Attention Incoming 8th Graders – Here is your summer reading list!

Dear Incoming 2017-2018 8th Graders and Parents,

I am delighted to present the summer reading list for the 2017 – 2018 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 2017-2018 school year, and I wish you a restful summer.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Cunningham
cunningn@avoca37.org

8th Grade Summer Reading List ’17 -18

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.”

Green, Tim Unstoppable 343 p.
“Unstoppable” is a story about Harrison, a 13 year old boy. Harrison’s mother dies and he is sent to live in a foster home and is later adopted by a family whose father figure is the head coach for the middle school Harrison will attend. Harrison becomes the star running back for the football team.
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.

MM Science Olympiad Completes Another Successful National-Recognized Season!

The Marie Murphy Science Olympiad team continued their tradition of excellence with their performance this weekend at the National Tournament at Wright State University in Ohio. The team finished 8th place nationally marking the third consecutive year the team has finished in top-ten in the nation, and the 8th time in 10 years the team has finished in the top-ten nationally.

National Medalists included:

  • 2nd Place: Hovercraft – Eric Liu & Dodge Adams
  • 3rd Place: Crimebusters – Isabelle Hester & Chelsea Lu, Rocks and Minerals – Isabelle Hester & Mia Moline, and Towers – Violet Cue & Ian Quan
  • 5th Place: Wright Stuff – Zijun Deng & Brian Shen
  • 6th Place: Optics – Eric Liu & Brian Shen

Congratulations to team sponsors Jim Gravagna, Darren Persino, Peter Ogden and Shannon Wright as well as all of our parent coaches and volunteers!

 

The 2016-2017 Varsity Science Olympiad Team members were:

Dodge Adams
Dorothy Adams
Alexander Aronov
Violet Cue
Zijun Deng
Isabelle Hester
Xingyuan Huang
Mahin Lalani
Eric Liu
Chelsea Lu
Emilia McDougal
Mia Moline
Ian Quan
Brian Shen
Jeffrey Yuan
 
JV Team:
 
Alex Bailey
Elizabeth Feoktistov
Patrice Kao
Kaitlyn Kirkland
Anya Liu
Will Liu
Divya Mehta
Colin O’Donnell
Emily Quan
Ellie Song
Ryan Suh
Jonathan Wang
Thupten Wangpo
Nick Wilson

Marie Murphy Guys Volleyball Teams Claim Championships!

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The guys volleyball season wrapped up with conference championships for both the junior varsity and varsity teams.

The Varsity Vikings completed an 8-1 regular season with the only loss coming to Glencoe. The Vikings had an opportunity for revenge with a rematch against Glencoe in the North Shore Conference Tournament Championship. The Vikings prevailed winning the championship match two games to one. While both teams played well with many volleys that lasted for several minutes, in the end, the Vikings took the trophy with excellent digging, outstanding passing, and because they played as a team. The team included 5 players who had never played volleyball before as well as 9 returning players. The Varsity Vikings were coached by Ms. Kelli Lane

Not to be outdone, the Junior Varsity Vikings completed an undefeated regular season with a North Shore Tournament championship as well. The team defeated Washburne in the semi-finals setting up a championship match versus Glencoe. The Vikings prevailed, completing a perfect 15-0 season. The Junior Varsity Vikings were coached by Mr. Patrick Higgins.

Congrats to our outstanding players and coaches!DSC_0846

 

Marie Murphy Authors Recognized By Scholastic!

This week, several of Marie Murphy School’s most exceptional writers were recognized at the regional level of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Scholastic received a record number of submissions this year and Marie Murphy students were well represented in being lauded for their excellence. Writing on a variety of topics, our students were praised for their excellent submissions. Also encouraging were the number of Marie Murphy alumni recognized at the high school level of the competition.
Congratulations to all students who submitted!
Silver Key: 
  • Victoria Chan: Personal Essay/Memoir – First Night
  • Emilia McDougal: Personal Essay/Memoir – Piano
  • Chanel Pudrycki: Personal Essay/Memoir – The Holidays
  • Julia Stesal: Personal Essay/Memoir – The Great Truth
  • Emma Taylor: Journalism – Clinical Trial: Providing New Hope
  • Sarah Trunsky: Personal Essay/Memoir – Songa 2016
Honorable Mention:
  • Alena Balassa: Personal Essay/Memoir – A Christmas Walk
  • Isabelle Hester: Personal Essay/Memoir – Scrambled
  • Dahee Lee: Personal Essay/Memoir – Journal In America
  • Chelsea Lu: Personal Essay/Memoir – Stereotype
  • Divya Mehta: Personal Essay/Memoir – The Last Time
  • Divya Mehta: Personal Essay/Memoir – Tiramisu: The Day I Moved
  • Emma Taylor: Personal Essay/Memoir – Starbucks Runs and Family Fun

Click here for the full list of Scholastic Winners from the Chicago region.

