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Summer Reading List

Please read at least three books from the list below. You will be asked to complete a reading journal for each book you read.  Please include the following as part of each entry: the date, total minutes read, which pages you read (example: pp. 33 - 72), a short summary and a brief comment.  Bring the three completed journals to school on the first day of school. You will receive a Reading grade for completing these three journals. Extra credit will be given for additional books read with completed reading journals.

In addition, you need to read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. We will be discussing it at the beginning of the 6th grade school year. There will be a test and essay to complete on this book after our class discussion.  See you in August. Have a great summer. 

Sincerely, Mr. McDowell   

Keys to Success:  
  • Read for 20 minutes daily.
  • Plan out your reading schedule for the summer.
  • Pick out your books early so you do not have trouble finding a book to check out from the library
  • When planning to read, give youself enough time at the end of your reading to complete a journal entry.  Refelction time is important.
  • Remember, reading is fun so be sure to select books you will enjoy.
Pick 3 of the following:


FICTION  

Hearne, Betsy.
WISHES, KISSES, AND PIGS
When 11-year-old Louise' accidental wish comes true that turns her older brother into a pig, a series of comical situations soon follow. This is a tremendously enjoyable story with a lot of heart.   
 

McEwan, Ian 
THE DAYDREAMER                                                                                                                                                  
The daydreams of ten-year-old Peter are presented in a series of vivid, humorous, and sometimes bizarre episodes that include changing places with a cat and a baby, being attacked by a group of dolls, and catching a burglar.     

Paulsen, Gary
BRIAN'S WINTER (Companion book to Hatchet)
Instead of being rescued from a plane crash, as in the author's book HATCHET, this story portrays what would have happened to Brian had he been forced to survive a winter in the wilderness with only his survival pack and hatchet.   
 

Sachar, Louis
HOLES

Stanley Yelnats (his name is a palindrome) finds himself digging holes at a Texas detention camp for wayward boys in this stunningly circular novel about bad luck, justice, friendship, and fate. The 1999 Newbery Award Book.  

Tolan, Stephanie S.
SURVIVING THE APPLEWHITES
Rumor has it Jake burned down his old school and got kicked out. The only school that will take him now is the Home School run by the Applewhites. Will he survive?  
 

Whelan, Gloria
HOMELESS BIRD

As tradition dictates, thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage only to find herself a homeless widow who must decide whether to join the hordes chanting for food or find the courage to change her life.* Whelan's ANGEL ON THE SQUARE is also about a courageous young girl who lived in Russia in 1913.  

Byars, Betsy
THE MIDNIGHT FOX
A young boy saves the life of a fox that has been raiding his uncle's farm.

Choldenko, Gennifer
AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS
12-year-old Moose just moved to Alkatraz, a high security prison, where his father works.  Set in the 1930's when Al Capone, the famous mobster, was imprisoned there.  Moose's "adventures" are both hilarious and heart-warming, especially when he has to protect his older sister who has autism.

Dowd, Siobhan
THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY
When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together.  Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

Parks, Linda Sue
THE KITE FIGHTERS
In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, who as the first-born son receives special treatment from their father, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite making skillin an attempt to win the New Year kite-flying competition.


CLASSICS 
   

Alcott, Louisa May
LITTLE MEN

At the close of Little Women Jo tells her family that she and her husband will open a school for boys at Plumfield. This is the story of Jo's school and the boys --for all those readers who never wanted Little Women to end. The story continues in Jo's Boys.   
 

Dumas, Alexandre
THE THREE MUSKETEERS (and others)
This is perhaps the greatest "cloak and sword" story ever written; it is a fast-paced tale of the heroic deeds of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan as defenders of Louis XIV.  
 

Montgomery, L.M.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (Series)
This is the historically heroic tale of eleven-year-old Anne, an orphan child who is adopted by a foster family, and her struggles to win the heart of her foster mother.   
 

Defoe, Daniel
ROBINSON CRUSOE
After surviving a shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe discovers he is the only human on an island far from any shipping routes or rescue.  He transforms his island into a tropical paradise and lives there for 24 years with no human companionship until one day finds he is not alone....

Kipling, Rudyard
THE JUNGLE BOOK
Saved from the jaws of the evil tiger Shere Khan, young Mowgli is adopted by a wolf pack and taught the law of the jungle by lovable old Baloo the bear and Bhageera the panther.  The adventures of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the snake fighting mongoose, little Toomai and the elephant's secret dance, and Kotick the white seal are all part of Mowgli's extraordinary journey with his animal friends.

London, Jack
THE CALL OF THE WILD
The classic survival story of a domesticated dog stolen from his California home to work as a sled dog during the Alaskan gold rush.

Nesbit, E
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
When father goes away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis and their mother have to leave their happy life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country.  The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself.  But the mystery remains: where is father, and will he ever return?


SCIENCE FICTION
  

 Asimov, Isaac
FANTASTIC VOYAGE
Four men and one woman, reduced to a microscopic fraction of their original size, board a miniaturized submarine and travel through the bloodstream of a brilliant scientist to save his life--and the world.  
 

