Topic outline

  • Summer Reading-Incoming 8th Graders

    Dear EMS Class of 2020,

    There’s nothing like sitting in a shady spot and reading a great book during the summer. Educational experts agree that students who read regularly perform better in class, on exams, and on standardized tests like the SAT. Plus, reading makes you more interesting; really, it does. The Library Media Specialists and your English teachers have done a lot of wonderful work compiling a summer reading list of books that appeal to your interests. Here’s what you need to do:

    •  Read Joseph Bruchac’s Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two.
    • Then, select ONE ADDITIONAL BOOK from the attached book list.

    Assignment to be completed before school starts

    1. While reading, take active notes about character traits for the protagonist and the conflicts he/she faces. They do not need to be chapter by chapter notes, but should serve as a reference for a class assignment or two at the start of school.

    2. Once the reading is completed, please construct a fully developed paragraph that answers the following question: Is it possible to adapt and remain true to one’s self?

    Cite at least one piece of text evidence to support your argument and one piece of evidence that shows the character’s behavior (characterization) as they face challenges (conflict) and grow as result (theme).

    3. As outlined on the following page, read and take notes on your free choice book from the attached list. If you choose another title, please confirm that it is suitable for 8th grade audiences or above. EASTCHESTER MIDDLE SCHOOL 

    Free Choice Book (chosen from the attached list)

    Take notes as you read using the following model. Please remember, we will continue use the information for an in-class assignment in September.

    If your choice is FICTION

    1. Setting: time, place, and physical location of stories events

    2. Plot: the sequence of events in a story; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution

    3. Characterization: Traits to describe acts, thinks, and feels, where they go and what they say.

    4. Theme: the central message or lesson revealed through the story

    5. Conflict: two or more opposing forces (one main conflict and often several smaller ones). Man vs. Man, Man vs. Self, Man vs. Society, Man vs. technology (machine), Man vs. Fate

    If your choice is NONFICTION

    1. Who? – Important people involved in the topic

    2. What? – Explanation/clarification of the topic

    3. Where? – setting of the book

    4. When? – setting of the book

    5. Why? – reasons that the book is of interest…what impact does it have on the reader? Why is it an important enough topic to have a book written about it?

    6. How? – explain the way the author conveys the story

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the 8th grade ELA teachers. Good luck, happy summer and happy reading!

    Sincerely, Mrs. Kearns, Mrs. Montenegro, & Mr. Weiss

    • Suggested Reading List

      8th Grade Summer Reading

      (Lexile Level appears in parentheses after each title.


      • Mikaelson. Ben Touching Spirit Bear (670)
      • Crutcher, Chris. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (920)
      • Coone, Donna. Skinny Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Running Dream (650)
      • Hinton, S.E. That Was Then, This Is Now (780)
      • Slater, Daska. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives


      • Anderson, M.T. Feed (770)
      • Dashner, James. The Eye of Minds (790)
      • O’Brien, Robert C. Z for Zachariah (820)
      • HISTORICAL FICTION Avi. True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (740)
      • Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light (700)
      • Castellucci, Cecil and Rugg, Jim. Plain Janes (NP)
      • Spiegelman, Art. Maus (NP)


      • Bascomb, Neal. The Nazi Hunters (1000)
      • Blumenthal, Karen. Steve Jobs: the Man Who Thought Different (1110)
      • Dell, Pamela. The Women Behind Rosie the Riveter Douglass, Frederick. The Narrative of the Life (1040)
      • Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1010)
      • Hakim, Joy. Einstein Adds a New Dimension(1000)
      • Lowery, Linda Blackmon and Leacock, Elspeth. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
      • O’Brien, Alice. Alice in France: The World War I Letters of Alice O’ Brien
      • Sheinkin,Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (920)
      • Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (980L)