Dear 6th Graders and Parents, 6

Dear 6th Graders and Parents,
6th Grade Book Club will meet once a month, on Tuesdays, starting in October.
Students will have lunch in the library on a designated day each month (schedule to
follow once groups have been assigned) while they discuss the book of the month in
a small group setting. Discussions will be facilitated by volunteer parents. The
included books are those that have been nominated for the Middle School Level of
the 2015-2016 Virginia Reader’s Choice Award as well as two other “must-read”
books recommended by Harmony students and staff for this age group! Upon
conclusion of the program, each student will have a chance to vote for the book
that he/she thinks should win the prestigious Virginia Reader’s Choice (VRC) award.
Our votes will be tallied with all other participating Virginia schools at the annual
Virginia State Reading Association conference in the spring. The Virginia Reader’s
Choice winner will then be awarded! The selections for this year are:
by Mark Goldblatt
Counting by 7s*
by Holly Sloan
Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big
mistake. So when he returns to school after a
weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers
him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about
the terrible incident that got him and his friends
suspended, he can get out of writing a report on
Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so
begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing
up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for
his best friend (with disastrous results), and
worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in
school. Lurking in the background, though, is the
one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one
story his teacher most wants to hear.
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius,
obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical
conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s.
It has never been easy for her to connect with
anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that
hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life...
until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically
changed when her parents both die in a car crash,
leaving her alone in a baffling world.
The Boy on the Wooden
by Leon Leyson
-A remarkable memoir
from Leon Leyson, one of
the youngest children to
survive the Holocaust
Half a Chance*
by Cynthia Lord
The President Has Been
Shot!: The Assassination of
John F. Kennedy*
by James L. Swanson
Prisoner B-3087 *
by Alan Gratz
Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years
old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family
was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With
incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was
able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including
that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of
Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow.
Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of
one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved
Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his
father, and two of his four siblings, by adding
their names to his list of workers in his factory—a
list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.
When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a
lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her
camera's lens, as her father has taught her -- he's
a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her
photos ever meet his high standards? When she
discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy
decides to enter anonymously. She wants to find
out if her eye for photography is really special -or only good enough.
As she seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy
gets to know Nate, the boy next door. But slowly
the camera reveals what Nate doesn't want to see:
his grandmother's memory is slipping away, and
with it much of what he cherishes about his
summers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn
about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy
will learn how beauty can change lives . . . including
her own.
James Swanson transports readers back to one of
the most shocking, sad, and terrifying events in
American history. As he did in his bestselling
Scholastic YA book, CHASING LINCOLN'S
KILLER, Swanson deploys his signature "you are
there" style -- a riveting, ticking-clock pace, with
an unprecedented eye for dramatic details and
impeccable historical accuracy -- to tell the story
of the JFK assassination as it has never been told
Survive. At any cost.
10 concentration camps.
10 different places where you are starved,
tortured, and worked mercilessly.
It's something no one could imagine surviving.
But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.
As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the
mercy of the Nazis who have taken over.
Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have
been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek
himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with
the words PRISONER B-3087.
He is forced from one nightmarish concentration
camp to another, as World War II rages all around
him. He encounters evil he could have never
imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope
Seeing Red*
by Kathryn Erskine
by Michael Morpurgo
Under the Egg*
by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
-From the Mixed-Up Files
of Mrs. Basil E.
Frankweiler meets Chasing
Vermeer in this clever
amid the horror. He just barely escapes death,
only to confront it again seconds later.
Can Yanek make it through the terror without
losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense
of who he really is inside?
Based on an astonishing true story.
Life will never be the same for Red Porter. He's a
kid growing up around black car grease, white
fence paint, and the backward attitudes of the
folks who live in his hometown, Stony Gap, Virginia.
Red's daddy, his idol, has just died, leaving Red
and Mama with some hard decisions and a whole lot
of doubt. Should they sell the Porter family
business, a gas station, repair shop, and
convenience store rolled into one, where the slogan
-- "Porter's: We Fix it Right!" -- has been shouting
the family's pride for as long as anyone can
With Daddy gone, everything's different. Through
his friendship with Thomas, Beau, and Miss
Georgia, Red starts to see there's a lot more than
car motors and rusty fenders that need fixing in
his world.
When Red discovers the injustices that have been
happening in Stony Gap since before he was born,
he's faced with unsettling questions about his
family's legacy.
A stunning and moving new novel from Michael
Morpurgo, the nation's favourite storyteller featuring the bravest dog in all the world! He
tackles a current war with the story of a sniffer
dog named Shadow and an Afghan boy.
