Monthly Archives: May 2010

6th grade summer reading assignment

Read ONE novel over the summer. Be prepared to share and discuss the novel’s plot (protagonist, antagonist, setting, inciting incident, subplot, climax, complication, resolution, theme) in its entirety.

It is highly encouraged you take notes on the literary elements listed above to assist you with the planned activities and discussions.

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Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean

Kite RiderAuthor: Geraldine McCaughrean

Publisher: HarperTeen

Paperback: 320 pages

Reading level: young adult

Genre: historical fiction

Synopsis: from School Library Journal

In 1281, the Chinese lived under a foreign emperor, Kublai Khan, whose nomadic Mongol warriors had just toppled the glorious Sung Dynasty. The pageant of changing dynasties is an epic backdrop for the story of 12-year-old Haoyou. After watching his father die, the boy must fend for himself and protect his widowed mother from their greedy, overbearing uncle and a suitor responsible for his father’s death. With his cousin Mipeng, Haoyou joins a traveling circus headed by the mysterious, charismatic Miao Jie. The cousins create a popular and profitable act as Haoyou, strapped to the crossbars of a kite, rides the winds high in the sky, where, gullible villagers believe, he can speak to spirits.

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Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Julie of the WolvesAuthor: Jean Craighead George

Publisher: Harper Teen

Paperback: 208 pages

Reading level: ages 9-12

Synopsis: from Amazon.com

Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband’s parents’ home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her “gussak”-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving?

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Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

Homeless BirdAuthor: Gloria Whelan

Publisher: HarperCollins

Paperback: 192 pages

Reading level: ages 9-12

Synopsis: From goodreads.com

Like many girls her age in India, thirteen-year-old-Koly is getting married.
Full of hope and courage, she leaves home—forever. But in a grim turn of
events Koly finds herself cast out into a current of cruel tradition. Her
future, it would seem, is lost. Yet this rare young woman, bewildered and
brave, sets out to forge her own exceptional future.

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Heat by Mike Lupica

HeatAuthor: Mike Lupica

Publisher: Puffin

Paperback: 240 pages

Reading level: ages 9-12

Genre: sports drama

Synopsis: from Amazon.com

Growing up in the Bronx and playing Little League baseball in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, it’s no surprise that 12-year-old Michael Arroyo loves baseball, especially the New York Yankees, even though he can’t afford to buy a ticket to watch them play. Michael’s the best Little League pitcher in the district, and seems destined to lead his all-star team to the championship game, which will be held inside Yankee Stadium, with a trip to the Little League World Series on the line. But all that changes when a jealous rival coach challenges whether Michael is as young as he claims in this novel by Mike Lupica (Philomel, 2006). Placed on the sidelines, Michael desperately tries to find a way to get his birth certificate from Cuba while at the same time keeping social services from finding out that he and his older brother are living on their own following the recent death of their beloved papi. Michael needs all the help he can get from his best friend Manny and from a beautiful, mysterious girl he meets at the baseball field.

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Crooked River by Shelley Pearsall

Crooked PictureAuthor: Shelley Pearsall

Publisher: Knopf

Hardcover: 256 pages

Reading level: ages 9-12

Syopsis: From goodreads.com

When twelve-year old Rebecca Carter’s father brings a Native American accused of murder into their 1812 Ohio settlement town, Rebecca, witnessing the town’s reaction to the Indian, struggles with the idea that an innocent man may be convicted and sentenced to death.

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Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not BuddyAuthor: Christopher Paul Curtis

Publisher: Laurel Leaf

Paperback: 272 pages

Reading level: ages 9-12

Genre: family drama

Synopsis: from Goodreads.com

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father–the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

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Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Walk Two MoonsAuthor: Sharon Creech

Publisher: Harpercollins Children’s Books

Genre: family drama

Synopsis:

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech is a story within a story – the story of grandparents and narrator Sal on a road trip to visit her mom for her birthday, as well as Sal’s telling of her friend Phoebe’s story. It’s a story of two girls, two mothers, mysteries, humor and heartbreak.

Creech is an expert at capturing her character’s unique voices – but in this novel, what’s more alluring is the web that this story takes.

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Black Storm Comin’ by Diane L. Wilson

BlacAuthor: Diane L. Wilson

Publisher: McElderry

Paperback: 240 pages

Genre: western

Synopsis:

The opening line to this book is just as chilling as “Where’s Papa going with the axe?”. I haven’t read such a titillating first line in a while! It starts: “On the morning of September 16, 1860, my pa shot me.”

It’s a story of a young boy’s courage, determination and perseverance – good lessons for young tweens.

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Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

BeforeAuthor: Julia Alvarez

Publisher: Laurel Leaf

Paperback: 192 pages

Genre: historical non-fiction

Synopsis:

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez is the story of Anita de la Torre, a twelve-year-old girl living in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Although her family lives in a family compound, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States because of their suspected opposition to the dictator, El Jefe. The adults around her are trying to keep their secret meetings from her, but she still finds herself a part of frightening events.

This little historical fiction just took me by surprise. I didn’t think I could really get so pulled in by this young narrator, but the story is so poignant and the voice of Anita is so raw. I wanted her to find her wings. I wanted her to get the boy. I wanted her to have something to dream about.

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