Card, Orson Scott
ENDER'S GAME and ENDER'S SHADOW (two series)
In these two companion stories (published 20 years apart) Ender and Bean are two brilliant young children who are given the burden of saving humanity from the invading alien force. Action packed, these two titles are thoughtful and deal with human nature in the most profound fashion. 
 

Farmer, Nancy
HOUSE OF THE SCORPION

In a future world, young Matt is a perfect clone of the elderly (140 years old) Matteo Alacran, the de facto King of a country called Opium. Once Matt's vital organs are harvested to prolong Alacran's life, he's done for. Matt must escape. In this breathtaking and fascinating tale of survival, readers will see the strength of friendship and loyalty. We will also ponder: What does it mean to be human? This book won the 2002 National Book Award for Young Readers.  
 

Sleator, William
THE INTERSTELLAR PIG
Barney's strange new neighbors invite him to play a bizarre board game called Interstellar Pig, which actually spans the universe and destroys worlds.  
 

Verne, Jules 
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA 
A huge, glowing sea monster has attacked and wrecked several ships! Professor Arronax joins a mission to hunt down the monster, and finds himself aboard a secret submarine. It's exciting to explore the ocean's depths, but what if he wants to leave? Captain Nemo seems to have made him a captive -- 20,000 leagues under the sea!   
 

Wells, H.G. 
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 
The Martians are landing on earth! They've already destroyed London. Who or what can stop them from taking over the whole world? This classic story brings the hysteria and madness of a nightmare to life.
  
  


FANTASY 
  

Almond, David
KIT'S WILDERNESS

In an old coal-mining town, thirteen-year-old Kit meets a boy who invites him to play the game of "Death," and discovers the stories and ghosts of his child-ancestors.  

Cooper, Susan 
OVER SEA, UNDER STONE 
The first of The Dark is Rising series in which the three Drew children find an ancient map in the attic and begin the search for a grail that will reveal the true story of King Arthur -- and entrap them in a battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Dark. (Continue the series if you like the first one.)   
 

Crossley-Holland, Kevin
THE SEEING STONE

Arthur, a boy who lived on an English manor in 1199, finds a magical stone which meshes his life with that of his namesake, King Arthur. This is the first book in a trilogy.  
 

Ferris, Jean
ONCE UPON A MARIGOLD
This delightful fairy tale's main characters are Marigold, a princess, and Christian, a forest foundling, who form a great friendship because they both love reading and writing. In fact, they send p-mail (mail carried by pigeons) to each other before they even met in person. Lots of action and funny scenes. 
 

Jones, Diana Wynne 
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE and CASTLE IN THE AIR 
In these two stories, quite different in their settings, Jones weaves magic and humor to create the foremost entertainment for her readers.   
 

Paolini, Christopher
ERAGON

At the beginning of the story, fifteen-year-old farm boy Eragon encounters magic and magical objects and quickly realizes that he is a gifted Dragon Rider. He takes on the dangerous and exciting task in fighting the evil powers that will destroy his Empire. This is Book 1 in the Inheritance series. The second book, THE ELDER, will be published in Summer 2005!  
 

Tolkien, J.R.R. 
THE HOBBIT 
This is the prelude to The Lord of the Rings series, in which Bilbo Baggins is drawn from his quaint hobbit-hole to wondrous adventures involving elves, dwarves, goblins and dragons in the far-off magic lands beyond the Misty Mountains.   

Wrede, Patricia 
DEALING WITH DRAGONS 
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved in fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom. The first story in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series.
                                                      
  


MYSTERY & SUSPENSE
   

Bellairs, John
SECRET OF THE UNDERGROUND ROOM

When Father Higgins disappears, Johnny and Professor Childermass discover clues which lead to England and a long-dead knight.  
 

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki
A STIR OF BONES

Susan can communicate with her House. When she joins the group of new friends to venture into a haunted house, her ability to communicate with a House helps wake up and befriend the ghost boy, Nathan, whose spirit has been trapped in the house where he died a long time ago. This book is just creepy enough, just romantic enough, and complex, but not confusing, for those who want to have a little bit of "chilling" sensation for a hot summer day!

Hoobler, Dorothy
THE DEMON IN THE TEAHOUSE

14-year-old Seikei, the adopted son of Judge Ooka, a Japanese "Sherlock Holm" is sent to solve the mystery of the fires and murders of Geishas in Edo and its nearby pleasure town? The first novel in this series is GHOST IN THE TAIKAIDO INN. 
 

Nixon, Joan Lowery
THE WEEKEND WAS MURDER!
In a sequel to The Dark and Deadly Pool, Mary Rafferty is again involved in a murder mystery, this time involving a troupe of actors acting out a murder. There is also a ghost and riddles that must be deciphered.  
 

Roberts, Willo Davis
CAUGHT!

After a bus journey in search of their father, Vickie and her younger sister discover that he is missing and may need their help.  

