Dear Parents of Rising 6th - 8th Grade Students,

The end of the school year is finally upon us. As our students prepare for summertime fun, they also need to stock up on good reading materials to expand and build upon their reading skills. We are excited to provide your child with an opportunity to continue fostering great reading habits over the summer.

Important Links:

It is vitally important that reading and learning continue even when school is not in session. Research has shown that many students experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities over the summer. The average loss of reading achievement can equal two months worth of learning gains that were made during the school year. Research also shows that students who experience such loss will start the school year behind and will remain behind indefinitely. To combat any loss and maintain the incredible gains your children have made this year, we have created a program to equip our students with tools for academic success!

This summer, it is required that all students read TWO novels. Additionally, students must choose and complete one activity for one novel from the Activity Choices as outlined in the brochure. For the second novel read, students must complete the Literary Elements worksheet  which is located in the above links. The selections should be secularly published novels and may be chosen from the library or picked up at any local bookseller and should be chosen at your child's incoming grade level. Graphic novels will not be accepted for these assignments. Above is a link to the list of suggested books/authors that you may use as a guide. If you are uncertain about any of the titles, please preview the novels before your child reads them. Should you find it difficult to locate a novel, please feel welcome to email Mrs. Levin, our school librarian, or me for suggestions. All students received these materials in their classes at school. It is imperative that your child completes these mandatory assignments by August 29th, 2016, as the activities will be collected by his/her Language Arts teacher and included in the grades for the first marking period.

The following is a short list of books that SHOULD NOT be used for the summer reading assignments. These are several of the titles used as part of our middle school curriculum:

  • Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
  • Odette's Secret by Maryann MacDonald
  • Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  • Steve Jobs, Thinking Differently by Patricia Lakin
  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry/ The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
  • Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Little Prince by Antoine De St. Exupéry
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
  • Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  • Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Thank you for your support and cooperation in helping your child continue to reach high expectations and achieve educational success. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel welcome to contact me at 404-982-0800 ext. 130 or via email at bstewart@torahday.org.

Happy reading,
Ms. Stewart