Incoming 8th Grade Summer 2018 Reading List

June, 2018
Dear Incoming 8th Graders,

I am delighted to present the summer reading list for the 2018 – 2019 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.

I look forward to working with you in the 2018-2019 school year.


~Mrs. Cunningham


8th Grade Summer Reading List ’18 -19

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.

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.

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.

Smith, Jennifer The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Quirks of timing feature in this romantic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver find that true love can be unexpected.
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.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

The first Marie Murphy Newsletter of the year has been published  – The Marie Murphy Chronicles. Issues will be published every few weeks and emailed to Marie Murphy families. Additionally, they’ll be posted here as well. Click on the link below to read the 20 September 2017 issue.

Marie Murphy Chronicles 20 September 2017

Happy Reading! 

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!


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