Monday, June 11, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer Reading Grade 5

Recommended Series
Eye Witness Series
Nancy Drew –Keen, Carolyn
Hardy Boys –Dixon, Franklin W.

Realistic Fiction
Soto, Gary
Spinelli, Jerry

Historical Fiction
Peck, Robert 
Wolff, Virginia

Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Collins, Suzanne  (Hunger Games)
Copper, Susan
Tolkien, J.R.R. (The Hobbit)
Rowling, J.K. (Harry Potter)

Folk Tales, Fables & Legends
Osborne, Mary Pope  (Magic Tree House)

Informational Books
Fradin, Dennis
Freedman, Russell
Fritz, Jean

Hughes, Langston
Silverstein, Shel

High School Summer Reading Books

Theme:  Resilience
Choose 1 from 19 Books

Faculty Top 5 Choices...

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone fighting against you?
Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Lesson Plans
My last blog post with lesson plans, author interviews and more!

Book Trailer

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

William Kamkwamba

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to find. But William had read about windmills in a book called Using Energy, and he dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his life and the lives of those around him. His neighbors may have mocked him and called him misala--crazy--but William was determined to show them what a little grit and ingenuity could do.

Enchanted by the workings of electricity as a boy, William had a goal to study science in Malawi's top boarding schools. But in 2002, his country was stricken with a famine that left his family's farm devastated and his parents destitute. Unable to pay the eighty-dollar-a-year tuition for his education, William was forced to drop out and help his family forage for food as thousands across the country starved and died.

Yet William refused to let go of his dreams. With nothing more than a fistful of cornmeal in his stomach, a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford and what the West considers a necessity--electricity and running water. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves, William forged a crude yet operable windmill, an unlikely contraption and small miracle that eventually powered four lights, complete with homemade switches and a circuit breaker made from nails and wire. A second machine turned a water pump that could battle the drought and famine that loomed with every season.

Soon,news of William's magetsi a mphepo--his "electric wind"--spread beyond the borders of his home, and the boy who was once called crazy became an inspiration to those around the world.
Here is the remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.

Author Website

Here is the short film Moving Windmills which is being made into a feature-length documentary:



All Souls:  A Family from Southie

Michael Patrick MacDonald

A breakaway bestseller since it first appeared in 1999, All Souls takes us deep into Michael Patrick MacDonald’s Southie, the proudly insular neighborhood with the highest concentration of white poverty in America. Rocked by Whitey Bulger’s drug schemes and school busing riots, MacDonald’s Southie is populated by sharply hewn characters like his Ma, a miniskirted accordion-playing single mother who endures the deaths of four of her eleven children. Nearly suffocated by his grief and Southie’s code of silence, MacDonald tells his family story with gritty honesty and radiant insight. By turns explosive and touching, All Souls ultimately shares a powerful message of hope, renewal, and redemption.


Meet the Author 

Sorta Like a Rock Star
Matthew Quick

Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom’s boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). But Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. Instead, she focuses on bettering the lives of her alcoholic mother and her quirky circle of friends: a glass-ceiling-breaking single mother raising a son diagnosed with autism; Father Chee and The Korean Divas for Christ (soul-singing ESL students); a nihilist octogenarian; a video-game-playing gang of outcasts; and a haiku-writing war vet. But then a fatal tragedy threatens Amber’s optimism—and her way of life. Can Amber continue to be the princess of hope?

With his zany cast of characters and a heartwarming, inspiring story, debut YA author Matthew Quick builds a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. This world is Amber’s stage, and Amber is, well…she’s sorta like a rock star.

Author Website

Book Website

Book Trailer


The Help

Kathryn Stockett

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women–mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends–view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

Book Website

Author Website

Movie Trailer


Other Book Choices

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells
Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by Zlata Filipovic
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy

It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

AP Summer Reading Books

AP World History
The Prince
By Nicoolo Machiavelli
Kindle FREE
iTunes (ibooks on iphone, ipad or ipod) FREE
Amazon  (Print) PAID

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

K-2 Summer Reading

Book Series

Brown, Marc
Brown, Margaret Wise
Bunting, Eve
Christelow, Eileen
Cooney, Barbara
Crews, Donald
DePaola, Tomie
Ehlert, Lois
Fleming, Denise
Fox, Mem
Freeman, Don
Gershator, Phillis
Gibbons, Gail
Henkes, Kevin
Hutchins, Pat
Keats, Ezra
Kellogg, Stephen
Lionni, Leo
London, Jonathon
Martin, Bill
McCloskey, Robert
Munsch, Robert
Numeroff, Laura
*Osborne, Mary Magic Tree House (really great interactive site with videos, games and more!)
Penn, Audrey
Pfister, Marcus
Rey, H.A.
Rockwell, Anne
Rylant, Cynthia
Shannon, David,
Waddll, Martin
Wells, Rosemary
Wood, Audrey
Zoe, Hall

Summer Reading 3-4 Grade

Explore Different Genres
Click on the link to see the book/author website! Listen to author interviews, read their biographies, play games, complete activities, explore reading!


