Summer Reading Books & Writing Assignment

June 2016

Dear Incoming 8th Graders and Parents,

I am delighted to present the summer reading list for the 2016 – 2017 school year.  This summer’s selections include books that span a variety of interests and reading levels.  I ask that you read one book from the list this summer and write a written response to the questions provided here.  When you return in the fall, you will be expected to hand in your assignment and share your summer reading with other members of the class. Additionally, you will be able to take a Reading Counts test on this book, and it will benefit your first semester Reading Counts goal.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding summer reading.  I look forward to working with you in the 2016-2017 school year, and I wish you a restful summer.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Cunningham

cunningn@avoca37.org

 

8th Grade Summer Reading List ’16 -17

Boyne, John. Boy in the Striped Pajamas Historical Fiction 240 p.

Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence on “Out-With.”


Brown, Daniel James Boys in the Boat Non-Fiction 416 p.

This book tells the story on nine American men and their quest for a gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  If you like American history, biography, and a great story, this book is for you!


Deuker, Carl Heart of a Champion Sports 168 p.

Seth faces a strain on his friendship with Jimmy, who is both a baseball champion and something of an irresponsible fool, when Jimmy is kicked off the team.


Ford, Jamie Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Realistic Fiction 290 p.

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown.  It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during WWII.  It is here that Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors.


Myers, Walter The Greatest:  Muhammad Ali Bio/Memoir 192 p.

This biography of boxing champion Muhammad Ali tells of the dangers associated with boxing, Ali’s politics and his fight against Parkinson’s disease.


Namioka, Lensey Ties That Bind, Ties That Break Cultural Fiction 154 p.

Ailin’s life takes a different turn when she defies the traditions of upper class Chinese society by refusing to have her feet bound.


Riggs, Ransom Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Fantasy 352 p.

This is a novel that mixes both fiction and photography.  When the story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets a 16 year old boy named Jacob on a journey to a remote island off the coast of Wales.  Here he discovers  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  


Spinelli, Jerry Stargirl Young Adult Fiction 208 p.

“She was home schooling gone amok.”  “She was an alien.”  “Her parents were circus acrobats.”  These are only a few of the theories concocted to explain Stargirl Caraway, a new 10th grader at Arizona’ Mica Area High School who wears pioneer dresses, strums a ukulele in the cafeteria, laughs when there are no jokes, and dances when there is no music.


Stockett, Kathryn The Help Realistic Fiction 522 p.

This story is set in the rural South during the 1960s.  The main characters are black and white women, those who are on the opposite sides of the racial divide.  If you enjoy reading about race relations in the 50s and 60s, this is a book you will not be able to put down.


Skloot, Rebecca The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Non-fiction 381 p.

This book is about an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line, known as HeLa, that came from Lacks’s cancer cells in 1951.  If you enjoy science and American history, you will love this book.


Yancey, Rick The Fifth Wave 457 p.

The 5th Wave is a young-adult, science-fiction novel. The novel was published in 2013 and is the first installment in a trilogy. Critics have compared the book favorably to The Hunger Games and The Road and noted that it “should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires.”


 

Writing Assignment:

After you read your book, respond to the following questions.  Each response should be at least a thoughtful, detailed paragraph.  Be prepared to turn in these responses.

  1. Why did you select this book at first?  What interested you and continued to hold your attention?
  2. To which parts of the book did you have a strong emotional reaction?  Why?
  3. What were the best scenes in this book?  Why
  4. What connections do you see between this book and your life, or to the world around you?

Challenge Question: (not required)

Write a sentence that names the central problem that the characters in your book face.  Next, write three – five sentences that reflect on parts of the story that pertain to this problem.  For the concluding sentence, write a sentence that states what this story teaches about this problem.  

Science Olympiads Concludes Another Successful Year with 8th Place Finish at Nationals!

The Marie Murphy Science Olympiad Team wrapped up another hugely successful year with a top-ten finish at the national competition. The 8th place finish marks the 5th time in the last 6 years that the Marie Murphy Science Olympiad Team has finished in the top ten nationally.

