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):
Grade 7 students will have a choice of reading one of four different books: The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz, The Pants Project by Cat Clarke, Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, or New Kid by Jerry Craft.
As you read, be thinking about how the story is a mirror (Where do you see yourself and your experience reflected?) or a window (How is this story giving you a glimpse into another person’s experience?).
The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz
From baseball’s beginnings in old New York through the Civil War, the birth of professional baseball, the women’s league of the 40s, the Cold War, and into the 2000s, The Brooklyn Nine follows nine generations of kids in one family as they experience the ups and downs of baseball and American history.
The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
"My name is Liv (Not Olivia)... I'm not technically a girl. I'm Transgender. Which is a bit like being a transformer. Only not quite as cool because I probably won't get to save the world one day."
Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school's terrible dress code, he can't even wear pants. Only skirts.
Operation: Pants Project begins! The only way for Liv to get what he wants is to go after it himself. But to Liv, this isn't just a mission to change the policy--it's a mission to change his life. And that's a pretty big deal. Visit Cat Clarke’s website.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there's no delete button. She's the smartest kid in her whole school-but NO ONE knows it. Most people-her teachers and doctors included-don't think she's capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can't. She can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write.
Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind - that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewel
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
“In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist—we must be ANTI-RACIST.” —Angela Davis
Explore identities, true histories, and anti-racism work in twenty carefully laid-out chapters. This book is written so young people will feel empowered to stand up to others when necessary. It will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it.
The Grade 8 team is excited to read this book together. We will use it to gather common understandings. Thus, this book is part of defining and creating our inclusive community.
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!