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Summer Reading & School Supplies

Please note – we are always available to assist with supplies should the need arise – Please call the main office

Summer reading assignments and required school supplies are organized by grade below. 

Summer Reading & School Supplies - 4th Grade

Grade 4 2022-23 - "SuggestedSchool Supply List

  • 2 boxes of #2 Pencils 
  • 2 Packs Erasers (regular or caps) 
  • 2 boxes of art supplies are mandatory, as we use them often (colored pencils, markers, or crayons)
  • 1 Glue Stick
  • 1 Box of Tissues 
  • 1 Soft Pencil Pouch 
  • 3 Notebooks (single subject) 
  • 4 Pocket Folders (1 for Spanish, 1 for HW, 1 for each class desk)
  • Headphones with an Audio Jack (no wireless headphones)

Please write your student’s name on all supplies and send them on the first day of school.

For your convenience, a supply list has been created at Amazon.com. Feel free to use  the following link to purchase your supplies: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2FOLTUEW9Q8

**Please note, this link is provided for you convenience, students are not required to purchase from this  link.

CLICK HERE to Download the List

Summer Reading List

The books listed below support and reinforce the concepts and skills taught within the current classroom reading program throughout the school year.

To read a book review and summary, please visit the following websites and enter the book title: Follett Titlewave Resources https://www.titlewave.com/ for review sources (requires logging in), amazon.com, School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/, or Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/kirkusreviews/index.jsp.

Entering 4th Grade:   

The Pepins and Their Problems   - Horvath
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 4.5
Kirkus starred (July 15, 2004)
Horvath puts a distinctive and decidedly hilarious spin on the "problem novel" with this chronicle of a family's unusual (to say the least) mishaps. She also carries the metafictional conceits of Allen Ahlberg's Better Brown Stories (1995) and such a step further-for not only does she converse with her characters, she invites readers to chime in psychically from wherever they may be, duly recording any suggestions she "receives," along with their towns of origin. Poor Pepins: if it's not a rash of toads in their shoes, or a cow who's suddenly giving lemonade when it's cheese that's in short supply, it's Mrs. Pepin's latest crying jag, or the mysterious disappearance of all the tableware. Young readers won't be able to turn the pages fast enough to discover the Pepins' newest predicament, to find out its seldom-obvious cause, to check out the reader comments winging in from the likes of Boring, MD, Forks of Cacapon, WV, and other real places-but mostly to meet the Pepins, part Bagthorpes, part fugitives from Chelm, and their fittingly quirky neighbors, all of whom are rendered in Hafner's sunny, simply drawn cartoons. A delight.

Star Jumper    - Asch
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 4.1
School Library Journal (June 1, 2006)
Self-styled genius Alex has had it with his little brother. Jonathan is always hanging around-asking weird questions, messing with Alex's stuff, and generally being a pest. Mom says it's all just normal sibling rivalry, but Alex decides there is only one thing to do-leave Earth-and Jonathan-forever. Using his astounding scientific ability-plus lots of grocery boxes, duct tape, and assorted bits of junk, Alex designs the Star Jumper. This advanced cardboard spacecraft will take him across the galaxy to a brother-free planet-if only he can keep the first grader out of the way until liftoff. The first-person narration is lively and realistic, bouncing between mock scientific jargon and exasperated brother-speak. The short text is illustrated with sketches from Alex's invention notebook, including carefully labeled diagrams of the ship and its high-tech, recycling-bin gadgetry. More gently tongue-in-cheek than Dan Greenburg's irreverent "Zack Files" (Grosset & Dunlap), this early chapter book is a good choice for younger science-fiction fans.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Judy Moody - McDonald
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 3.6
School Library Journal (July 2000)
Judy Moody is grumpy. She hates the thought of summer ending and dreads starting third grade, until her new teacher asks each student to create a "Me" collage to share with the class. Then she can't wait to tell about her new pet-a Venus flytrap that eats bugs and hamburger, the T.P. (Toad Pee) Club initiation, and how she ate a shark over the summer. Judy's second-grade brother Stink and her friend Rock are major figures in the story as is her nemesis, Frank Pearl. Judy is independent, feisty, and full of energy, a delightful new character for beginning chapter-book readers. Reynolds has captured her personality in his humorous illustrations done in watercolor, tea, and pen and ink

The Charm Bracelet (Fairy Realm Series Book1) - Rodda
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 4.4
Publishers Weekly (February 10, 2003)
Rodda (Rowan of Rin series) launches the Fairy Realm series with this taut, engaging fantasy tale. Jessie visits her maternal grandmother, Jessica, at Blue Moon, a rambling old house with a "secret garden" where Jessie feels safe and peaceful. For five years, the woman has lived alone, since the death of her husband, a renowned artist who painted scenes featuring castles, fairy princesses, elves and miniature horses. Jessie shares more with her grandmother than a name: each always seems to know how the other is feeling. Suddenly Jessie becomes aware that her grandmother, who has been weakened by a fall, is in some kind of grave trouble and that she must help her. Following a voice beckoning her to the secret garden one night, Jessie is transported to a fairyland that she recognizes from one of her grandfather's paintings-his last. Rodda deftly fits together the pieces of a creatively complex puzzle whose fragments include a missing charm bracelet, a cloak that renders the wearer invisible and a secret spell that must be used-once in a blue moon-to renew the magic in the land of Jessica's birth. Despite what sound like familiar elements, an intriguing plot and appealing characters make this a sure choice for budding fantasy fans. Readers will likely wish to accompany Jessie on her second adventure, The Flower Fairies, due out the same month.

Miss Daisy is Crazy - Gutman
Interest level: 1-4
Reading level: 4.0
Booklist (September 1, 2004 (Vol. 101, No. 1)
Second-grader A. J. hates school, but he has to admit that Miss Daisy isn't like any teacher he has had before. She enjoys watching TV and eating chocolate just like A. J., and she is always asking her students for help solving problems in math and spelling. She also takes A. J.'s suggestion to turn the school into a video-game arcade seriously. Principal Klutz agrees to "rent out"the school for a night (and wear a gorilla suit) if the children read a million pages. Can they do it? The humorous, simply written story, first in the My Weird School series, gets its zest largely from A. J.'s lively, first-person commentary on school life and legend. Reluctant students will have no trouble relating to A. J., and breezy Miss Daisy illustrates how respecting kids and balancing learning with fun can produce positive results. The occasional cartoon line drawings are a good fit.

