Downingtown Area School District Summer Reading Assignments 2013-‐2014 For Students Entering Grade 8 Assignment: Please choose two of the following selections, one fiction, and one non-‐ fiction. For the fiction text, complete the fiction graphic organizer and be prepared for an assignment when you return to school in the fall. For the non-‐fiction text, respond to the non-‐fiction writing prompt. FICTION I Am a Star: Child of the Holocaust by Inge Auerbach Inga Auerbacher's childhood was as happy and peaceful as any other German child's-‐-‐until 1942. By then, the Nazis were in power, and she and her parents were rounded up and sent to a concentration camp. The Auerbachers defied death for three years until they were freed. This story allows even the youngest middle reader to understand the Holocaust. Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas Daniel, a composite character fashioned to reflect the experiences of millions of children during the Holocaust, describes his family's lives in pre-‐Nazi Frankfurt, their deportation to a ghetto, and their experiences in concentration camps. My Antonia by Willa Cather Willa Cather’s heartfelt novel is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman’s life on the hardscrabble Nebraska plains. Through Jim Burden’s affectionate reminiscence of his childhood friend, the free-‐spirited Ántonia Shimerda, a larger, uniquely American portrait emerges, both of a community struggling with unforgiving terrain and of a woman who, amid great hardship, stands as a timeless inspiration. October Sky by Homer Hickman It was 1957, the year Sputnik raced across the Appalachian sky, and the small town of Coalwood, West Virginia, was slowly dying. Faced with an uncertain future, Homer Hickam nurtured a dream: to send rockets into outer space. The introspective son of the mine’s superintendent and a mother determined to get him out of Coalwood forever, Homer fell in with a group of misfits who learned not only how to turn scraps of metal into sophisticated rockets but how to sustain their hope in a town that swallowed its men alive. Downingtown Area School District Summer Reading Assignments 2013-‐2014 For Students Entering Grade 8 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman It takes a graveyard to raise a child. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. NON-‐FICTION Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust by Allan Zullo Gripping and inspiring, these true stories of bravery, terror, and hope chronicle nine different children's experiences during the Holocaust. These are the true-‐life accounts of nine Jewish boys and girls whose lives spiraled into danger and fear as the Holocaust overtook Europe. In a time of great horror, these children each found a way to make it through the nightmare of war. Some made daring escapes into the unknown, others disguised their true identities, and many witnessed unimaginable horrors. But what they all shared was the unshakable belief in-‐-‐ and hope for-‐-‐ survival. Their legacy of courage in the face of hatred will move you, captivate you, and, ultimately, inspire you. The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -‐-‐ a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. **Parental Warnings: violence, sexual content Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed "Apollo 11" On The Moon by Catherine Thimmesh Chronicles the Apollo 11 mission, the spaceflight that landed the first man on Earth's moon on July 20, 1969, emphasizing the contributions and reactions of the thousands of people who made the mission successful. Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child by Elva Trevino Hart "My whole childhood, I never had a bed," begins Hart's bittersweet recollections about growing up one of six children in a migrant family that made the circuit from Texas to Minnesota each year. Her stories about her family, especially her stern but caring father, and about breaking away only to return home, show the moving struggle of an immigrant population, but also the universal personal struggle of finding, then acknowledging, oneself.
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