Nicole Miller

Shalom! Hello! Hola! Welcome Parents/Guardians and Middle School Students of Ben Gamla Kendall.

Summer-Reading

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

I know school is now over and we are all excited and ready to relax and vacation this summer. However, it’s very important that our middle school students continue their awesome progress and that means they must continue reading and practicing what they’ve learned. 

I have provided 6th and 7th grade students with a Reading Summer Packet to help them practice (click the link if you misplaced the packet).  Of course, it is not mandatory, but it would be highly beneficial to the student that he/she work on it throughout the summer. I will also ask that each student read a minimum 2 books this summer. Inside their summer packet is a few pages titled Novel Packet. Please have the student pick one of the books they read and fill out the information on the pages.

EDIT: ***I am also including a Grammar and Spelling Summer Packet in case the student (or parents) would like to practice some more.

All students should know their ATOS level and can go on AR Book Find to find out how many AR points the books they pick will award them. Middle school students will be able to access their ACCELERATED READER account over the summer to read articles/take quizzes online and practice their reading comprehension. 

Lastly, I highly recommend that if it is at all possible, that you purchase the book 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know for your child to practice their vocabulary this summer. The book is currently $3.95 on Amazon.com.

                                     With all my love, 

                                    signature

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading. – William Styron

summertime-clipart-eiMdAgbLT

I always encourage students to read whatever interests them. I am a believer that people become avid readers by reading on subjects that they find appealing. Many of our students have become better readers by picking up a book that piqued their interest and it snowballed from there. With that said, below is a few book recommendations for students this summer. Again, they are at liberty to read something else as long as it is something they have not already read. 

5th grade going into 6th grade

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic — a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, 13-year-old Anne and her Jewish family went into hiding in the “secret annex” of an old office building; while living there, Anne recorded her experiences in a diary. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and a compelling self-portrait of an extraordinary young woman whose life was tragically cut short.

 

Chasing Redbird
by Sharon Creech

Zinnia Taylor lives in Bybanks, Kentucky, with too many brothers and sisters — a mess of “tadpoles” and “pumpkins” is what her uncle Nate calls them. When Zinny discovers a mysterious, overgrown trail that begins on her family’s farm, she’s determined to clear it, from start to finish. For she’s finally found a place of her own, a place where she can go, away from her family, to hear herself think. But what Zinny didn’t realize is that the mysteries of the trail are intertwined with her own unanswered questions and family secrets, and that the trail — and her passion to uncover it — is leading her on a journey home. CHASING REDBIRD is a powerful, beautifully crafted story about a young girl discovering that life is a tangle of mysteries, surprises, and everyday occurences — a journey that often needs unravelling and that sometimes must be traveled alone.

Dear Mr. Henshaw
by Beverly Cleary, Paul O. Zelinsky (illus.)

When fourth grader Leigh Botts asks Mr. Henshaw to write to him personally, he gets more than he bargained for. Mr. Henshaw’s letters are full of questions, and Leigh is getting tired of answering them. But as he continues his correspondence with his favorite author, he not only gets plenty of tips on writing, but he also finds a wise and thoughtful friend to whom he can tell his troubles.

Frindle
by Andrew Clements, Brian Selznick (illus.)

When he decides to turn his fifth-grade teacher’s love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E. L. Konigsburg

The enchanting story of the unappreciated Claudia Kincaid, “boring straight-A Claudia” (oldest child and only girl and almost too old for half-fare tickets), who runs away with her little brother Jamie to live in the Metropolitan Museum, FILES is a sentimental favorite with a remarkable heroine. Crammed with fascinating details — strategies for hiding in a museum, techniques for bathing in a fountain, the smell of a 16th-century bed (musty), and tantalizing peeks at the Met and its treasures — it’s a grand adventure. More important, FILES is the story of Claudia’s quest to define herself. In the fulfillment of that quest, her own resourcefulness is bolstered by a statue that may or may not be by Michelangelo; a brother who proves to be a fabulous ally; and the wise, prickly Mrs. Frankweiler herself.

Holes
by Louis Sachar

As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune, which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish boys’ juvenile detention center in the Texas desert. As punishment, the boys here must each dig a hole every day, five feet deep and five feet across. Ultimately, Stanley “digs up the truth” — and through his experience, finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. HOLES is a wildly inventive, darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment — and redemption.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
by Bette Bao Lord, Marc Simont (illus.)

Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English, so it’s hard to make friends. Then a miracle — baseball — happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone’s hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America. And for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O’Dell

In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building a shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. Island of the Blue Dolphins is not only an unusual adventure of survival but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.