Additional Reading Ideas

  • Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (The Baby-Sitters Club Series #2) by Ann M. Martin
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, Garth Williams (illus.)
  • Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret
  • Fudge-a-Mania by Judy Blume
  • The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, Brock Cole (illus.)
  • Jacob Two - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (illus.)
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (illus.)
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • My Teacher Is an Alien by Bruce Coville, Mike Wimmer (illus.)
  • Native American Doctor, The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte by Jeri Ferris
  • Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe DeClements
  • The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson, Gerald L. Holmes (illus.)
  • Time for Andrew, A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Summer Reading & School Supplies - 5th Grade

5th Grade 2022-23 - Please bring these items to your homeroom teacher on the first day of school.

  • Coley/Ruffenach
    ● 1 Soft Pencil Case HERE
    ● Pencils
    ● 1 Plastic Folder HERE
    ● 4 notebooks HERE
    ● 1 pack of crayons (16 or 24 pack)
    ● 1 pair of Earbuds or headphones
    ● Optional: individual tissue packs and hand sanitizer.

  • Nunan/Pepe
    ● 20 #2 Pencils
    ● 1 pair of headphones
    ● 2 boxes of tissues
    ● 1 inch binder
    ● 1 marble notebook
    ● 1 folder

    *these links are just suggestions of what the supplies look like, you can buy at other stores.

**Please note – we are always available to assist with supplies should the need arise – Please call the main office**

CLICK HERE to Download the List

Summer Reading List

The books listed below support and reinforce the concepts and skills taught within the current classroom reading program throughout the school year.

To read a book review and summary, please visit the following websites and enter the book title: Follett Titlewave Resources https://www.titlewave.com/ for review sources (requires logging in), amazon.com, School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/, or Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/kirkusreviews/index.jsp.

Entering 5th Grade:

Whittington - Armstron
Interest level: 3-6 
Reading level: 3.8
Kirkus starred (July 1, 2005)
Into Bernie's barn, filled with castoff animals he has either actively collected or hasn't the heart to refuse, wanders Whittington the cat, an ugly bruiser of a tom who seeks community. Abby and Ben, Bernie's grandchildren, also seek refuge in the barn; they live with him because their mother is dead and they don't know where their father is. Over the course of seasons, from winter till fall, Whittington tells the story of his namesake, Dick Whittington, and his famous cat. Entwined with Whittington's storytelling is Ben's struggle to learn to read, and the commitment of both humans and animals to his success. The magic that allows Abby and Ben and the animals to talk to each other is understated and assumed, unremarkable. What is remarkable is the compelling quality of both characterization and story. Even as the youthful exploits of the long-dead Lord Mayor of London bring together friend and foe in the barn, the finely drawn characters and the small-scale but no less monumental struggle of Ben to read keep the pages turning. It's a lovely paean to the power of story and the words that carry it along.

Chasing Vermeer - Balliet
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 5.4
Kirkus starred (May 15, 2004)
Art, intrigue, and plenty of twists and turns make this art mystery a great read. Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay set out to find the connection between their teacher (a freewheeling constructivist teacher), the eccentric woman in their neighborhood, the bookstore owner, and an international art thief. Balliett intersperses fascinating information about Johannes Vermeer and his paintings throughout the two friends' quest to solve the mystery-a mystery layered with pentominoes (a mathematical tool consisting of 12 pieces), puzzling clues, and suspicious strangers. Helquist's detailed black-and-white chapter illustrations hold hidden messages, clues related to the pentominoes, and more puzzles. Fans of E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler or Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game will find equal pleasure in this debut by a talented writer.

The Year of the Dog - Lin
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 4.8
Booklist starred (January 1, 2006 (Vol. 102, No. 9)
Gr. 3-5. When Lin was a girl, she loved the Betsy books by Carolyn Hayward, a series about a quintessentially American girl whose days centered around friends and school. But Lin, a child of Taiwanese immigrants, didn't see herself in the pages. Now she has written the book she wished she had as a child. Told in a simple, direct voice, her story follows young Grace through the Year of the Dog, one that Grace hopes will prove lucky for her. And what a year it is! Grace meets a new friend, another Asian girl, and together they enter a science fair, share a crush on the same boy, and enjoy special aspects of their heritage (food!). Grace even wins fourth place in a national book-writing contest and finds her true purpose in life. Lin, who is known for her picture books, dots the text with charming ink drawings, some priceless, such as one picturing Grace dressed as a munchkin. Most of the chapters are bolstered by anecdotes from Grace's parents, which connect Grace (and the reader) to her Taiwanese heritage. Lin does a remarkable job capturing the soul and the spirit of books like those of Hayward or Maud Hart Lovelace, reimagining them through the lens of her own story, and transforming their special qualities into something new for today's young readers.

Yellow Star: - Roy
Interest level: 4-8
Reading level: 5.2
School Library Journal (July 1, 2006)
In thoughtful, vividly descriptive, almost poetic prose, Roy retells the true story of her Aunt Syvia's experiences in the Lodz Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The slightly fictionalized story, re-created from her aunt's taped narrative, is related by Syvia herself as a series of titled vignettes that cover the period from fall, 1939, when she is four years old, until January 1945-each one recounting a particular detail-filled memory in the child's life (a happy-colored yellow star sewn on her favorite orange coat; a hole in the cemetery where she hides overnight with her Papa). The book is divided into five chronological sections-each with a short factual introduction to the period covered. An appended author's note tells what happened to Syvia's family after the war. A time line of World War II, beginning with the German invasion of Poland, is also included. This gripping and very readable narrative, filled with the astute observations of a young child, brings to life the Jewish ghetto experience in a unique and memorable way. This book is a standout in the genre of Holocaust literature.

Rules - Lord
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 4.5
Library Media Connection (October 2006)
Catherine's younger brother, David, is autistic. She wants so badly for him to be "normal" that she makes up rules for him. While Catherine is struggling with her feelings about David, she meets Jason, a wheelchair-bound young man who communicates by pointing at word cards in a notebook. Catherine loves to draw and notices that Jason needs a larger and more colorful vocabulary. She makes him some new words, and their friendship begins. Catherine eventually comes to terms with her feelings of shame about David and about being seen with Jason after a confrontation with Jason at his birthday party. The first-person narrative is very engaging, and readers will identify with Catherine's struggles and cheer for her at the end. This is a great book to help students gain some understanding about autism, while also providing a good read. The author is the mother of an autistic child. Recommended.