When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing
alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she
discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance
masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for
Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s
two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her
unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of
$463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s
grandfather was a security guard at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the
painting may be stolen.
With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo's
search for answers takes her all around
Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the
city—and her grandfather—that she never knew.
To solve the mystery, she'll have to abandon her
hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one
serendipitous friendship at a time.
Zero Tolerance*
by Claudia Mills
by Jude Watson
Rain Reign
by Ann Martin
Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always
been the perfect student, so when she sees that
she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to
school, including a paring knife, she immediately
turns in the knife at the school office. Much to
her surprise, her beloved principal places her in inschool suspension and sets a hearing for her
expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons
policy. While there, Sierra spends time with
Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and
discovers that he's not the person she assumed he
would be--and that the lines between good and bad
aren't as clear as she once thought.
On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a
rooftop to the wet pavement below. It's Alfie
McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he's dying.
As sirens wail in the distance, Alfie manages to get
out two last words to his young son, March: "Find
But March learns that his father is not talking
about a stash of loot. He's talking about Jules, the
twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner
than the two find each other, they're picked up by
the police and sent to the world's worst
orphanage. It's not prison, but it feels like it.
March and Jules have no intention of staying put.
They know their father's business inside and out,
and they're tired of being pushed around. Just one
good heist, and they'll live the life of riches and
freedom most kids only dream about.
Watch out! There are wild kids on the loose and a
crime spree coming . . .
Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an
obsession with homonyms (even her name is a
homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two
homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s
rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost
dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are
practically inseparable. And they are often home
alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a
bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his
special-needs daughter.
Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s
father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to
find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines
and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but
so will Rain’s original owners.
*=Virginia Readers Choice
Book summaries excerpted from
Students across the state participating in the Virginia Reader’s Choice Program
must read a minimum of 4 (out of 10) nominated books to be eligible to vote in
April. Therefore, our 1st four meetings will be dedicated to the VRC program. The
last two meetings will focus on “must-read” books recently recommended by
Harmony students and staff for our 6th graders 
The 6th Grade Book Club program is very popular! The students enjoy breaking
down the stories, looking at them from different perspectives, and making
connections to real life issues. Plus, they get to eat lunch with a small group of
friends who share a common interest- while enjoying a special treat each month!
We encourage your child to take this opportunity to read some amazing books and
share his/her thoughts regarding the books with their peers.
All students wishing to participate should fill out the attached registration form
and return to the Library no later than SEPTEMBER 23rd. You will also see an
order form for the books we will be reading. If you wish to purchase the books,
please fill out the form, attach a check payable to “Harmony Middle School,” and
return it with your order. Our Library has limited copies of each book; these books
will be available on a first come, first serve basis. These books are also available
through the Loudoun County Public Library.
HELP! We need the participation of parents in order to make this program
possible. It is only a 30 minute per month in-school obligation. Discussion materials
and activity ideas will be provided each month and you can either lead a group on
your own or “job-share” with another parent.
Once all applications have been received and we have secured parent volunteers, we
will send home a letter with your child that lists his/her group, group leader with
contact information, and the dates of each meeting.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Wendy Ricci
Harmony Library Media Specialist
(540) 751-2500
Please complete and return by SEPTEMBER 23rd
1. Child’s Name_______________________________________________________
Language Arts Teacher_________________________________________________
Parent’s email address__________________________________________________
(By providing this address, you agree to be added to our Book Club email contact list which will be shared with our
volunteer leaders and club members. It is our primary means of communication for the school year. If you wish to be
contacted another way, please provide the necessary information above.)
2. My child DOES/DOES NOT
(circle one)
have food allergies that would be a concern
during the book club meeting. If so, please specify any
3. Yes, I would like to be a Harmony Book Club Leader!
(This is a rewarding experience for all )
Home Phone________________________Cell Phone__________________________
4. Complete the order form below (many students like to have their own copies of the
books we read
My child will get a copy of each book from the Harmony
library (LIMITED copies available), public library, an eReader, or another way.
5. Make check payable to “Harmony Middle School” and attach check to form.
Please mark the books you would like to order for 6th Grade Book Club:
Counting by 7s
The Boy on the Wooden Box
Half a Chance (only available from source in hardcover)
The President Has Been Shot!: The
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Prisoner B-3087
(only available from source in hardcover)
(only available from source in hardcover)
Seeing Red
(only available from source in hardcover)
Under the Egg
Zero Tolerance
Rain Reign (only available from source in hardcover)