Book Series
*Little House on the Prairie– Laura Ingles Wilder (games, recipes, quizzes)
*Super Fudge– Judy Blume (fun facts, audio clips, writing tips)
*Ramona-Beverly Clearly (meet the characters, fun and games, explore the neighborhood)
Boxcar Children– Gertrude Chandler Warner
Cam Jansen, David Adler
Nancy Drew Series– Carolyn Keene
Hardy Boys Series– Franklin W. Dixon
Third Grade Detective Series

Science Fiction/ Fantasy
*Dahl, Roald (games, interactive, send a virtual peach)
*Osborne, Mary Magic Tree House (really great interactive site with videos, games and more!) Watch Book Trailer!
*Rowling, J.K. (Harry Potter games videos and more!) Video from Author

Folktales, Fables, & Legends
*Yolen, Jane (Book Trailers - Video!)

Realistic Fiction
*Kinney, Jeff (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) Book Trailer Watch Now!
*Park, Barbara (Junie B. Jones)

Informational Books
Fradin, Dennis

8th Grade Summer Reading List

Entering 8th Grade Summer Reading List 
You will be reading two (2) books over the summer. One (1) from Languages Arts and one (1) from Social Studies

Choose one (1) book to read from the following list:

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry $7.50
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.

The Messenger by Lois Lowry $8.95
In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl $5.99
The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describes both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Speak (Platinum Edition) by Laurie Halse Anderson $10.00
A ninth grader becomes a social pariah when she calls the police to bust a summer bash and spends the year coming to terms with the secret fact that she was raped during the party.

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff $7.99
This is the story of fourteen-year-old LaVaughn, who is determined to go to college—she just needs the money to get there. When she answers a babysitting ad, LaVaughn meets Jolly, a seventeen-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. As she helps Jolly make lemonade out of the lemons her life has given her, LaVaughn learns some lessons outside the classroom.

Choose one (1) book to read from the following list:

Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare $6.99
In 1687 Connecticut, Kit Tyler befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft.

Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi $7.99
Paul Revere's daughter describes her father's "rides" and the intelligence network of the patriot community prior to the American Revolution.

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson $6.99
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Witch Child by Celia Rees $8.99
In 1659, 14-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, MA.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave $6.95
Born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass taught himself to read and write. In 1845, 7 years after escaping to the North, he published Narrative, the first of three autobiographies. This book recounts the horrors and the accomplishments of his early years, his painful efforts to educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape.

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes $6.99
After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice in Boston becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty in the days before the American Revolution.

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier $6.99
Sam Meeker is 16 when he runs away in 1775 to fight the British.

You will be reading two (2) books over the summer. One (1) from Languages Arts and one (1) from Social Studies

6 Grade Summer Reading List

Entering 6th Grade Summer Reading List
Choose TWO (2) books from this list:

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis $
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood $
Raised in an orphanage, Widge is apprenticed to an unprincipled clergyman who trains him to use a cryptic writing system that he's invented to pirate sermons from other rectors. Hired by a mysterious traveler, the boy is hauled off to London to attend performances of Hamlet in order to transcribe the script for another theater company. Naturally, all does not go smoothly, and in the course of trying to recover his stolen notebook, Widge goes to work at the Globe, eventually donning a dress and wig to play Ophelia before the queen. The true identity of the mysterious traveler provides a neat twist at the end.

Peak by Roland Smith $
Marcello hones his climbing skills by scaling skyscrapers. After Peak is caught climbing the Woolworth Building, an angry judge gives him probation, with an understanding that Peak will leave New York and live with his famous mountaineer father in Thailand. Peak soon learns, however, that his father has other plans for him; he hopes that Peak will become the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest. Peak is whisked off to Tibet and finds himself in the complex world of an Everest base camp, where large amounts of money are at stake and climbing operations offer people an often-deadly shot at the summit.

Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle $
Everyone in town thinks Meg is volatile and dull-witted and that her younger brother Charles Wallace is dumb. People are also saying that their father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time.

Music of the Dolphins by Karen Hesse $
After a plane crash off the coast of Cuba, a four-year-old survives, nurtured by dolphins. At adolescence, the girl is "rescued" by the Coast Guard and turned over to a scientist who has a government grant to study the part language acquisition plays in socialization. Mila, the otherworldly "dolphin girl," is enthusiastic to please, learning to speak words and write her thoughts on a computer, but gradually she understands that she is a prisoner "in the net of humans." She begins to lose ground, regressing physically, begging to be returned to the sea.

Stealing Freedom by Elisa Carbone $
The story begins in 1853 at the Price farm in Unity, Maryland, where the Weems family lives and works. Though 10-year-old Ann works from sunup to sundown in often harsh conditions, her life is not an unhappy one, as she is surrounded by a loving family. When the Prices begin to sell Ann's family off, person by person, her father (a free slave) vows that if the family can't be together in slavery, they will be together in freedom. Finally, only 12-year-old Ann is left on the farm and her story begins…from her dramatic escape with a white abolitionist, to her travels on the Underground Railroad, to her heart-wrenching reunion with her family in Canada.

Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff $
Twelve-year-old Nora Ryan and her family have always lived a meager life in the Irish countryside, but they have always managed to make ends meet. But now it's 1845, and a terrible blight is attacking the potato crops, the main source of food for the Irish peasants. And not only are they in danger of starvation, but their English landlord is threatening to turn them off the land that should be theirs if they don't pay the rent soon.

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech $
Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling her. Much to the concern of her adopted parents, she decides to join her uncles and male cousins on a sailing voyage from Connecticut across the Atlantic to England (and her grandfather Bompie) on a 45-foot sailboat. Along the way, Sophie proves her bravery and competence to the rather grumpy all-male crew; intrigues and captivates her cousin Cody with her beautiful, odd stories of Bompie; and spills her heart into a daily journal.

Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo $
Despereaux Tilling, the new baby mouse, is different from all other mice. Sadly, the romantic, unmouselike spirit that leads the unusually tiny, large-eared mouse to the foot of the human king and the beautiful Princess Pea ultimately causes him to be banished by his own father to the foul, rat-filled dungeon.

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach $
As usual, sixth-grader Hero's Shakespearean name prompts teasing in her new school, and her loving parents are clueless about her difficulties. Then intriguing, elderly neighbor Mrs. Roth tells her about the enormous diamond rumored to be hidden in Hero's new house. Helped by Mrs. Roth and cute eighth-grader Danny, Hero launches into a stealthy search that unearths links between the diamond's original owner and Edward de Vere, a nobleman believed by some to be the original author of Shakespeare's plays.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

Framed by Gordon Korman
Griffin Bing's new principal doesn't like him. And Griffin doesn't like the boot camp football atmosphere the new principal has brought. Griffin manages to stay out of trouble -- until a Super Bowl ring disappears from the school's display case, with Griffin's retainer left in its place. Griffin has been framed! Unfortunately, the Man doesn't have a Plan - and everything his team tries to find out who really took the ring backfires. Griffin ends up in an alternate school, then under house arrest, and finally with an electronic anklet - with no way to prove his innocence! Griffin smells a rat - but will he be able to solve the mystery in time?

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
Everyone calls Nate Brodie “Brady” because he’s a New England quarterback, just like his idol, Tom Brady. And now he’s got a chance to win a million dollars by throwing one pass through a target at halftime in the Patriots’ Thanksgiving night game. More than anything, Nate’s family needs the money, his dad’s been downsized, his mom’s working two jobs, and they’re on the verge of losing their house. The worry is more weight than a 13-year-old can bear, and it’s affecting his playing for his own football team. Suddenly the boy with the golden arm is having trouble completing a pass . . . but can he make the one that really counts?

The Clockwork Three by Matt Kirby 
An enchanted green violin, an automaton that comes to life, and a hidden treasure . . . THE CLOCKWORK THREE is a richly woven adventure story that is sure to become a classic! Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone (owner or manager) in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom. Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.

The Ruins of Gorlan: The Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1 by John Flanagan
He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t realize yet is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied . . .

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Twelve-year-old Karana escapes death at the hands of treacherous hunters, only to find herself totally alone on a harsh desolate island. How she survives in the face of all sorts of dangers makes gripping and inspiring reading. This title is based on a true story.

You will be reading a total of TWO (2) books.