Additional Reading Ideas

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly, and it's lucky for Sophie that he is. Whisked off to giant land, Sophie is shocked and horrified by the BFG's repulsive neighbors. 
Theme - Changing Worlds

The center of the cafeteria is Krista's realm and Lauren knows that aside from looks, money, and being the ultimate "Don't You Wish You Were Me" girl, Krista's got something else Lauren will never have - confidence. That is, until Celeste arrives and changes everything.
Theme - Changing Worlds

It Only Looks Easy
Before the first day of seventh grade is over, Kate's year is nearly ruined. Her beloved dog is run over by a car and Kat reacts impulsively, doing the wrong things for the right reasons. Suddenly, she is looked at differently by the kids in school, by the principal, and even the police.
Theme - Conflict

Nerd No More
Wiggie Carter wants desperately to be cool and he's willing to get into serious trouble to do it.
Theme - Changing Worlds

This captivating novel provides an intimate glimpse into Sacajawea's legendary journey, when, at age sixteen, she is asked to join Lewis and Clark in their expedition to explore the land from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean.
Theme - Coming of Age

Sarah Bishop
The tale of a girl's strength and courage during the American Revolution.
Theme - Coming of Age

Time Pieces
A beautiful coming of age story - 11 year old Valena, lives in the past and present as she struggles with the racism in her daily life and listens to and learns from her mother's tales of her proud family history.
Theme - Coming of Age

Freedom Train
Harriet Tubman risked her life helping other slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Theme - Conflict

Across Five Aprils
Young Jethro Creighton grows from a boy to a man when he is left to take care of the family farm in Illinois during the difficult years of the Civil War. 
Theme - responsibility

Challenge at Second Base
Tempted to quit the team when his rival for second base looks too tough to beat, Stan sticks it out after receiving a mysterious note.  
Theme - Courage

Cricket in Times Square
The adventures of a country cricket who unintentionally arrives in New York and is befriended by Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat. 
Theme - friendship

Dicey's Song
New beginnings

Gentle Annie
Dedication; courage

Green Book, The
As their small stock of essential supplies dwindles, a group of refugees from earth struggle to make their strange new planet provide life's necessities. 
Theme - courage; survival

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Friendship; conflict; being different

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a tough 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.
Theme - redemption; self-discovery

House of Dies Drear
A black family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.  
Theme - determination; supernatural experience

How to Eat Fried Worms
A black family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.  
Theme - determination; supernatural experience

Johnny Tremain
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. 
Theme - overcoming a handicap; determination

Just My Luck
Ten-year-old Olivia, lonesome for her best friend who moved away, meets a funny-looking boy who joins in her obsessive quest for a dog. 
Theme - friendship; growing up; changing

Miracle Worker, The
One of the most beautiful and heartfelt dramas of our time, this is the inspiring story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan--The Miracle Worker.
Theme - overcoming a handicap; struggle

Numbering All the Bones
It is 1864. The Civil War is coming to an end, and Southern slaves are slowly gaining their freedom. But for 13-year-old Eulinda, a house slave on a plantation in Kentucky, it is the most difficult time of her life. Her younger brother, falsely accused of stealing, has been sold. Then her older brother Neddy runs away. And Eulinda is left alone in a household headed by a cruel mistress-and a master who will not acknowledge that Eulinda is his daughter. 
Theme - changes; conflict

On My Honor
When his best friend drowns while they are both swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience.   
Theme - guilt; growing up

River, The
Because of his success surviving alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days, fifteen-year-old Brian, profoundly changed by his time in the wild, is asked to undergo a similar experience to help scientists learn more about the psychology of survival. 
Theme - survival; determination

Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and through his relationship with his devoted dog Sounder.  
Theme - courage; family dedication

In a series of diary entries, Leigh tells how he comes to terms with his parents' divorce, acquires joint custody of an abandoned dog, and joins the track team at school.
Theme - growing up; changes

Summer of the Swans
Sara is 16. It's her summer vacation and she's depressed except when she's with her mentally challenged brother. When Charlie goes missing what will she do?
Theme - dedication; growing up

True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
As the only passenger, and the only female, on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, thirteen-year-old Charlotte finds herself caught between a murderous captain and a mutinous crew.
Theme - courage

Wolf Rider
After receiving an apparent crank call from a man claiming to have committed murder, fifteen-year-old Andy finds his close relationship with his father crumbling as he struggles to make everyone believe him.  
Theme - changes; struggle

Non-Fiction Reading Ideas

  • Brave Settlers in a New Land
  • From Spain to America
  • Lewis and Clark
  • The Pilgrim's First Year
  • Abraham Lincoln: Great Man, Great Words
  • Exploring a New World
  • Thomas Jefferson: A Man of Ideas
  • Early Americans
  • Jamestown
  • Learning About the First Americans
  • Paul Revere's Midnight Ride
  • His Name Was Amerigo
  • Starting America: Thomas Jefferson and His Writings
  • Vespucci Sails for America
  • Exploring with Amerigo Vespucci
  • The Jamestown Colony
  • Paul Revere and the American Revolution
  • Women of the Civil War
  • Archaeologists Explore Early America
  • Conflict in the Colonies

Summer Reading & School Supplies - 6th Grade

6th Grade 2022-23 Supply List

Needed for All Classes:

  • Headphones or earbuds that should be left in backpack
  • Coloring Tools (either crayons or colored pencils)
  • Pre-sharpened pencils and eraser

Please Bring To Homeroom: 2 boxes of tissues

Language Arts

  • 3-Ring Binder(1 1⁄2 inches) HERE for ELA ONLY
  • (5) binder dividers HERE 
  • Spiral Notebook, 1 Subject, College Ruled Paper, 100 Sheets, 11" x 8-1/2" HERE for ELA ONLY
  • 5 different colored highlighters HERE


  • 1 Notebook for SCIENCE only (70 pages or less)
  • 1 Folder for SCIENCE only


  • 2 subject math notebook HERE for MATH ONLY (or two one subject notebooks)
  • 1 folder for MATH only
  • 8 Digit Display Calculators are needed for each student both in school and at home - please no
    scientific or graphing calculators. See HERE
  • Pencils, pencils, pencils!

Social Studies

  • See what is needed for ALL classes

For your convenience, a supply list has been created at Amazon.com. Feel free to use the following link to purchase your supplies: bit.ly/OCIS6th

**Please note – we are always available to assist with supplies should the need arise – Please call the main office**

CLICK HERE to Download the List

Summer Reading List

The books listed below support and reinforce the concepts and skills taught within the current classroom reading program throughout the school year.

To read a book review and summary, please visit the following websites and enter the book title: Follett Titlewave Resources https://www.titlewave.com/ for review sources (requires logging in), amazon.com, School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/, or Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/kirkusreviews/index.jsp.