Matilda
by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illus.)

Matilda Wormwood started reading books at the age of four, but her crooked father and bingo-playing mother regard book reading as a waste of time — and much prefer watching TV. In fact, they take no notice of their genius daughter at all! Only Miss Honey, Matilda’s lovely and gentle teacher, recognizes her special gifts. Yet Miss Honey has problems of her own: Her aunt is the tyrannical Miss Trunchbull, an evil headmistress who bullies children and parents alike — and has taken Miss Honey’s house and money. Can Matilda use her extraordinary talents to seek revenge — and make all of the wrong-doing grown-ups pay? Also recommended: James and the Giant Peach.

Mick Harte Was Here
by Barbara Park

How could someone like Mick die? He was the kid who freaked out his mom by putting a ceramic eye in a defrosted chicken, the kid who did a wild dance in front of the whole school — and the kid who, if only he had worn his bicycle helmet, would still be alive today. But now Phoebe Harte’s 12-year-old brother is gone, and Phoebe’s world has turned upside down. With her trademark candor and compassion, beloved middle-grade writer Barbara Park tells how Phoebe copes with her painful loss in this story filled with sadness, humor — and hope.

My Daniel
by Pam Conrad

Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel. She remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young — a time when people would even kill for those old bones under the ground. Julia becomes the Nebraska farm girl she once was, as she weaves together the story of the great dinosaur rush — an adventurous tale of love and treachery, but most of all the story of her own childhood, and of the older brother she loved more than anything. Daniel had a dream: to save their family farm by finding a dinosaur. It was a dream that Julia shared — and that she alone would see come true.

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it’s now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. When the Nazis begin “relocating” the Jews of Denmark, Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. And as Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis and embarks on a dangerous mission, she learns how to be brave and courageous — to save her best friend’s life.

Shiloh
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Eleven-year-old Marty Preston loves to spend time up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia. Sometimes he takes his .22 rifle to see what he can shoot, like some cans lined up on a rail fence. Other times he goes up early in the morning just to sit and watch the fox and deer. But one summer Sunday, Marty comes across something different on the road just past the old Shiloh schoolhouses — a young beagle — and the trouble begins. What do you do when a dog you suspect is being mistreated runs away and comes to you? When it is someone else’s dog? When the man who owns him has a gun? This is Marty’s problem, and he finds it is one he has to face alone. When his solution gets too big for him to handle, things become more frightening still. Finally, Marty puts his courage on the line and discovers in the process that it is not always easy to separate right from wrong. Sometimes, however, you’ll do almost anything to save a dog you love.

The View from Saturday
by E. L. Konigsburg

It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew better than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories — one for each of the team members — that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

Wait Till Helen Comes, A Ghost Story
by Mary Downing Hahn

Molly and Michael dislike their spooky new stepsister Heather but realize that they must try to save her when she seems ready to follow a ghost child to her doom.

Walk Two Moons
by Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the “Indian-ness in her blood,” travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a “potential lunatic,” and whose mother disappeared. Beneath Phoebe’s story is Salamanca’s own story and that of her mother, who left one April morning for Idaho, promising to return before the tulips bloomed. Sal’s mother has not, however, returned, and the trip to Idaho takes on a growing urgency as Salamanca hopes to get to Idaho in time for her mother’s birthday and bring her back, despite her father’s warning that she is fishing in the air. This richly layered Newbery Medal-winning novel is in turn funny, mysterious, and touching.

The Warm Place
by Nancy Farmer

When Ruva, a young giraffe, is captured and sent to a zoo in San Francisco, she calls upon two rats, a street-smart chameleon, a runaway boy, and all the magical powers of the animal world to return to “the warm place” that is home.

6th grade going into 7th grade

Absolutely Normal Chaos
by Sharon Creech

A prequel to the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons, this book chronicles the daily life of 13-year-old Mary Lou Finney during her most chaotic and romantic summer ever. Mary Lou’s summer journal — which she begins grudgingly as a dreaded assignment for school — becomes a hilarious chronicle of the circle of people and events that make her summer. There is Carl Ray, the mysterious and troublesome cousin that comes to visit; Beth Ann Bartels, her best friend who’s recently gone boy crazy; Alex Cheevy, the boy that makes Mary Lou’s brains “mushy;” and, of course, the Finney clan, her “normally strange family.” What follows is the story of a summer filled with lessons and observations on love, death, friendship, and family.

