Middle School Summer Reading 2019-2020

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ECMCS Middle School Summer Reading Format 2019 - 2020 School Year

Assignment:  All rising 7th and 8th graders must complete a Summer Reading assignment based on two books.  Students must read two of the books below one from each category and then complete an assignment comparing the two books.  Be sure your comparison includes a book from both categories. Students should not research the books, but complete the assignment based on their own reading and interpretation.  Work will be evaluated on originality and depth of thought.

Category 1 (you must choose 1 of these books)

A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry! By Mildred Taylor

Approximately 320 pages

Approximately 288 pages

830 Lexile

920 Lexile

Category 2 (you must choose 1 of these books)

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Approximately 304 pages

Approximately 304 pages

1080 Lexile

970 Lexile

Note:  while The Chosen has a lower Lexile than The Diary of Anne Frank, our experience is that students find The Chosen more difficult to understand.  This is partly because The Chosen makes some specific references to Jewish culture that students find difficult.  The story and theme of the book can be grasped without understanding all of the Jewish references, but many students find it difficult to move past.

Since editions may differ, the page numbers are approximate; however, the books must be complete and unabridged.  

Due date:  Your assignment should be ready to turn in on Friday, August 23, 2019.  The summer reading assignment will count as a Language Arts test grade and your first Seminar assignment will be based on this work.  The assignment consists of the following notes page (18 points) and a creative presentation (6 points). No report is required.


A—20 to 24 points

B—16 to 19 points

C—12 to 15 points

Any score lower will need to be redone to receive credit and a grade of C.

Similarities between ___________________ and ___________________________

These responses are assessed based on originality and thoughtfulness.  Answers should be insightful and thorough which can be accomplished in 2-3 sentences per bullet point.  An extensive, essay answer is not required.  

***Comparisons limited to physical description (such as boy/girl, teenager) are insufficient.

Creative Presentation

In addition to the above page of notes, students should complete a creative piece to demonstrate understanding of their summer reading.  Below is a list of possible choices:

  • Find a political cartoon from the era that addresses the issues in one or both of your books and write an explanation for the cartoon.

  • Write a short story about what the character(s) in one book would be doing one year later.

  • Write a letter to the author or illustrator of one of the books describing how events in your life/community connect to what they wrote and asking questions.

  • Write a book review for both of the books  for a newspaper. Remember to include a few sentences describing the book as well as a few sentences about why you liked it—or didn’t—format it as a newspaper article with columns, headlines, images, etc..

  • Choose two people or characters from two different books and write a detailed text discussion between the two that is indicative of their experiences/perspectives.

  • Write a poem on the theme from your two books using examples from the books to support the theme.

  • Create a Timeline with images and descriptions for the events relevant to your books.

  • Create a movie trailer for one or both of the books.

  • Make a collage of images that relate to the theme and events of the books.

  • Write and perform an original song based on the themes and events of one or both of the books.

  • Make a cartoon strip to illustrate a part from one of the books.

  • Draw a detailed map of the setting with notes of elements relative to one of the books.
  • Any other creative idea of high quality that addresses the themes of the books.

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