Entering 6th Grade:

Never Mind: A Twin Novel - Avi
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 6.0
School Library Journal (May 1, 2004)
Gr 5-7-Seventh-grade twins Edward and Meg are the first to proclaim that they are as different as night and day; Edward is a puny free spirit who attends an "alternative" middle school, while Meg is a control freak with low self-esteem. The twins take turns telling the story of how Meg's desire to fit in with the popular girls in her elite school and Edward's inability to resist taking his sister down a peg result in a fabrication of monstrous proportions. Soon everyone at Meg's school thinks she has a tall, gorgeous, rock star brother named Ted, a fiction that Edward (unbeknownst to Meg) encourages by impersonating Ted on the phone. The voices of the twins are eerily realistic and convincing, from Edward's choppy, casual comments on life to Meg's anguished ruminations. The readiness of most characters to believe whatever people tell them, leading to ludicrous misunderstandings, requires a willing suspension of disbelief, but the way events rapidly spin out of control makes this an enticing read for boys and girls alike. The climax, during which Edward's makeshift band does NOT suddenly become the next Nirvana, is hysterically funny and over-the-top, yet completely realistic. The twins' dawning tolerance and appreciation of one another at the end is a little pat considering their earlier violent antipathy, but also quite a relief. Light, fun, and sure to be popular.

The Boggart - Cooper
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 6.0
School Library Journal (January 1993)
Gr 4-7-- The Volnik family inherits a rundown old castle on an island off Scotland and visits their new property. After returning home, 12-year-old Emily and 10-year-old Jessup notice strange things happening. Their detective work eventually discloses the cause--a mischievous boggart has accidentally become trapped in a piece of furniture the family shipped home to Canada. Unfortunately, no adults believe them. The children claim innocence on Halloween night as pieces of furniture fly through the air and a bucket of water soaks their mother. Eventually, the boggart's pranks begin to cause serious problems; he becomes intrigued with the power of electricity, and causes a traffic accident that lands Emily in the hospital. Finally, he learns to communicate with the children by computer, causing the message-- ''I want to go to my own country''--to appear in Gaelic on Jessup's screen. When he gets trapped in a black hole in a computer space-adventure game, the youngsters devise a daring, risky, and ultimately successful plan to help the boggart return home. The novel is fleshed out with numerous, vividly realized secondary characters, including various actors at the Chervil Playhouse, where Mr. Volnik is artistic director, as well as the novel's true villain, Dr. Stigmore, a psychiatrist and a parapsychology scholar who insists that Emily is a troubled adolescent in need of hospitalization. The intelligently thought-out clash between the ancient folkloric creature and modern science guarantees a wide audience. A lively story, compelling from first page to last, and a good bet for a read-aloud.

Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 5.9
Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live forever--isn't that everyone's ideal? For the Tuck family, eternal life is a reality, but their reaction to their fate is surprising. Award winner Natalie Babbitt outdoes herself in this sensitive, moving adventure in which 10-year-old Winnie Foster is kidnapped, finds herself helping a murderer out of jail, and is eventually offered the ultimate gift--but doesn't know whether to accept it. Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever--in the reader's imagination. An ALA Notable Book. 

The Hero Revealed(The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy): - Boniface
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 5.6
Booklist starred (February 1, 2006 (Vol. 102, No. 11)
Gr. 5-8. Stanley subtly twists strands of the Cinderella story until it's something quite new and fine. A baby girl, Bella, is born to a mother who dies in childbirth. Bella's furious father sends her away to be raised among peasants, where she is befriended by Julian, a prince, a fourth son who has no place in his family. When they are both teenagers, Julian treats Bella cruelly; then he is sent away to a warring kingdom as a hostage for peace. Soon after, Bella is recalled by her father and finds herself unhappily living with him and his new family, including a stepsister who is a handmaiden at the palace. It is from this young woman that Bella learns about an invasion that will bring about Julian's death, which Bella is determined to prevent. Each character steps forward to tell pieces of the story, a device that enlivens the tale (though in one or two instances, it's hard to distinguish between the voices of Bella and her stepsister). What raises this above other re-created fairy tales is the quality of the writing, dotted with jeweled description and anchored by the strong values--loyalty, truth, honor. Stanley helps readers understand nobility, not in the sense of aristocracy, but as it signifies dignity and decency. The gilt-and-red book jacket makes the book look like a wrapped present.

Blood On the River: - Carbone
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 4.8
School Library Journal (July 1, 2006)
Grades 5-7-After attempting to steal back a necklace that belonged to his deceased mother, Samuel Collier is sent to an orphanage run by Reverend Hunt. The 11-year-old joins him on a journey to the New World, serving as a page to Captain John Smith. Samuel's account of the voyage to Virginia, political intrigues among the settlers, and the harrowing first winter of the James Town settlement brings to life figures like Smith, Powhatan, and Pocahontas. Details about food and daily life add realism to the story, and quotes from historical sources begin each chapter. This Samuel is more conflicted than the one in Gail Langer Karwoski's Surviving Jamestown: The Adventures of Young Sam Collier (Peachtree, 2001). His initial selfishness changes as he responds to the reverend, to Smith, and to his new friends. His time in an Indian village and his changing perspectives on the Natives add interest to the story and depth to his character. While the opening chapters move slowly, the pace picks up as Samuel reaches Virginia. This title is a good choice for a tie-in with the 400th anniversary celebrations of Jamestown in 2007.

Additional Reading Ideas

Amalee's world is all out of order. She's used to chaos because of the frequent presence of her father's bantering, bickering group of fun friends. But, when Amalee's dad becomes seriously ill, the chaos takes new form - and the ways of coping come from some very unexpected places.
Theme - Time of Turmoil

Bud, Not Buddy
It is Depression-era Michigan and 10 year old Bud is setting out to find the man he believes to be his father. Bud may be a motherless boy but he's got a few things going for him. Although his mother never told him who his father was, she left some clues. Once he decides to hit the road, nothing can stop him.
Theme - Acceptance

The Egypt Game
Melanie and April invent the Egypt game. Before long, others are drawn to it. They wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on a secret code. Then strange things begin to happen to the players. Has the Egypt game gone too far?
Theme - New Horizons 

The Empty Mirror
Nick is a 13 year old orphan growing up in the wilds of New England in the 1930's when his already troubled life takes a turn for the worse. Blames for a murder, Nick discovers he must confront a ghost who is causing all the mayhem.
Theme - Time of Turmoil

Lily's Crossing
Lily's blissful summer of 1944 comes to a rude halt when her father is drafted into the military. Left alone with her grandmother in the family's summer home in the Rockaways, Lily befriends Albert, a shy Hungarian boy. A refugee from the Nazis, young Albert bears a grief and sadness of his own. Theme - Time of Turmoil

