Medford Public Schools

2011 Summer Reading Assignment
(For Students Entering Grade 6)

Dear Grade 6 Student: We are looking forward to meeting you soon! As a student who is entering the sixth grade at the John J. McGlynn or the Madeline Duggar Andrews Middle School you are required to read two books from the summer reading list. During the first week of school, you will be required to write an essay demonstrating your knowledge of the two books. It is suggested—but not required—that you take notes about the books as you read. You should be familiar with the plots of the books, the main characters, the settings, and other key features. This essay will become a portion of your first quarter grade in English Language Arts. We hope you have a wonderful summer. Happy Reading!

The Grade 6 English Language Arts Teachers at the Andrews Middle School and the McGlynn Middle School

GRADE 6 SUMMER READING LIST A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck Set during the years 1929-1942, and told in eight engaging episodes, this fresh and funny novel recounts a boy and his sister's annual summer trips to rural Illinois to visit their eccentric grandmother. Grandma Dowdel, a remarkable larger-than-life character, continually astounds her "city-slicker" grandchildren with her nonconformist behavior and her gutsy, take-charge attitude. Reading Level: Average A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel return for more astonishing, laugh-out-loud adventures when fifteen-year-old Mary Alice moves in with her spicy grandmother for the year. Her extended visit is filled with moonlit schemes, romances both foiled and founded, and a whole parade of fools made to suffer in unusual (and always hilarious) ways. Winner of the 2001 Newbery Medal and Winner of the Newbery Medal Notable Children’s Recording (American Library Association). Reading Level: Average Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis 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. Winner of the 2000 Newbery Medal, and the 2000 Coretta Scott King Award. Reading Level: Average Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell In the Pacific, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea birds abound. Karana is the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Hers is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery. Winner of the Newbery Medal. Reading Level: Average Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, hyperactive Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts feeling wired. One mishap after another leads Joey first from his regular classroom to special education classes and then to a special education school. Finally, with medication, counseling, and positive reinforcement, Joey triumphs, in this comic, compassionate, and compelling tale. Reading Level: Average Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a trolley accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run-and not just run away, but run. And this is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats. Reading Level: Average

Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan Charlotte Parkhurst, known as Charley, spent most of her life masquerading as a man. Raised in an orphanage where she is the only girl, she is prevented from being adopted by the staff, who put her to work in the kitchen. Her own predilection is to be with the horses and the elderly man who cares for them. Vern's tales of escaping slavery are the seeds of Charlotte's own desperate bid for freedom after her only other friend is adopted. Her knack with horses soon enables the disguised Charley to pursue her dream of driving a stagecoach. She does it so well that she is admired and sought after, and is offered the opportunity to earn a livelihood in the California gold fields. Many trials arise, including the loss of sight in her left eye, but throughout, Charlotte remembers her friends, works hard and persistently, and fulfills her ambitions, culminating in her voting in a presidential election. Recipient of Parenting Magazine 's Reading Magic Award for 1998's Most Outstanding Children's Books and the San Francisco Chronicle 's Best Books of 1998. Reading Level: Average Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan Jake Semple is notorious. Rumor has it he burned down his old school and got kicked out of every school in his home state. Only one place will take him now, and that's a home school run by the Applewhites, a chaotic and hilarious family of artists. The only one who doesn't fit the Applewhite mold is E.D. — a smart, sensible girl who immediately clashes with the unruly Jake. Jake thinks surviving this one will be a breeze…but is he really as tough or as bad as he seems? Reading Level: Average A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park Tree-ear is an orphan boy in a 12th-century Korean potters’ village. When he accidentally breaks a pot, he must work for the master to pay for the damage by setting off on a difficult and dangerous journey that will change his life forever. Reading Level: Above Average The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimenez A collection of twelve short stories presented from the perspective of a young boy, in which the author narrates his childhood experiences growing up in a family of Mexican migrant farmworkers. Reading Level: Above Average Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service. Reading Level: Above Average Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli She's as magical as the desert sky. As strange as her pet rat. As mysterious as her own name. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of "Stargirl, Stargirl." She captures Leo Borlock's heart with just one

smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students are enchanted. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different. And Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her— normal. Reading Level: Above Average The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-old legend — two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms. Reading Level: Challenging The Islander by Cynthia Rylant (Students need permission to read this book from their previous ELA teacher or Special Education Teacher) When Daniel’s parents die, he goes to live with his grandfather on a remote gray island off British Columbia. Together, they live a lonely life, hardly talking to anyone. One day, Daniel meets a mermaid and the loneliness lifts from his life. He returns to the shore hoping to find her again but instead receives a shell. Daniel discovers an old key in side the shall and he believes its from the mermaid. What will this magical key unlock? Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman (Students need permission to read this book from their previous ELA teacher or Special Education Teacher) A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha's heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil's dad, who sees a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Maricela, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead. In this book, thirteen very different voices — old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful — tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.

Grade 6
Directions: Complete the worksheet below in order to prepare for the book project that you will complete for your summer reading. First Book Title and author: Title and author: Second Book

Main character’s name and description:

Main character’s name and description:

Setting (time and place of the story):

Setting (time and place of the story):

Three important things that happen in the book:

Three important things that happen in the book:

Did you like the book? Hate the book? Why?

Did you like the book? Hate the book? Why?

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