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White
When Woodrow’s mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents’ home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin, and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson, Donna Diamond (illus.)

An extraordinarily powerful tribute to friendship, this Newbery Award-winning novel recounts the unlikely friendship of a country boy, Jess, and his neighbor, an uprooted city girl named Leslie. When Leslie is killed during a storm while trying to reach Terabithia, their secret hiding place, Jess must gather all his strength to come to terms with his loss and find a way to heal.

Catherine, Called Birdy
by Karen Cushman

Catherine, the spirited and inquisitive daughter of an English country knight, narrates in diary form the story of her 14th year — in the year 1290. Here, she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

The Complete Chronicles of Narnia
by C. S. Lewis, Chris Van Allsburg (illus.)

Enter the magical land of Narnia, where enchanted creatures live and battles are fought between good and evil! The seven volumes of C. S. Lewis’s famed fantasy series come boxed in a hardcover case.

The Egypt Game
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Alton Raible (illus.)

Even to Melanie, who knew that you could never predict what a new kid would be like, April Hall was something of a surprise. One look at her stringy upswept hair, false eyelashes, and ragged fox-fur collar, convinced Melanie that April was not going to be easy to integrate into the sixth grade at Wilson School. Within a month, April and Melanie had developed a common interest in ancient Egypt and had begun to develop a land of Egypt in an abandoned storage yard. Complications arose when other people joined the original Egyptians, when a murderer ranged the neighborhood, and when an oracle predicted strange things. But it was all in the game, which gave even April a fall and winter to remember.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Eleven-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. There is no war or pain, and there are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12, he is chosen to receive special training from The Giver himself — a man who alone holds the key to the true pain and pleasure of life: memories. Now it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. What will Jonas do once he experiences the power of deep emotions? This gripping and provocative Newbery Award-winning novel keeps readers turning the pages and exploring the special qualities that make us each human.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J. K. Rowling

Orphaned as a baby, Harry Potter has spent 11 awful years living with his mean aunt, uncle, and cousin. But everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting him to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, Harry finds friends, fun, and magic in everything from classes to meals, as well as a great destiny that’s been waiting for him…if Harry can survive the encounter. Fans of C. S. Lewis and Roald Dahl will love this enchanting, funny book! Also recommended: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name
by Margaret Craven

Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakiutl myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible natural richness that hunting and fishing remain primary food sources. But the old culture of totems and potlatch is being replaces by a new culture of prefab housing and alcoholism. Kingcome’s younger generation is disenchanted and alienated from its heritage. And now, coming upriver is a young vicar, Mark Brian, who has two years to live. Sent to this Indian parish in British Columbia, Mark embarks on a journey of discovery that can teach him — and us — about life, death, and the transforming power of love.

The Island
by Gary Paulsen

Every morning 15-year-old Wil Neuton gets up, brushes his teeth, leaves the house, and rows away from shore. He’s discovered the island, a place where he can go to be alone and learn to know nature — and himself. On the island he watches the loons and the fish in the lake, and he writes and paints. It feels good to get away from the tension rising between his parents — tension brought on by yet another move to a new town. But Wil can’t stay away from the outside world forever. He must face Ray Bunner, the bully determined to challenge him, and his parents, who worry when Wil decides to stay on the island indefinitely. Can Wil bridge the growing gap between himself and the rest of the world?

Maniac Magee
by Jerry Spinelli

When Jeffrey Lionel Magee wanders into Two Mills, Pennsylvania, a legend is in the making. Before too long, stories begin to circulate about how fast and how far he can run and about feats so incredible they earn him the nickname “Maniac.”


The Midwife’s Apprentice
by Karen Cushman

In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she wants most: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it’s now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. When the Nazis begin “relocating” the Jews of Denmark, Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. And as Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis and embarks on a dangerous mission, she learns how to be brave and courageous — to save her best friend’s life.

The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (illus.)

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. Along his journey, Milo learns the importance of words and numbers — and learns to appreciate life.

The River

by Gary Paulsen
In this exciting sequel to Hatchet, 15-year-old Brian Robeson, who survived alone in the wilderness for 54 days, returns to the wilderness at the request of a government survival school. This time, however, he won’t be alone: Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him to observe and take notes. But during a freak storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a coma. Afraid that Derek will die of dehydration unless he can get him to a doctor, Brian’s only hope is to build a raft and try to transport Derek a hundred miles down the river to a trading post.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor

The Logans, a black family living in the South during the 1930s, are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don’t understand. It takes the events of one turbulent year — the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black — to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family’s lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans posess something no one can take away.