A Long Way from Chicago
Using life in Depression era small town, here are eight thoroughly entertaining stories featuring Grandma Dowdel.
Theme - Time of Turmoil

Heroes Don't Run
This taut adventure adopts the perspective of a 14 year old newly arrived in Hawaii to capture the chaos surrounding the unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Theme - Time of Turmoil

A fictionalized account of the bombing of Hiroshima as seen through the eyes of 12 year old, Sachi. It tells the poignant story of a young girl and a city destroyed by and was healed by the courage to rebuild and survive.
Theme - Time of Turmoil

Private Peaceful
Young Thomas lies about his age and follows his older brother to France to fight in WWI. He lives through the terror of gas attacks and witnesses his childhood friends die beside him.
Theme - Looking Ahead

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time
Stanford must forego celebrity basketball camp for summer school and afternoon tutoring with his enemy, Millicent. Soon they discover they have much in common as they help each other through messy predicaments.
Theme - Change

The First Woman Doctor
A biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor, who founded a woman's hospital and medical college.
Theme - Acceptance

Aesop's Fables
As legend has it, the storyteller Aesop was a slave who lived in ancient Greece during the sixth century B.C. His memorable, recountable fables have brought amusing characters to life and driven home thought-provokingmorals for generations of listeners and modern-day readers.

Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The
The six Herdman children are the meanest, toughest kids in town. So what happens when they take over the church's annual Christmas pageant? They experience the Christmas story for the first time and help everyone elserediscover its true meaning.

Call of the Wild, The
The Call of the Wild centers on Buck, a dog bred for a life of ease on a California estate, who is kidnapped and sold to Klondike gold hunters. To survive the biting cold and his ruthless masters, Buck must listen to the Call and learn the ways of his wolf-ancestors who guide him from within.

Cay, The
When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

Christmas Carol, The
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future.  
Theme - change

Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning offriendship and the importance of family.

An exciting novel of suspense, based on a fight to the finish between an honest and courageous young man and a cynical business tycoon who believes that anything can be had for a price.

Great Gilly Hopkins, The
An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.Friendship, conflict

Let the Circle be Unbroken
Four black children growing up in rural Mississippi during the Depression experience racial antagonisms and hard times, but learn from their parents the pride and self-respect they need to survive.

Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The
Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter. Struggle, relationships

Missing May
After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

Phantom Tollbooth, The
A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.Change; growing up

Sideways Stories from the Wayside School
Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story. Relationships

Sing Down the Moon
A young Navajo girl recounts the events of 1864 when her tribe was forced to march to Fort Sumner as prisoners of the white soldiers. Struggle

Summer of My German Soldier
When German prisoners of war are brought to her Arkansas town during World War II, twelve-year-old Patty, a Jewish girl, befriends one of them and must deal with the consequences of that friendship.

There's a Boy in the Girl's bathroom
Bradley Chalkers may be the weirdest kid in school, but he's not completely hopeless. Self-discovery

Watson's Go to Birmingham, The
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Wave, The
The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long "The Wave," with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action, " sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of "The Wave" and realize they must stop it before it's too late.

Westing Game, The
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

When Legends Die
When his father killed another brave, Thomas Black Bull and his parents sought refuge in the wilderness. There they took up life as it had been in the old days, hunting and fishing, battling for survival. But an accident claimed the father's life and the grieving mother died shortly afterward. Left alone, the young Indian boy vowed never to return to the white man's world, to the alien laws that had condemned his father.

Something Upstairs
When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy who asks Kenny to return with him to the early nineteenth century and prevent his murder by slave traders. Friendship

Non-Fiction Reading Ideas
The Rosetta Stone and the Secret of Hieroglyphics

  • Home of the Brave
  • Rails Across America
  • Cracking the German Code
  • From Sea to Shining Sea
  • Heading West
  • Let the Games Begin: History of the Olympics
  • The Mexican-American War
  • The War at Home
  • A Battle Over Borders
  • Holocaust Rescuers
  • Pompeii: The Lost City
  • Uncovering America's Past
  • The Unsinkable Titanic
  • Crossing America by Rail
  • Pompeii: The Lost City
  • Uncovering America's Past
  • The Unsinkable Titanic
  • Crossing America by Rail
  • Flying Across the Ocean: Yesterday and Today
  • Good Idea! How Inventions Shape Our Lives
  • Innocent Prisoners! Life in a Japanese-American Internment Camp
  • A Shifting Society
  • Spreading Across the Continent
  • Two Great Rivers
  • When Everyone Became a Hero
  • Conflict in the American West
  • Ideas That Shaped Egyptian Life
  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • The United States Goes West
  • Ancient Greece and Modern Culture
  • Ancient Life Along the Nile
  • Buildings in Greece and Rome
  • The Great Depression
  • Life and Beliefs in Ancient Egypt
  • Search for Land, Gold, and a New Life
  • Westward Expansion
  • Building Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Following the Golden Dream
  • Homesteaders in Nebraska
  • From National Geographic
  • The First Civilizations
  • Greek Civilizations
  • Ancient Rome
  • Egypt
  • Greece
  • Rome
  • Voices from America's Past
  • Seeds of Change in American History

Summer Reading & School Supplies - 7th Grade

7th Grade 2022-23 Supply List

Needed for All Classes

  • 3 Glue Sticks HERE
  • 5pk Colored Highlighters HERE 
  • Dry Erase Markers HERE
  • Pencils HERE
  • 2 Boxes of Tissues: Bring to Homeroom
  • Headphones or earbuds that should be left in backpack

Language Arts

  • 1" Binder HERE 
  • Lined Loose Leaf Paper HERE
  • Binder Dividers HERE 
  • 1 Folder HERE
  • 2 Boxes of Tissues


  • 1" Binder HERE
  • 1 One-Subject Spiral Notebook HERE
  • 50 Sheet Protectors HERE
  • 1 Folder HERE


  • 1 Two-Subject Spiral Notebook HERE 
  • 1 Folder HERE 
  • TI-30XIIS Calculator (Recommended not required) HERE

Social Studies

  • 1" Binder HERE
  • Lined Loose Leaf Paper HERE
  • 10 Sheet Protectors HERE
  • 1 Folder HERE

CLICK HERE to Download the List

Summer Reading List

The books listed below support and reinforce the concepts and skills taught within the current classroom reading program throughout the school year.
To read a book review and summary, please visit the following websites and enter the book title: Follett Titlewave Resources https://www.titlewave.com/ for review sources (requires logging in), amazon.com, School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/, or Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/kirkusreviews/index.jsp.