Turner, Megan Whalen
THE THIEF

Tales of gods and goddesses are woven throughout this story of Gen, a master thief, who is on an adventurous journey for his king to steal a precious stone. A 1997 Newbery Honor Book.   
  


HISTORICAL FICTION
  

Cushman, Karen
THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE 
This novel takes place in medieval England. A nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife and, in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world. Winner of the 1996 Newbery Award. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, received the 1997 Newbery Honorable Mention.    
 

Hunt, Irene 
ACROSS FIVE APRILS 
Jethro must run from the farm in southern Illinois, almost alone, during the Civil War. Dangers on the home front prove as exciting as those in battle.   
 

Konigsburg, E.L. 
A PROUD TASTE FOR SCARLET AND MINIVER 
As she waits for her husband, King Henry II, to meet her in Heaven, Eleanor of Aquitaine and some of her friends gossip about old times. As she reviews her past, Eleanor, vibrant, headstrong and impatient, brings the Middle Ages to life.  
 

Lyons, Mary 
LETTERS FROM A SLAVE GIRL 
This is a fictionalized version of the life of Harriet Jacobs, told in the form of letters that she might have written during her slavery in North Carolina and as she prepared for escape to the North in l842.  
 

Wolff, Virginia Euwer
BAT 6
Twenty-one Oregon girls recall a fateful softball game in 1949 when bigotry left over from World War II throws them a curve ball.   
 
 

Avi
CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD
When after his mother's death, Asta's son, the nameless boy, found out that he not only had a name, but a noble name.  He also found that his life is in danger, being wanted for dead of a crime he did not commit.  While running for his life, he encounters Bear, a juggler with a secret and dangerous mission.  The exciting, fast paced story set in 14th century England is the 2003 Newbery Winner.

Kadohota, C
WEEDFLOWER
After twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona, she helps her family and neighbors, becomes friends with a local indian boy, and tries to hold on to her dream of owning a flower shop.


POETRY  
 

Bierhorst, John 
IN THE TRAIL OF THE WIND: AMERICAN INDIAN POEMS AND RITUAL ORATIONS 
This collection of Indian poetry originates from various tribes and is arranged by theme.   
 

Brenner, Barbara (Editor)
VOICES: POETRY AND ART FROM AROUND THE WORLD

A sampler of traditional, ancient and modern poetry from six continents is interspersed with illustrations of world art and sculpture.  
 

Bryan, Ashley
ASHLEY BRYAN'S ABC OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY 
Poems ranging from the intense to the whimsical reflect the diverse voices of poets such as Rita Dove, Lucille Clifton, and Gwendolyn Brooks.  The colorful illustrations add to the appeal of the collection.  
 

Calmenson, Stephanie
NEVER TAKES A PIG OUT TO LUNCH: and other funny poems about animals 
Humorous poems and funny pictures will sure keep you laughing.  A good book to share with a friend.  
 

Carman, Bliss, ed. 
THE OXFORD BOOK OF CHILDREN'S VERSE IN AMERICA

Three hundred more pages filled with American poems written for children or traditionally enjoyed by children, by Longfellow, Poe, Eugene Field, Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky and many other poets.   Feelings, 
 

Prelutsky, Jack 
PIZZA THE SIZE OF THE SUN 
A collection of whimsical short poems illustrated by James Stevenson.  If you like Shel Silverstein, you will enjoy this collection, too.
  


BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  

Blumberg, Rhoda
SHIPWRECKED
A true and dramatic account of the very first Japanese man who came to the United States after his fishing boat was shipwrecked in the 1800's.  
 

Fleming, Candace
BEN FRANKLIN'S ALMANAC: BEING A TRUE ACCOUNT OF THE GOOD GENTLEMAN'S LIFE.
Presented in the style of Franklin’s own original almanac, Fleming’s fascinating biography is chock full of information that makes history jump right out of the page. 
 

Freedman, Russell
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: A LIFE OF DISCOVERY
The marvelously rich and full life of this legendary first lady is profiled in an excellent photo-biography. A Newbery Honor Book. 
 

Josephson, Judith Pinkerton
ALLAN PINKERTON: THE ORIGINAL PRIVATE EYE
This biography examines the life of the detective who founded his own agency and introduced a system of recording criminals to help track them down.  
 

Lawlor, Laurie
HELEN KELLER: REBELLIOUS SPIRIT
This carefully researched and fluidly written biography on Helen Keller portrays her as a distinctive and sometimes flawed individual.  
 

Partridge, Elizabeth
RESTLESS SPIRIT: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange
A famed photographer blended artistry and activism better than career and family, according to this intimate biography featuring more than 60 examples of Lange's stirring documentary-style work. 
 

Reiss, Johanna
THE UPSTAIRS ROOM
Rachel and Simi, two sisters, have to hide in a room on a Dutch farm in order to survive during World War II. This memorable story is based on the author's own experiences as a young girl during the Holocaust.  
 

Sleator, William 
ODD BALLS 
A collection of stories about Sleator growing up in a wacky, whimsical family in the conservative 1950's.

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