and Men
This tragic story, a masterpiece of literature, explores the complex bond between two migrant laborers, George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. (1937)
The Moves Make the Man
As Jerome, a black athlete, shares his skills and interest in basketball with Bix, a white baseball player, their friendship grows and the game becomes a reflection of both their lives.
Elliot, a victim of bullying, invents a calmer, cooler self when he changes schools in the middle of freshman year, but soon attracts the wrong kind of attention from the Guardians who “maintain order” at the new school. (2004)
Hickam Jr., Homer
The only flaw of Rocket Boys is that its plot seems just a shade too well made even for a work of fiction, let alone a memoir… Yet if Hickam’s plotting seems here and there manipulated, what always ring true are his adventures in rocketry. (1998)
Flowers for Algernon
Winner of both the Hugo Award (1959), as well as the Nebula Award in his expanded version, Flowers for Algernon is the journal of Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded adult who becomes a genius after undergoing a brain operation. (1966)
Summer of My German Soilder
In this sensitive novel set in a small southern town during World War II, a Jewish girl helps a German prisoner of war escape. (1973)
Journey to the River Sea
Orphaned and living in London in the early 1900’s, Maia finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime when she is sent with her new governess to live on a rubber plantation along the Amazon River in Brazil with relatives she’s never met. (2001)
ANY TITLE BY THIS AUTHOR
Stevenson, Robert Lewis
ANY TITLE BY THIS AUTHOR
Warriors Don’t Cry: The Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock
In 1957, Melba Pattillo turned sixteen, and it is also the year she entered the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Her remarkable story, taken from the diary she kept at the time, chronicles her experience as one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School. (1995)
Stand and Deliver
Based on a true story, Jaime Escalante inspires a group of potential school drop-outs to learn calculus to pass the Advanced Placement exam. (1989)
No Pretty Pictures
The author, an award-winning author of children’s books, tells the story of her own early childhood years, first as a “hidden child,” and subsequently as a prisoner in a succession of concentration camps during the Second World War. (1998)
Myers, Walter Dean
The Greatest, Muhammad Ali
A riveting portrayal of Ali, his spirit and courage, from childhood to the present, as well as the hazards of boxing – the sport which he loved, but which ultimately damaged him. (2001)
ANY TITLE BY THIS AUTHOR
Firedrake, a silver dragon, leads a mission to locate the Rim of Heaven, in response to the threat posed by humans who are scheming to flood the valley where his clan of dragons currently lives. Accompanied by a brownie named Sorrel and an orphan boy named Ben, Firedrake begins the quest with only scant information to go on. (2004)
The Lightning Thief
The escapades of the Greek gods and heroes get a fresh spin in the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, about a contemporary 12-year-old New Yorker who learns he’s a demigod. (2005)
Tolkien, J. R. R.
ANY TITLE BY THIS AUTHOR
Down the Rabbit Hole
An avid reader of Sherlock Holmes, Ingrid Levin-Hill, 13, is also a fleet-footed soccer player with a knack for stage acting-skills that come in handy when she finds herself caught in a police investigation following the murder of an eccentric woman. (2005)
ANY TITLE BY THIS AUTHOR
Dragons in the Waters A thirteen-year-old’s trip to Venezuela with her cousin culminates in murder and the discovery of an unexpected bond with an Indian tribe, dating back from the days of Simon Bolivar. (1976)
An exciting novel of suspense, based on a fight to the finish between an honest, courageous young man and a cynical business tycoon who believes that anything can be had for a price. Winner of an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. (1972)
A tale of survival, this story records the adventures of a band of wild rabbits who leave their ancestral home, hoping to build a more humane society. (1992)
ANY TITLE BY THIS AUTHOR
Never Cry Wolf
Mowat recounts his experience of living alone among wild wolf packs in the Canadian Tundra. His admiration for these maligned animals contrasts the growing fear of bounty hunters and federal exterminators. (1963)
Humor and Satire
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This is the satiric, comic adventure of Arthur Dent, who finds himself traveling through space and time. (1982)
The Man in the Ceiling
Both written and illustrated by cartoonist Feiffer, this is a funny, poignant and profoundly insightful look at the inner life of an artist; Jimmy, who happens to be a young boy, expresses himself by making comic books. (1995)
Saldana, Rene, Jr.
The Jumping Tree
Rey, a Mexican American living with his close knit family in a town near the Mexican border, tells the story of his growing up, with lots of self-deprecating humor and an air of reminiscence, all the while remaining culturally specific, filled with Chicano language and customs. (2001)
Marley & Me
Labrador retrievers are generally considered even-tempered, calm and reliable; and then there’s Marley, the subject of this delightful tribute to one Lab who doesn’t fit the mold. (2005)
Six individuals, survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima, reflect on life and why they were saved in the midst of destruction. (1946)
The true survival story of Alexander Selkirk, the man who inspired Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. (2005)
Into Thin Air
This is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of bestseller Into the Wild. (1997)
This drama is based on the true story of courage and friendship between Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers, two players on the Chicago Bears football team.
The Miracle Worker
This powerful play depicts the education of Helen Keller and her relationship with her extraordinary teacher, Annie Sullivan. (1956)
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
This Pulitzer Price-winning play centers on the Hunsdorfers: Tillie, her sister Ruth, and their mother Beatrice. Tillie studies the growth of flowers for a science project, in an effort to escape from the bitterness of her family and surroundings. (1971)
Myths and Legends
The Princess Bride
A spoof on historical romance, this adventure is a series of unbelievable feats and narrow escapes with a medieval setting. (1973)
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
This is the classic tale of Sherwood Forest’s legendary hero, as told by a local author and illustrator. (1883)
Greek gods and mortals spring to life in this riveting retelling of the myth of Alalanta, the fleet-footed girl warrior who could outrun any man in ancient Greece. (2002)