Entering 7th Grade:

The Shamer's Daughter - Kaaberbol
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 5.4
Booklist (April 15, 2004 (Vol. 100, No. 16)
Gr. 6-8. Dina, nearly 11, bitterly resents having inherited her mother's power as a Shamer; she would rather be normal and have friends. When wrongdoers look into the Shamer's eyes, they are forced to face all their hidden, shameful secrets, which the Shamer also sees. After her mother is summoned to Dunark Castle to solve a violent triple murder, Dina, who is misled into believing that her mother needs her, is taken to the castle. There she must use her Shamer's eyes to save both her mother and the accused 17-year-old Nico, who is innocent of the crime. The story involves a dank dungeon and a dark pit of voracious dragons as well as the real villain, who is as vicious as the dragons. This first book in the Shamer Chronicles is a page-turner; readers will eagerly await the next episode.

Weedflower - Kadohata
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 5.4
School Library Journal (July 1, 2006)
Gr 5-8-When Pearl Harbor is attacked, the lives of a Japanese-American girl and her family are thrown into chaos. Sumiko, 12, and her younger brother, Tak-Tak, live with their aunt and uncle, grandfather Jiichan, and adult cousins on a flower farm in Southern California. Though often busy with chores, Sumiko enjoys working with the blossoms, particularly stock, or weedflowers (fragrant plants grown in a field). In the difficult days that follow the bombing, the family members fear for their safety and destroy many of their belongings. Then Uncle and Jiichan are taken to a prison camp, and the others are eventually sent to an assembly center at a racetrack, where they live in a horse stable. When they're moved to the Arizona desert, Sumiko misses the routine of her old life and struggles with despair. New friends help; she grows a garden with her neighbor and develops a tender relationship with a Mohave boy. She learns from him that the camp is on land taken from the Mohave reservation and finds that the tribe's plight parallels that of the incarcerated Japanese Americans. Kadohata brings into play some complex issues, but they realistically dovetail with Sumiko's growth from child to young woman. She is a sympathetic heroine, surrounded by well-crafted, fascinating people. The concise yet lyrical prose conveys her story in a compelling narrative that will resonate with a wide audience.

Al Capone Does My Shirts - Choldenko
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 6.5
Kirkus starred (March 1, 2004)
Moose's world is turned upside down when his family moves to Alcatraz Island where his Dad has taken a job as a prison guard. Super-responsible Moose, big for 12, finds himself caught in the social interactions of this odd cut-off world. He cares for his sister who is older, yet acts much younger due to her autism and he finds his life alternating between frustration and growth. His mother focuses all of her attention on ways to cure the sister; his dad works two jobs and meekly accepts the mother's choices; his fellow island-dwellers are a funny mix of oddball characters and good friends. Basing her story on the actual experience of those who supported the prison in the '30s-when Al Capone was an inmate-Choldenko's pacing is exquisite, balancing the tense family dynamics alongside the often-humorous and riveting school story of peer pressure and friendship. Fascinating setting as a metaphor for Moose's own imprisonment and enabling some hysterically funny scenes, but a great read no matter where it takes place.

Stargirl - Spinelli
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 6.1
Kirkus starred (June 15, 2000)
Newbery-winning Spinelli spins a magical and heartbreaking tale from the stuff of high school. Eleventh-grader Leo Borlock cannot quite believe the new student who calls herself Stargirl. Formerly home-schooled, Stargirl comes to their Arizona high school with a pet rat and a ukulele, wild clothes and amazing habits. She sings "Happy Birthday" to classmates in the lunchroom, props a small glass vase with a daisy on her desk each class, and reenergizes the cheerleading squad with her boundless enthusiasm. But Stargirl even cheers for the opposing team. She's so threatening to the regular ways of her fellows that she's shunned. No one will touch her or speak to her--or applaud her success when she wins a state speech tournament. Leo's in love with her, but finds that if he's with her, he's shunned, too. She loves him enough to try to fit in, but when that fails spectacularly, she illuminates the spring school dance like a Roman candle and disappears. The desert--old bones, flowering cactus, scented silence--is a living presence here. So is the demon of conformity, a teen monster of what's normal, a demon no less hideous because it's so well internalized in us all. Leo chooses normalcy over star stuff, but looking back as an adult he finds Stargirl's presence in a hundred different ways in his own and in his former classmates' lives. Once again Spinelli takes his readers on a journey where choices between the self and the group must be made, and he is wise enough to show how hard they are, even when sweet.

Bella at Midnight: - Stanley
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 6.7
Booklist starred (February 1, 2006 (Vol. 102, No. 11)
Stanley subtly twists strands of the Cinderella story until it's something quite new and fine. A baby girl, Bella, is born to a mother who dies in childbirth. Bella's furious father sends her away to be raised among peasants, where she is befriended by Julian, a prince, a fourth son who has no place in his family. When they are both teenagers, Julian treats Bella cruelly; then he is sent away to a warring kingdom as a hostage for peace. Soon after, Bella is recalled by her father and finds herself unhappily living with him and his new family, including a stepsister who is a handmaiden at the palace. It is from this young woman that Bella learns about an invasion that will bring about Julian's death, which Bella is determined to prevent. Each character steps forward to tell pieces of the story, a device that enlivens the tale (though in one or two instances, it's hard to distinguish between the voices of Bella and her stepsister). What raises this above other re-created fairy tales is the quality of the writing, dotted with jeweled description and anchored by the strong values--loyalty, truth, honor. Stanley helps readers understand nobility, not in the sense of aristocracy, but as it signifies dignity and decency. The gilt-and-red book jacket makes the book look like a wrapped present.

