8th Grade - Schoharie Central School

8th Grade Summer Reading
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Research tells us that students need to read during the summer to maintain
their independent reading levels. In the fall, the impact of a student not having
read during the summer months, combined with the fact that many of their
classmates did read during the summer, may result in a reading ability gap that
could potentially widen each year, making it difficult for students to keep up with
grade level reading expectations.
Your child will be reading 2 books and completing the following packet as
summer reading. There are two projects that they need to complete: Reader
Response and Mini Book Report. They will be choosing one project for each book.
This project is designed to encourage reading, allowing your child to choose the
reading they will complete within the set guidelines. As I have increased the
number and variety of books on my summer reading list they may have to plan
ahead if they are going to obtain their book from the Schoharie Free Library. The
library has a limited number of copies and some may have to be requested from
other libraries.
This is not a small undertaking, and it is not the kind of project that can be
completed the night before it is due. I will need your assistance to make sure that
your child works throughout the summer to ensure their success. Also please be
aware that the 8th grade suggested reading list is very broad, containing
traditional classics alongside more modern works, and there may be books within
this list you may find objectionable. Please work with your child to select novels
within the guidelines that you find appropriate.
Please feel free to contact me through my school email at
[email protected] if you have any questions or concerns regarding
your child or this project. I will be checking my email regularly.
Enjoy your summer!
Marie Krohn
 Students not completing the Summer reading will be assigned a reading
project, of my choice, to be completed by September 17th.
Independent Reading Packet
8th Grade ELA
Book List
Novel Title ________________________________
Novel Title ________________________________
Due September 10th, 2015
Reader Response 1
I read from page ________ to page _____________ (first ¼ of your book)
Vocabulary: As you read, write down three unfamiliar words and what you guess they mean based
on what you read. (Note – These do not need to be words that completely stump you, just words that
are new to you or that you are unfamiliar with.) You must have three words, the sentence from the
book, your definition and then a dictionary definition.
How it is used in the text.
(write the sentence from the
Your Definition
Dictionary Definition
Prediction: Make one prediction about what will happen in the book. Include why you are
making this prediction.
I predict that _________________________________________________________________
Because ___________________________________________________________________
Reader Response 2
I read from page ________ to page _____________ (second ¼ of your book)
Vocabulary: As you read, write down three unfamiliar words and what you guess they mean based
on what you read. You must have three words, the sentence from the book, your definition and then a
dictionary definition.
How it is used in the text.
(write the sentence from the
Your Definition
Dictionary Definition
As you read, write down two connections that you make with the text. Connections can be based on
your personal life, background knowledge or another book you have read. Example: This
book/character reminds me of________ because ___________. (Or) The part in the book when _____ is
kind of like ________ because _____________.
Mrs. Krohn’s example using Cinderella:
Concrete Detail from the Text
(write the quote here)
“They were very mean to
Cinderella, making her work all
day cleaning, sewing and
cooking.” (page 2)
Connection Made
(Explain the kind of connection using complete sentences.)
Concrete Detail from the Text
(write the quote here)
Connection Made
(Explain the kind of connection using complete sentences.)
The part of the book when Cinderella is doing all the chores is kind of
like how I felt when I was a kid growing up with all brothers because I
had to do all the housework.
Reader Response 3
I read from page ________ to page _____________ (Third ¼ of your book)
Vocabulary: As you read, write down three unfamiliar words and what you guess they mean based
on what you read. You must have three words, the sentence from the book, your definition and then a
dictionary definition.
How it is used in the text.
(write the sentence from the
Your Definition
Dictionary Definition
Visualization: Draw a sketch of what you visualized while reading this week.
Reader Response 4
Please label it.
I read from page ________ to page _____________ (Fourth ¼ of your book)
Vocabulary: As you read, write down three unfamiliar words and what you guess they mean based
on what you read. You must have three words, the sentence from the book, your definition and then a
dictionary definition.
How it is used in the text.
(write the sentence from the
Prediction: Did your prediction (from
Your Definition
Dictionary Definition
Reader Response 1) come true? Explain__________________
Connections: Select 5 songs or poems that you feel say something about the theme, mood,
characters or setting of the novel. Explain why you selected each song/poem.