Summer of My German Soldier
by Bette Greene

The summer that Patty Bergen turns 12 is a summer that will haunt her forever. When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, Patty learns what it means to open her heart. Even though she’s Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi, but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own. In Anton, Patty finds someone who softens the pain of her own father’s rejection and who appreciates her in a way her mother never will. While patriotic feelings run high, Patty risks losing family, friends — even her freedom — for this dangerous friendship. It is a risk she has to take and one she will have to pay a price to keep.

Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls

A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart’s desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters. Together, the three of them experience danger, adventure, love, and sorrow.

The Wish Giver, Three Tales of Coven Tree
by Bill Brittain, Andrew Glass (illus.)

The people of Coven Tree are no strangers to magic. In fact, the town’s very name comes from a gnarled old tree where covens of witches used to gather. Even now, imps and fiends continue to appear, frightening the townfolk with their devilish pranks. Usually these creatures are easy to spot. They have a particular smell, sound, or way of moving that betrays their dark nature. But Thaddeus Blinn showed none of these signs when he came to Coven Tree. He was just a funny little man who drifted into town with a strange tale about being able to give people whatever they wished — for only 50 cents. There was nothing scary about him. At least, not until the wishing began….

Words of Stone
by Kevin Henkes

While exploring the countryside outside of his home, 10-year-old Blaze Werla spots a devastating message on the side of a hill. Ultimately, Blaze’s summer takes a turn toward mystery and adventure when he meets the boisterous and irresistible Joselle.

Wringer
by Jerry Spinelli

As Palmer comes of age, he must either accept the violence of being a wringer at his town’s annual Pigeon Day or find the courage to oppose it.

7th grade going to 8th grade

Beyond the Burning Time
by Kathryn Lasky

They say something very strange is happening to some of the people of Salem. That some of the young girls have become … troubled. And the fear is beginning to spread. Mary and her mother don’t hear about the rumors right away. They don’t know that many of the villagers believe that some of Mary’s friends have had spells cast on them — by witches. Or that one of the accused is Mary’s mother. Now Mary and her brother, Caleb, have a decision to make: Are the villagers right? Or is their mother innocent? And if she is — can they help her escape before it’s too late?

 

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
by Jack Canfield (ed.), Mark Victor Hansen (ed.), Kimberly Kirberger (ed.)

This carefully formulated collection of stories guides teenagers through one of the most difficult periods in life, offering invaluable advice on the nature of friendship and love, the importance of belief in the future, the value of respect for oneself and others, and more — all delivered with compassion and humor. Also recommended: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II.

Crazy Lady!
by Jane Leslie Conly

Receiving less and less attention from his widowed father, Vernon joins with his friends as they ridicule the neighborhood outcasts — Maxine, an alcoholic prone to public displays of outrageous behavior, and Ronald, her retarded son. Then social services tries to put Ronald into a special home, and Vernon finds himself fighting the agency.

The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien

Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Although quite reluctant to take part in this quest, Bilbo surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar! Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant success when published in 1937 and has remained a timeless classic.

Homecoming
by Cynthia Voigt

The Tillerman kids’ mother just left them one day in a car in a mall parking lot. Their father had left them a long time ago. So, as usual, it was up to 13-year-old Dicey, the eldest of four, to take care of everything, make all the decisions, feed them, find places to sleep. But above all, Dicey would have to make sure to avoid the authorities who would split them up and place them in foster homes. Deep down, she hoped they could find an adult they could trust, someone who would take them in and love them. But she was afraid it was too much to hope for.

Journey of the Sparrows
by Fran Leeper Buss

Nailed into a crate in the back of a truck, 15-year-old Maria, her older sister Julia, their little brother Oscar, and a boy named Tomas endure a cruel journey across the U.S. border and then north to Chicago. There they struggle to find work — cleaning, sewing, washing dishes — always careful to remain “invisible” so the authorities won’t arrest and deport them. Despite the family’s ordeals, hope and love can be found — in Maria’s budding romance with Tomas, in the help given by a kindly midwife and priest, and most of all, in the stories Maria tells to lift the family’s spirits, of a little sparrow who brings a rainbow. Starkly realistic and tenderly poetic, this powerfully moving story of the secret lives of immigrants who courageously triumph over incredible obstacles is not to be missed.

The Man Who Was Poe
by Avi

In Providence, Rhode Island, in 1848, Edgar Allan Poe reluctantly investigates the problems of 11-year-old Edmund, whose family has mysteriously disappeared and whose story suggests a new Poe tale with a ghastly final twist.