Additional Reading Ideas

Chasing Vermeer
Petra and Calder find themselves in the middle of an international art scandal. Can they use their intuition and knowledge of the painter, Vermeer, to solve a case that has left the FBI baffled?
Theme - Cultural awareness/Acceptance

Chu Ju's House
In China, where law conspires with tradition, a young woman is torn from her family and sent on a remarkable journey. Chu Ju knows that a family may have only two children and one should be a boy. In order to save her newborn sister, she runs away and throughout her journey proves her own worth.
Theme - Cultural Awareness/Acceptance

Escape from Warsaw
Three Polish children try to escape from their war-ravaged home during World War II.
Theme - Survival

An ecological mystery made up of endangered miniature owls, a pancake house scheduled to be built over their burrows, and the owls' unlikely allies - three middle school kids determined to beat the system.
Theme - Change

101 Ways to Bug Your Teacher
Thirteen year old Steve is proud to be known for his fabulous inventions, but unfortunately they are also the reason his parents want him to skip a grade and leave all of his friends behind. Well, there is no way this resourceful boy is going to let that happen.
Theme - Conflict

Room in the Heart
This truth-based novel is told in alternating narratives of two young people. Julie, a Danish Jewish girl, learns that the Germans are rounding up Jews in Denmark and must escape with her family to Sweden while her friend, Niels, joins the resistance.
Theme - Survival

The Thief Lord
In an exciting and magical thriller, a detective searches for two orphaned children who have run away from their horrible aunt and uncle. Hiding in Venice, the children are sheltered by a colorful gang of runaways and street children led by a mysterious young leader.
Theme - Conflict

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Anna was so busy with her schoolwork and friends that she hardly had time to notice Hitler's face glaring out of political posters all over Berlin. But one morning her father was gone, and she and her brother had to sneak out of Germany.
Theme - Survival

Four Perfect Pebbles
Following Hitler's rise to power, the Blumenthal family was trapped in Germany and for over six years was forced to live in refugee, transit, and prison camps.
Theme - survival

A Day No Pigs Would Die
To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he learns "doing what's got to be done," especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
During his third year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter must confront the devious and dangerous wizard responsible for his parents' deaths. 
Theme - Friendship; growing up

Seventh Grade Tango
When Rebecca, a seventh-grader, is paired up with her friend Scott for a dance class at school, she learns a lot about who her real friends are.

Shakespeare Stealer
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare's acting troupe in order to steal the script of "Hamlet," but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.

Shakespeare's Scribe
In plague-ridden 1602 England, a fifteen-year-old orphan boy, who has become an apprentice actor, goes on the road with Shakespeare's troupe, and finds out more about his parents along the way. Growing up

Solitary Blue
Jeff's mother, who deserted the family years before, reenters his life and widens the gap between Jeff and his father, a gap that only truth, love, and friendship can heal.

Tuck Everlasting
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing older.Conflict

 Where the Red Fern Grows
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. Growing up

Navajo Long Walk
The tale of Kee, a young Navajo boy who must face the devastation of his culture. After the soldiers burn their crops and drive away their livestock, the Navajos realize they must follow the soldiers to Fort Sumner or face starvation. All children will benefit from this sensitive story of survival through cooperation.

Non-Fiction Reading Ideas

  • China: Now and Then
  • Let's Explore Antartica
  • Living Abroad
  • China's Gifts to the World
  • Geography Shapes Our World
  • China, America, and Me
  • Sailing for India
  • Africa's Changing Geography
  • Growing Up in China
  • People of the Amazon Rain Forest
  • Quests for Gold
  • Exploring Brazil
  • Colonialism and Native Peoples
  • From National Geographic
  • Africa: Geography and Environments
  • East Africa: Geography and Environments
  • Europe and Russia: Geography and Environments
  • South America: Geography and Environments
  • West Africa: Geography and Environments
  • Africa: People and Places
  • East Asia: People and Places
  • Europe and Russia: People and Places
  • South America: People and Places
  • West Asia: People and Places

Summer Reading & School Supplies - 8th Grade

8th Grade 2022-23 Supply List

General Supplies For All Classes

  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Highlighters
  • Dry erase markers
  • Dry erase eraser
  • (1) Box of Tissues to your homeroom teacher

Language Arts

  • (1) Small Marble Journal
  • (1) 1” Three Ring Binder  
  • (1) Package of Dividers


  • (1) 3-Subject Notebook reserved for daily notes, classwork and homework
  • (1) 3” 3-Ring Binder
  • Folder
  • Calculator Recommended

Math & Algebra 

  • Math
    • Basic scientific calculator (TI-30 suggested)*
  • Algebra
    • TI- 84 graphing calculator **If you do not purchase a calculator one will be provided
    • (1) 1-Subject Notebook
    • (1) Sturdy Plastic Folder
    • (1) Ruler

Social Studies

  • (1) 1⁄2 ” binder
  • (1) 1 subject 8 1⁄2 x 1” notebook
  • 12 pack of crayons

**Please note – we are always available to assist with supplies should the need arise – Please call the main office**

CLICK HERE to Download the List

Summer Reading List

     The books listed below support and reinforce the concepts and skills taught within the current classroom reading program throughout the school year.
    To read a book review and summary, please visit the following websites and enter the book title: Follett Titlewave Resources https://www.titlewave.com/ for review sources (requires logging in), amazon.com, School Library Journal https://www.slj.com, or Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/kirkusreviews/index.jsp.

 Entering 8th Grade:

   Airborn  - Oppel
Interest level: YA (Gr.6-10)
School Library Journal (July 1, 2004)
An original and imaginative Victorian-era fantasy. Matt, 15, only feels alive when he's aloft working as a cabin boy aboard the Aurora, a luxury airship that is part dirigible, part passenger cruise ship. When wealthy Kate and her chaperone come aboard, Matt soon discovers that she is determined to prove her grandfather's claims that he saw strange creatures flying in the sky in that area the year before. The man's diary describes them as huge, furry beasts with batlike wings and sharp claws. Soon after Kate arrives, pirates attack the ship and rob the wealthy passengers. A storm forces the damaged Aurora to set down on a seemingly deserted island. Kate and Matt discover the skeletal remains of one of the creatures, and, later, a live but deformed one that lives among the treetops. In their attempts to photograph "the cloud cat," they stumble upon the pirates' hideout and are captured. Can they escape in time to stop the brigands from stealing the Aurora? Will Kate prove the existence of this undiscovered species? This rousing adventure has something for everyone: appealing and enterprising characters, nasty villains, and a little romance. Oppel provides glimpses of the social conventions of the era, humorous byplay between the main characters, and comic relief in the form of Matt's cabin mate and Kate's straitlaced chaperone.

   So B. It - Weeks
Interest level: 5-8
Interest level: 5.2
Horn Book starred (Fall 2004)
Twelve-year-old Heidi It and her severely mentally disabled mother survive through a combination of good luck and their next-door neighbor's loving attention. An undeveloped roll of old film leads Heidi to embark alone on a risky cross-country quest to answer questions about Mama's past. Narrator Heidi's realistic voice lends authenticity to her unusual circumstances. 