Mini Book report
You will be creating a mini book report. You will need a sheet of 8-1/2- x 11-inch
drawing paper (You may use larger paper or construction paper if you prefer). Fold the
drawing paper in half, then in half again. When you unfold the paper, you will have four
boxes of equal size. Cut the paper in half along one of the folds, slip one piece of the
paper inside the other, and staple the fold to create an eight-page book.
Your book should contain the following::
Cover -- a new cover design for the book.
Inside cover -- blank, no text.
Page opposite the inside cover -- title, author, and genre of the book.
Center spread -- a picture of a favorite part of the book along with an
explanation of why that is a favorite part.
Next page -- five vocabulary words (and their definitions) that are
important in the book; the words might offer other students an indication
of the reading level/difficulty of the book.
Inside back cover -- blank, no text.
Back cover -- a teaser written to entice others to read the book.
8th Grade - Suggested Summer Reading List
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim
Provides an account of the yellow fever epidemic that swept through Philadelphia in 1793, discussing
the chaos that erupted when people began evacuating in droves, leaving the city without government,
goods, or services, and examining efforts by physicians, the Free African Society, and others to cure and
care for the sick.
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou grows up considerably during the summer while learning about romance,
homesickness, death, and her cousin's search for his biological father.
Artificial Intelligence by Phillip Margulies
History of and the quest for artificial intelligence. Discusses the definition of artificial intelligence, the
development of "thinking" machines, and what computers may be able to do in the future.
Beyond Jupiter: the Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel by Alfred Bortz
Presents a look at the life and career of planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel, providing information on
her childhood, her education, and her work using the world's most powerful telescopes to study the
Christy by Catherine Marshall
In 1912, nineteen-year-old Christy Huddleston leaves her comfortable home to teach in a one-room
schoolhouse in an isolated area of the Great Smokies.
The Cold War Pigeon Patrols and Other Animal
Spies by Danielle Denega
How animals are used for espionage in a setting that deals with war.
Computer Game Developer by Mary Firestone
Presents the history of computer game design, and describes the various types of computer games, the
tools of a game designer, and how to become a computer game designer.
Crash by Jerry Spinelli
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 of friendship and the importance of family.
Criminal Profiling by Barbara J. Davis
Examines the techniques used by law enforcement to create and apply criminal profiles in investigations
of violent crime, exploring the origins of profiling, methods, motive, modus operandi, and signature, and
discusses real cases.
Do U Read Me? Famous Cases Solved by Handwriting Analysis! by Diane Webber
The science of forensics in the world of crime and criminal investigations.
Downriver by Will Hobbs
Jessie and the other rebellious teenage members of a wilderness survival school team abandon their
adult leader and try to run the dangerous white water of the Grand Canyon.
Edgar Allan Poe: A Biography by Milton Meltzer
Examines the troubled life of the nineteenth-century writer whose poetry and short stories broke
new ground in American literature.
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Frodo the hobbit and a band of warriors from the different kingdoms set out to destroy the Ring of
Power before the evil Sauron grasps control.
Fields of Fury: The American Civil War by James M. McPherson
Richly illustrated with photographs, paintings, and maps, this book examines the causes, events and
effects of the American Civil War.
The Fighting Ground by Avi
Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is
being fought within himself.
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other,
and how their families have changed over the years.
The Ebola Virus by Kris Hirschmann
Provides information about the Ebola virus, explaining what it is and its causes, and discussing its
symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and outbreaks.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
A sequel to The Giver. Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid
village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do
the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians. See Messenger on this list, the third title in this science
fiction trilogy.
A Gathering of Days by Joan Blos
The journal of a 14-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events
in her small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend.
Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary Follows the popular children's author from her childhood years
in Oregon through high school and into young adulthood, highlighting her family life and her
growing interest in writing.
The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss
Each of the girls in a middle-school clique reveals the strong, manipulative hold one of the group
exerts on the others, causing hurt and self-doubt among the girls.
The Greatest: Muhammad Ali by Walter Dean Myers
An illustrated biography of boxing great Muhammad Ali that addresses his politics, his fight against
Parkinson's disease, and boxing's dangers.
Guts by Gary Paulsen
The author relates incidents in his life and how they inspired parts of his books about the character,
Brian Robeson.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks inherits her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana in 1917 and
encounters some unexpected problems related to the war in Europe
Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit by Laurie Lawlor.
