Sixth Grade - Haddonfield Public Schools

Summer 2014
Incoming Sixth Grade Students,
We would like to welcome you as you enter a new school and a new chapter in your life.
In sixth grade, you will build lasting friendships and learn skills that will help you
throughout the rest of your life. We are so excited to meet you and work with you during
the 2014-2015 school year! Get ready for a great year!
Over the summer, you will be required to choose a summer reading book from list below.
Summer reading will provide you an opportunity to keep your mind fresh, enrich your
knowledge, and find enjoyment in quality literature. In order to become proficient
readers, you must practice just like you do in sports, music, or drama.
Therefore, we would like you to complete a journal to keep track of your reading and
thoughts. We will use this journal during the first few weeks of school to discuss good
reading habits, how to interact with the text, and how to use different reading strategies to
become a stronger reader.
In addition, you will complete the Story Plan graphic organizer to help you remember
important details of the story for class discussions. List quotes, sentences, phrases,
characters, and/or words in the space provided. We will also use this graphic organizer to
introduce important literary terms that will be applied to all literature read during 6th
grade. This will count as one quiz grade so please be sure to complete both of the
We hope you enjoy your summer reading and will be ready to participate in book
discussions and activities during the first few weeks of school.
Book Choices:
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Heat by Mike Lupica
If a Tree Falls at Lunch by Gennifer Choldenko
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Schooled by Gordon Korman
Books are available at The Haddonfield Public Library, Barnes and Noble and
Please check the end of this document for descriptions of the books
Enclosed are the journal template and graphic organizer that must be completed as you
read the book. Please print the documents before you begin reading so that you can
complete the work as you read.
Name: ____________________________________________
Title: _____________________________________________
Author: ___________________________________________
Parents Signature:___________________________________
*Parent signature verifies that your child has read the designated book and that the following work is his/her own work.
Main Characters
Most Exciting Moment
Main Problems
Theme, Lesson
PARENT SIGNATURE: ________________________________________________
This journal will help you think critically about the book you choose. Before
reading, divide the book into two equal (or almost equal) parts. You can do this by
dividing the number of pages in the book by 2. For each section you should include
3 entries. You must keep accurate notes with correct spelling, punctuation, and
grammar. Make sure to include the page number of the quotation. A sample is
shown below. You may use the format below and type the journal entries or you
may complete the work in a separate journal.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Section 1
1. Just takes learning. Like everything
else. (p. 5)
This quote is very powerful and
completely connects to my own life.
It reminds me that initially I may not
be good at something, but if I keep
trying I will succeed.
2. He was alone. In the roaring plane
with no pilot he was alone. Alone. (p. 12)
2. This quote exemplifies the writing
technique repetition for effect.
Gary Paulsen repeats the word
“alone” to emphasize the degree to
which Brian is feeling lonely.
3. Another entry will go here.
3. Another analysis will go here.
Section 2
6th Grade Summer Reading Selections
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
On the heels of her acclaimed contemporary teen novel Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
surprises her fans with a riveting and well-researched historical fiction. Fever 1793 is
based on an actual epidemic of yellow fever in Philadelphia that wiped out 5,000
people--or 10 percent of the city's population--in three months. At the close of the 18th
century, Philadelphia was the bustling capital of the United States, with Washington
and Jefferson in residence. During the hot mosquito-infested summer of 1793, the
dreaded yellow fever spread like wildfire, killing people overnight. Like specters from
the Middle Ages, gravediggers drew carts through the streets crying "Bring out your
dead!" The rich fled to the country, abandoning the city to looters, forsaken corpses,
and frightened survivors.
In the foreground of this story is 16-year-old Mattie Cook, whose mother and
grandfather own a popular coffee house on High Street. Mattie's comfortable and
interesting life is shattered by the epidemic, as her mother is felled and the girl and her
grandfather must flee for their lives. Later, after much hardship and terror, they return
to the deserted town to find their former cook, a freed slave, working with the African
Free Society, an actual group who undertook to visit and assist the sick and saved
many lives. As first frost arrives and the epidemic ends, Mattie's sufferings have changed
her from a willful child to a strong, capable young woman able to manage her family's
business on her own. --Patty Campbell -
Heat by Mike Lupica
Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat. But his firepower is nothing
compared to the heat Michael faces in his day-to-day life. Newly orphaned after his
father led the family's escape from Cuba, Michael's only family is his seventeen-yearold brother Carlos. If Social Services hears of their situation, they will be separated in
the foster-care system or worse, sent back to Cuba.
Together, the boys carry on alone, dodging bills and anyone who asks too many
questions. But then someone wonders how a twelve-year-old boy could possibly throw
with as much power as Michael Arroyo throws. With no way to prove his age, no birth
certificate, and no parent to fight for his cause, Michaels secret world is blown wide
open, and he discovers that family can come from the most unexpected sources.
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Twelve-year-old Catherine has conflicting feelings about her younger brother, David,
who is autistic. While she loves him, she is also embarrassed by his behavior and feels
neglected by their parents. In an effort to keep life on an even keel, Catherine creates
rules for him (It's okay to hug Mom but not the clerk at the video store). Each chapter
title is also a rule, and lots more are interspersed throughout the book. When Kristi
moves in next door, Catherine hopes that the girl will become a friend, but is anxious
about her reaction to David. Then Catherine meets and befriends Jason, a nonverbal
paraplegic who uses a book of pictures to communicate, she begins to understand that
normal is difficult, and perhaps unnecessary, to define. Rules of behavior are less
important than acceptance of others. Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her
story with both humor and heartbreak. Her love for her brother is as real as are her
frustrations with him. Lord has candidly captured the delicate dynamics in a family
that revolves around a child's disability. Set in coastal Maine, this sensitive story is about
being different, feeling different, and finding acceptance. A lovely, warm read, and a
great discussion starter.-Connie Tyrrell Burns
If a Tree Falls at Lunch by Gennifer Choldenko
Kirsten and Walk, seventh-graders at an elite private school, alternate telling how race,
wealth, weight, and other issues shape their relationships as they and other misfits stand
up to a mean but influential classmate, even as they are uncovering a long-kept secret
about themselves.
Schooled by Gordon Korman
Capricorn (Cap for short) had lived every day of his life on Garland Farm growing fruits
and vegetables. He was homeschooled by Rain, the only person he knew in the world.
Life was simple for Cap. But when Rain falls out of a tree while picking plums and is
hospital-ridden, he has to attend the local middle school and live with his new
guidance counselor and her irritable daughter. Cap doesn’t exactly fit in at Claverage
Middle School. He has long, ungroomed hair, wears hemp clothes, and practices Tai Chi
out on the lawn. While Cap knew a lot of about Zen Buddhism, no amount of formal
education could ready him for the trials and tribulations of public middle school.
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, because Melody 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.