Summer reading and learning
The purpose of summer reading in the middle school is to promote literacy by engaging students with meaningful texts during their summer break. In addition, summer reading provides a common experience with a text which students will explore further in their advisories or classes at the start of the new school year.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.
Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much...
About the author
- Visit Rob Buyea's Website or Facebook Page
- 13 Questions & Answers with Rob Buyea from Random Acts of Reading
- NPR interviews the author:
- Frequently asked questions about the book with answers from the author
Character descriptions of the eight characters/storytellers (PDF)
Discussion questions by chapter (PDF):
Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window.
- Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop
Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh
What can I learn about others and the world by looking deeply into characters?
Was this book a window or a mirror for you? Why?
What new insights did I learn about the world from reading this book?
The Curious Incident in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective and narrator is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a great deal about math and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colors yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbor's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down. Length: 280 pages
It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying in the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shear’s house. Its eyes were closed. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog. The points of the fork must have gone all the way through the dog and into the ground because the fork had not fallen over. I decided that the dog was probably killed with the fork because I could not see any other wounds in the dog and I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer for example, or a road accident. But I could not be certain about this.
- Mark Haddon's website full of interesting details about the author.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother's love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unforgiving father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily chooses to flee with her. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as about the mystery surrounding her mother. Length: 333 pages
At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks in my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a highpitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin. I watched their wings shining like bits of chrome in the dark and felt the longing build in my chest. The way those bees flew, not even looking for a flower, just flying for the feel of the wind, split my heart down to its seam.
With summer programming currently limited, uncertain or perhaps even canceled, we encourage you to explore online activities that exercise your brain, pique your curiosity, and inspire new adventures!