An illustrated biography of Helen Keller, sharing aspects of her personality and sometimes radical
beliefs, and discussing her relationship with her teacher Annie Sullivan and other important people
in her life and work. T
he Hero of Ticonderoga by Gail Gauthier
When Therese is chosen to do the coveted oral report on Ethan Allen, she learns a great deal about
the Vermont hero and also discovers what pleasure she gets from writing and presenting the
Hoops by Walter Dean Myers
A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after
being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from
repeating his mistake.
Knots on My Yo Yo String by Jerry Spinelli
This Italian-American Newbery Medalist presents a humorous account of his childhood and youth in
Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Left for Dead: A Young Man’s Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis by Pete Nelson
Recalls the sinking of the USS Indianapolis at the end of World War II, the navy cover-up and unfair
court martial of the ship’s captain, and how a young boy helped the survivors set the record straight
fifty-five years later.
Lyddie by Katherine Paterson
Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by
becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.
Memories of Summer by Ruth White
In 1955, thirteen-year-old Lyric finds her whole life changing when her family moves from the hills
of Virginia to a town in Michigan and her older sister, Summer begins descending into mental
Messenger by Lois Lowry
In the third title of Lowry’s science fiction trilogy that includes The Giver and Gathering Blue,
teenage Matty lives with his caregiver in the Village, a place that initially seemed a refuge. However,
the Village people are changing, and many have voted to build a wall to keep the newcomers out.
Miracle on 49th Street by Mike Lupica
After her mother's death, twelve-year-old Molly learns that her father is a basketball star for the
Boston Celtics.
Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse
Thirteen-year-old Nyle learns about relationships and death when fifteen-year-old Ezra, who was
exposed to radiation leaked from a nearby nuclear plant, comes to stay at her grandmother's
Vermont farmhouse.
Pillow of Clouds by Marc Talbert
Angry at being forced to decide which of his divorcing parents will get custody of him, Chester is
further burdened with guilty feelings about the parent he is leaving behind.
Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
Sixteen-year-old Jenna gets a job driving the elderly owner of a chain of successful shoe stores from
Chicago to Texas to confront the son who is trying to force her to retire, and along the way Jenna
hones her talents as a saleswoman and finds the strength to face her alcoholic father.
The Silent Storm by Sherry Garland
Thirteen-year-old Alyssa has not spoken since seeing her parents die in a hurricane, and now, three
years later, another storm threatens the home she shares with her grandfather on Galveston Island.
Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for
home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family’s Creative Academy, where he
discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
After his anger erupts into violence, fifteen-year-old Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees
to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice, and he is sent
to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.
Ultimate Basketball: More Than 100 Years of the Sports Evolution by John Hareas
Presents a photographic chronicle of the history of professional basketball from 1891 through 2003,
with accounts of notable players, coaches, arenas, fans, and other aspects of the game, and a look
at basketball on the international stage, in the Olympics, in the women's league, and the hall of
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip
retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose
mother also left.
The Winter People by Joseph Bruchac Fourteen-year-old Saxso, a member of the Abenaki tribe in
Canada, embarks on a dangerous rescue mission when his mother and two younger sisters are
taken hostage during an attack by the British on their unprotected village in 1759.
The Wish by Gail Carson Levine
Wilma, granted her wish to be the most popular girl in school, forgets that she will graduate from
eighth grade in three weeks and her popularity will vanish.
Woodsong by Gary Paulsen
For a rugged outdoor man and his family, life in northern Minnesota is a wild experience involving
wolves, deer, and the sled dogs that make their way of life possible. Includes an account of the
author's first Iditarod, a dogsled race across Alaska.
Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz
The novels revolve around an orphan teenager, Alex Rider, being recruited by MI6 to be sent out on
various missions.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and
their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to
use any means necessary to get their fortune.
The Redwall Series by Brian Jaques
A popular fantasy series about a kingdom of mice that has gripped the imagination of readers. In the
first title Redwall, the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil
rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword
of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall's inhabitants destroy the enemy.
Shadow Children Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke
Garner and other "thirds" (whose very existence is a capital crime) struggle to stay hidden and to gain
the right to live.
If you would like to choose a book other than what is included
in this list, just send me an email at
[email protected]