The Maze
by Will Hobbs

Stowing away in the back of a pickup, Rick, a 14-year-old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah. There, he finds himself in a dead end in the surreal landscape of redrock spires and deep canyons called the Maze, and is taken in by an eccentric naturalist who is working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.

Myst, The Book of Atrus
by Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, David Wingrove

The ages of Myst are worlds of adventure and awe … of mystery and beauty … of intrigue and betrayal. You have seen only a glimpse of the picture. Now take a step further into the fictional legend of Myst. These pages are your link to the story of Atrus, son of Gehn, and the last of the race of D’Ni — the masters of The Art, the craft of linking to other worlds through the descriptive art of writing. For most of his young life, Atrus thought the stories his grandmother told him were just strange legends. Then his time came to explore the magnificent underground realm.

Night
by Elie Wiesel

A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family … the death of his innocence…and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as The Diary of Anne Frank, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.

Nothing but the Truth, A Documentary Novel
by Avi

A ninth-grader’s suspension for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story. In this remarkable Newbery Honor book, facts, people, actions, and reactions are presented in stark documentary style. The truth — and nothing but the truth — can be discovered by only one person: the reader.

Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men, creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.

Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse

In a series of free verse poems, 15-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Great Depression. Powerful and moving, this Newbery Medal winner effectively depicts both a bleak historical era and one family’s healing.

Redwall
by Brian Jacques

When the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall’s inhabitants destroy the enemy.

River Thunder
by Will Hobbs

Jessie, Troy, and the rest of the crew from Downriver have returned to the Grand Canyon for adventure on the Colorado River. In the year since they last were together, each has changed; each feels more mature. But how will they interact now that they are facing new challenges — challenges greater than anything they’ve had to deal with at home? For Troy, it is a chance to prove he can be a team player, someone worthy of friendship and love. For Jessie, the river is the ultimate test. Does she have what it takes to row down the mighty Colorado? The only way to find out is to get into the raft and set off to face the thundering rapids and the powerful emotions that the river unleashes.

Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind
by Suzanne Fisher Staples

When 11-year-old Shabanu, the daughter of a nomad in the Cholistan Desert of present-day Pakistan, is pledged in marriage to an older man whose money will bring prestige to the family, she must either accept the decision, as is the custom, or risk the consequences of defying her father’s wishes.

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That is a lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel — a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Where the Lilies Bloom
by Vera Cleaver, Bill Cleaver

Mary Call has true Appalachian grit. When her dying father makes her promise to keep her brother and sisters together forever on the mountain and take no help from strangers, she is determined to keep her word — no matter what. At first Mary Call is sure she can run the family just fine on her own. Romey and Ima Dean help her gather herbs to sell in town, using the riches of the mountains to keep the family clothed and fed. But winter sets in all too quickly. As food runs low, and the tiny house begins to cave in under the weight of the snow, Mary Call learns that the land where the lilies bloom is also a cruel and unforgiving land that deems a price for her stubborn pride.

Z for Zachariah
by Robert C. O’Brien

Ann Burden is 16 and, as far she she knows, the only person left in the world. The nuclear radiation that destroyed the rest of the world has not touched the valley where she lives, and so she has remained, surviving as best she knows how, for the past year. Then, the smoke from a distant campfire shatters Ann’s solitude. Someone else is still alive and making his way toward the valley: John Loomis, a scientist, protected from the radiation by a “safe-suit.” He asserts his will almost immediately. And as his behavior becomes more and more extreme — finally culminating in violent confrontation — Ann must choose how she will live, in a world unlike any she has known.

 


2017-2018 School Supply List

1 – Wilson Jones 1″ binder
1 – Ticonderoga 4 pack highlighter (yellow, pink, green, blue)
1 – Poly pocket folders
2 – Filler paper 150CT WR
1 – Dixon Oriole Pencil No 2 Soft -(dozen)
1 – Mead index cards 3″ x 5″ lined
1 – Clorox sanitizing wipes
1 – Papermate red pens(dozen)
1 – Scholar composition book/WR/100 page
1 – 5 Divider with multi-colored tabs

I will miss our 8th graders terribly! I wish you all the best of luck and I know you will go on to do great things in high school and beyond. Don’t forget to keep reading! I will provide you with a list of book recommendations for the summer. 


Parents/Guardians, it is so important that our students read daily. Please encourage your child to pick up a book and read. Thank you! Scholastic Book Lists and Recommendations for 11-13 year olds.


E-mail me:

NMiller@bengamlakendall.org

Save