Marie Murphy Artists Recognized by Scholastic!

This past week, several Marie Murphy students were recognized for artistic excellence in the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. MM students competed against 7-12th graders from over eight different states. Congrats to all MM students who competed!
The following students were recognized:
  • Julia Stesal – Honorable Mention (Ceramics)
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    Davina Shin – Honorable Mention (Drawing)
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    Chelsea Lu – Silver Key (Painting)
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    Daniel Martinez – Gold Key (Photography)
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    Violet Cue – Gold Key  (Drawing)
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    Juliana Gurevich – Gold Key(Painting), Silver Key(Drawing), Honorable Mention
    (Photography)
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MM Science Olympiad Team Travels to Wright State Invite

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The Marie Murphy Science Olympiad Team traveled to Wright State this weekend to compete in a national tournament featuring 60 teams from 13 different states, including those states champions and runners up. Awards were given to the top 8 teams.

Marie Murphy came in 7th overall, highlighting a strong overall performance from Illinois overall. Two other Illinois schools, Science and Arts and South, came in 15th and 16th respectively.

Marie Murphy students medaled in following events:

Bottle Rocket – 2nd – Jeffrey, Xingyuan & Alex
Crimebusters – 1st – Chelsea & Izzy
Disease Detectives – 8th – Chelsea & Xingyuan
Experimental Design – 1st – Dorothy, Emilia, & Mia
Food Science – 8th – Eric & Dorothy
Microbe Mission – 8th – Alex & Chelsea
Optics – 4th – Eric & Brian
Towers – 4th – Violet & Ian
Write it Do it -7th – Ian & Emilia

The team’s next competition is on February 11th at Grayslake and the annual Science Olympiad Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser is on March 4th.  See the photos below.

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PTC Brings Music To Marie Murphy!

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The PTC struck a chord with the Marie Murphy students when they arranged for an all-school assembly with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band.  The hour-long performance was filled with music, stories and history that entertained everyone from 8th graders to preschoolers. As the performance ended, the band transitioned into the orchestra room so they could run a workshop with the Marie Murphy orchestra students.

See the photos below and read the article from the Wilmette Life!

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MM Parents Invited to Take the 5Essential Survey

5Essentials Parent Survey Window Now Open

Parent feedback is instrumental to helping Avoca improve its programs, so please take the 2016-2017 5Essentials Parent Survey by clicking on this link.

The 5Essentials survey provides information about the following five critical components for school success:

  • Effective leaders

  • Collaborative teachers

  • Involved families

  • Supportive environment

  • Ambitious instruction

 
Your input is appreciated!

JV Volleyball Makes Great Strides; Looks Forward to Bright Future!

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The JV girls volleyball team made Marie Murphy proud this season with their efforts throughout their 14 game schedule.  The talent on the squad was evenly divided between the 6th and 7th grade players which speaks well for the future of Marie Murphy volleyball program.  The growth in skill technique and teamwork throughout the season was excellent, as noted by other coaches in the conference. Coach Nick from Central School in Glencoe stated, “MM gave us the closest and most exciting games out of the other squads in the conference.  I hope we get to play your girls in the next round because they are fearsome players that bring it.”

Sadly, the conference tournament ended in a loss to Glencoe in a close battle worthy enough of a two spot increase in the conference rankings.  The individual, as well as team, gains resulted in a completely different team by the end of the season 6 weeks later. Coach Lane and Coach Higgins could not be prouder of our players’ attitude and effort put into our fast and exciting season of Marie Murphy volleyball 2016.  The team succeeded as players, and as a team, because they came with the mentality to give the best you have received from the past to the best you may come to know in the future and the junior varsity girls exemplified this value.

Viking Cross Country Wraps Up Successful 2nd Season!

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The 2016 Marie Murphy Cross Country team had another successful season. This fall, the young team continued to grow with thirty-three runners in its second season of existence. Over the course of nine meets, the Running Vikings had several students finish in top positions. These students included: Boys – Kenny Dolin (8th grade), Chris Bulwa (8th grade), Jun Yoshitani (6th grade) and Will Kelly (6th grade), Girls – Josephine Yoshitani (8th grade), Lindsey Luksik (7th grade), and Bethany Bulwa (6th grade). All runners made great strides in improving their overall times as they progressed through the season. Coach Daira Tramontin and Coach Andrea Bialk were really proud of how hard the team worked throughout the fall 2016 season and look forward to potentially hosting a home meet next year!

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