Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Summer reading

Richmond’s day with author Marla McKenna was a success.  Marla presented to students during the day and spent time with families at night, highlighting her published books and spreading her love of reading and writing.  Thank you, Marla! 

Summer is coming!  Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy. Take advantage of your local library. Ask for help selecting books that match your child's age, interests, and abilities. Libraries often run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, so find out what's available in your area.

Summer Reading BINGO for younger students: 

Summer Reading BINGO for older students:

Reading at home: 

Summer Reading Lists for grades 6-8 (Parents would enjoy many of these books, too, and it is really fun to read books--or try short stories listed below--along with your child and talk about them!)

Contemporary works:

Reading to Prepare for High School (classic novels and short stories)

Ten Important Novels

Despite student complaints, high school required reading still includes novels. Many of them are classics.
1.     Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Parents should definitely read along with their child on account of the novel's mature content.
2.     1984 by George Orwell - Big Brother is watching, but is he reading?
3.     Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Books are illegal. Firemen burn them.
4.     Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Pip goes from poor to rich to snob in just a little under 500 pages.
5.     Lord of the Flies by William Golding - A plane crashes. The survivors, exclusively children, get a little out of control.
6.     The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - This staple of American Literature classes captures the corruption of the Roaring Twenties.
7.     Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - Political correctness has lessened Huck Finn's popularity, but it remains the most important novel in American Literature.
8.     Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Enjoy the greatest campfire story in the history of camping.
9.     The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane - Crane's realistic account of the Civil War has been a staple in American Lit classes for years.
10.   To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Explore the dynamics of race from the eyes of a young girl in the South.

Ten Famous Short Stories (Sometimes short stories are the best in summer! Not a long-term commitment, and an easy way to get 20 minutes of reading in on any given day!)

High school required reading includes numerous short stories. Here are some of the most famous and interesting:
1.     "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell - Zaroff hunts humans. Rainsford falls off a ship and swims to Zaroff's island. You figure out the rest.
2.     "The Monkey's Paw" - Sgt. Major Morris brings back an enchanted monkey's paw. Herbert White makes fun of him. Herbert White dies (twice).
4.     "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst - Prepare to cry.
5.     "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant - Learn the importance of thrift and the dangers of debt the easy way (as opposed to the hard way, which includes running up credit card bills and getting your house foreclosed).
6.     "To Build a Fire" by Jack London - It's cold. He's wet. He must build a fire or die.
7.     "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin - This short introduction to irony takes minutes to read.
8.     "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce - Peyton Farquhar is about to be hanged from a bridge he tried to blow up.
9.     "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain - Twain's humorous account of an easterner out west is sure to entertain.
10.   "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson - This isn't exactly a lottery worth winning, but it is worth reading.
11.   The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty (Very short, with an ending you will not see coming)
12.   The Veldt by Ray Bradbury (Great sci-fi story about a family living in a fully automated house. There is a fantastic audio version read by Stephen Colbert online)
13.   The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe (Creepy, of course, but a great read)
14.   Thank you, Ma’am by Langston Hughes (“When a young boy named Roger tries to steal the purse of a woman named Luella, he is just looking for money to buy stylish new shoes. After she grabs him by the collar and drags him back to her home, he's sure that he is in deep trouble...” from Google Books.)
15.   The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (A young married couple has to deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other, even though they have very little money. Good twist at the end.)

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