Down the Rabbit Hole - Abrahams
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 6.0
Kirkus Review (April 1, 2005)
Impatient with mother for being late for her ride to soccer, Ingrid Levin-Hill, eighth-grade Sherlock Holmes fan and amateur actress, makes an impulsive decision to walk, inadvertently becoming a witness in the murder case of Cracked-up Katie, the weird lady in the rundown house on the wrong side of town. Ingrid is afraid to come forward with her first-hand knowledge, fearing her parents' reprimand for leaving the neighborhood. Landing the lead role as Alice in the town's playhouse production of "Alice in Wonderland," she becomes more curious about the playhouse's past performers and a possible connection to Katie's youth. As the police investigation gets further away from the truth and the wrong suspects are arrested, Ingrid takes increasingly daring risks to solve the case herself and eliminate the evidence she left behind indicating her own suspicious involvement. Abrahams has crafted a suspenseful page-turning drama complete with misleading clues and gutsy midnight escapades that make for thrilling intrigue right up to the culminating drowning-in-the-river scene. Ingrid's plucky, if not foolhardy, behavior will have readers both rooting and worrying for her simultaneously as she continues, like Alice, to fall deeper and deeper into the mystery's unfolding. Harrowingly absorbing.

Heat - Lupica
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 5.6
Booklist starred (April 1, 2006 (Vol. 102, No. 15)
Michael Arroyo is a 13-year-old Cuban American who lives in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Yes, he is a Little League ballplayer, and, yes, he has a dream: to pitch in the Little League World Series. To do so, his South Bronx All-Stars will need to beat the best the greater New York area has to offer in the regional championship, to be played in--you guessed it--Yankee Stadium. This setup sounds like yet another Rocky meets Bad News Bears tearjerker: the immigrants from the Bronx take on the white-bread rich kids from the suburbs. It is that (with some notable twists), but it's much more, too. Michael and his brother, 17-year-old Carlos, have a problem: their beloved father is dead, and the boys are hoping to avoid a foster home by pretending Papi is visiting a sick relative in Miami. Lupica wrings plenty of genuine emotion from the melodramatic frame story, but he sidesteps the slough of social significance by building characters who speak for themselves, not the author, and by enlivening the story with a teen version of street humor. The dialogue crackles, and the rich cast of supporting characters--especially Michael's battery mate, catcher and raconteur Manny--nearly steals the show. Top-notch entertainment in the Carl Hiaasen mold.

Perfect - Friend
Interest level: 5-8
Reading level: 5.1
School Library Journal (December 1, 2004)
Eighth-grader Isabelle Lee describes her not-so-perfect life. She is dealing with her father's death and her grieving mother by bingeing and purging. On the surface, everything is fine until Isabelle's younger sister catches her in the bathroom making herself throw up. "Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy Group" is the consequence. Isabelle is amazed when she discovers that the most popular girl in her grade is also at the first session. Through encounters in Group and at school, she begins to realize that all is not fine, even for seemingly perfect people. As the book ends, she is not completely cured but is beginning to learn how to deal with her grief in a more positive way by journaling and talking about her feelings. Friend combines believable characters and real-life situations into a fine novel that addresses common adolescent issues. Teenagers, even reluctant readers, will find the outcome satisfying. 

Additional Reading Ideas 

Gathering Blue
Kira, an orphan with twisted legs, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future, but her skill at embroidery saves her. Soon Kira realizes she's surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. And no one must know of her plan to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.
Theme - Choices

Green Angel
On her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, 15 year old Green is haunted by loss. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself, erasing the girl she had once been as she inks darkness into her skin. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green can relearn the lessons of love and begin to heal.
Theme - Conflict

After years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and clatter of ukelel music, enchanting the entire student body. But when the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different.
Theme - Identity

Paul is legally blind and has lived most of his life in the shadow of his older brother, the football playing hero of the family. But when his family moves to Florida, he enters a place where the blind can see and unravels the truth about his menacing and disturbing brother.
Theme - Identity

A small town's encounter with the Klu Klux Klan lies at the heart of the novel. Two young girls, one black and the other Jewish, struggle to maintain a normal childhood in the midst of poverty and prejudice.
Theme - Citizenship

A fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy who feels at odds with aspects of modern life takes a 1400-mile journey by dog sled across ice, tundra, and mountains seeking his own "song" of himself. Growing up; change

Face on the Milk Carton
A photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads Janie on a search for her real identity. Change; growing up; relationships

Child Called It
Dave Pelzer shares his unforgettable story of the many abuses he suffered at the hands of his alcoholic mother and the averted eyes of his neglectful father. Someone with no one to turn to, his dreams barely kept him alive. Through each of his struggles, readers will find themselves enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Fourteen-year-old Harry Potter joins the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup; then enters his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy where he is mysteriously entered in an unusual contest that challenges his wizardly skills,friendships and character, amid signs that an old enemy is growing stronger.

Hobbit, The
The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish. Struggle

Kid who Became President
Judson Moon, age thirteen, is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2001.
Growing up

Pearl, The
For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. Hisdreams blind him to the greed that the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors. Struggle

Tears of a Tiger
The death of high school basketball star Rob Washington in an automobile accident affects the lives of his closefriend Andy, who was driving the car; and many others in the school. Coping


Additional Reading Ideas

Title Author
House of Dies Drear V. Hamilton
Monster Walter Dean Myers
True North Kathryn Lasky
Hoops Walter Dean Myers
Summer of my German Soldier Bette Greene
Last Days of Summer Steve Kruger
The Watsons go to Birmingham -1963 Christopher Paul Curtis
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle AVI
Across Five Aprils Irene Hunt
Lily's Crossing Patricia Reilly Giff
On the Devil's Court Carl Deuker
I Am the Cheese Robert Cormier
Milk Weed Jerry Spinelli
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Ann Brashares

Non-Fiction Reading Ideas

  • Making a Law
  • Our Economy
  • Women Who Made a Difference
  • Signs, Songs, and Symbols of America
  • What It Means to be a Citizen
  • Windows to the Past
  • Economy and How It works
  • Immigrant Children in NYC
  • Law Making in the US
  • Our Government
  • Remembering Our Pasts
  • We Shall Overcome
  • Meet the US Government
  • A Citizen of the US
  • D is for Democracy
  • Famous Women Athletes
  • The Spanish in America
  • The American Economy
  • Choosing Freedom
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • A Nation of Many Colors
  • Time of Change: Women in the Early 20th Century
  • French Roots in America
  • Growing and Changing Cities
  • The Growing and Changing United States
  • People Who Gave the US Constitution
  • Saving an American Symbol
  • Constitution: Protecting Our Rights and Freedoms
  • Equality in American Schools
  • Immigrants at Work
  • Words of Freedom: The US Constitution
  • Authors of Liberty: Writing the US Constitution
  • The Urbanization of America
  • The Women's Movement
  • Freedom of Speech and Assembly in the US