Competing against top teams from across the country at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the team was led by medal-winning performances in the following categories:

  • Food Science – National Champions; 1st Place: Sophia Ahn & Andrew Kearney
  • Road Scholar – National Champions; 1st Place: Sophia Ahn & Jason Yuan
  • Elastic Lauch Glider – National Runner Up; 2nd Place: Youngwon Kim & Petra Ilic
  • Experimental Design – 4th Place: Sophia Ahn, Carol Klingler & Emilia McDougal
  • Bottle Rocket – 4th place: Petra Ilic & Jeffrey Yuan
  • Disease Detectives – 5th Place: Andrew Kearney & Chelsea Lu
  • Bridge Building – 6th Place: Sophia Ahn & Jonathan Yuan

Congratulations to all members of the team, parent coaches & volunteers, and Coaches Mr. Gravagna, Mr. Persino, Mr. Ogden, and Ms. Wright on a incredibly successful season!

Marie Murphy Actors Wow in ‘Earnest’!

The Marie Murphy Spring Play this year showcased Oscar Wilde’s, “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Armed with Victorian-era costumes, British accents, and wealth of experience and dedication, Marie Murphy’s young actors delivered a superb performance! With shows on Thursday, April 28, Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, the play was seen by scores of students and parents alike. Highlights of the performance can be seen in the video below.

MM Science Olympiad Team Advances to Nationals!

Marie Murphy’s Science Olympiad team advanced to the National Tournament with a second place finish at the Illinois state tournament last week in Champaign.

Several MM students earned state titles for specific events including: Anatomy & Physiology, Crime Busters, Elastic Launch Glider, Experimental Design, Food Science, Green Generation, and Meteorology. Additionally, MM has second place finishes in: Air Trajectory, Fossils, Picture This, and Wind Power.

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Narrowly missing out on a state title, the team is poised for a strong showing at the national tournament, being held May 19-22 in Menomonie Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin Stout. MM will be competing against 60 teams from 48 states.

Science Olympiad Heads to State Tournament!

Marie Murphy’s Science Olympiad team departed today (4/15/16) for the state tournament at the University of Illinois at Champaign. The team will be competing against other regional winners. The top two teams at the state level will be invited to the National Science Olympiad Tournament next month in Wisconsin.

The MM student body sent the competitors off in style! See the video below!

 

8th Graders Explore Romeo & Juliet in Theatre Arts

The Marie Murphy 8th graders closed out their first-semester Theatre Arts experience by putting on a classroom performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Involving all students in the class, these abbreviated performances represented the culmination of three years of theatre study! Highlights of each class’ performance are linked below.

Period 2 Trailer

Period 3 Trailer

Congratulations to outstanding young actors & actresses!

 

Marie Murphy Students Participate in Hour of Code

All Marie Murphy students participated in Hour of Code activities on December 8 following completion of the MAP testing. This is Marie Murphy’s second year participating in the event. Technology Integration Specialist Kelli Lane led out on activities with the students and Technology Integration Specialist, Tim Furman, created this highlight video.

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The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Please visit https://hourofcode.com/us for more information about this global educational initiative.

8th Graders Learn Stage Combat in Theatre Arts!

On Friday, November 13th, New Trier High School theatre students, led by theatre teacher and director, Mrs. Hilerre Kirsch, traveled to Marie Murphy to lead the 8th grade Theatre Arts students in a workshop demonstrating stage combat techniques and performing highlights from their stage combat show, Fight Night, which will take place on December 2 at the Winnetka campus.  MMS students learned about simple hand-to-hand combat, sword fighting, and staging techniques that add reality and drama to the performance, all while staying safe.  It was engaging, thrilling, and intense!  Unforgettable opportunity!5qv_9FDjh51EgLogJ-xtnZR6ODOuHqLEcB_An30Jit4 BxluuIQkDBIvnq1FX4zRms5NuBctTIk58A99N22Rwyg D-3dt2cea_L9dN7lPQyEQytXB9Lej3IkGWxJ5DkDYnY IMG_2262 Pv4YlHfWrk3zPCGkn3_nxsrNjXCI-CJOpjM7gSt0blo

 

Marie Murphy 8th Graders Take the Learning on the Road

Marie Murphy 8th graders experienced a series of education trips last week visiting Cantigny Park in Wheaton, the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie and the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. Photos from the trips are posted below.