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.


Mrs. Cunningham

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.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences 2016

You are invited to participate in the Parent-Teacher Conferences to be held on: Wednesday, October 19, 2016, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. and Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 3:00-7:00 p.m.

The online registration period is: 9:00 a.m. on Friday,  September 30, 2016, until 4:00 PM, Friday, October 14, 2016.

You will need to use a username and password to sign up!  This information will be emailed to your primary email address on Friday, September 23, 2016.  

Beginning September 30th, please sign-up for conferences here!

Click here to read the information regarding Parent Teacher Conferences from Mr. Palcer!

Marie Murphy Begins Year at Top Speed!

Despite the fact that it’s only the first week of school, the calendar of events is already in starting to fill up. Please be aware that following events have already occurred or will be taking place in the next few weeks!

  • Bus Evacuation Drills
  • Laptop Distribution
  • Girls Volleyball Tryouts
  • Co-Ed Soccer Tryouts
  • Cross Country Team Begins
  • Parent Orientation Evening
  • Roots & Shoots Club Meeting
  • Orchestra Rehearsals Beginning
  • Beginning of Year Fire Drill
  • 8th Grade Field Trip to Field Museum
  • 8th Grade Graduation Carwash Fundraiser

If you’d like to receive text updates about upcoming events at Marie Murphy, please follow the directions below.

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Marie Murphy Spring Play is Almost Here!

cropped-DSC_8721.jpgThe Marie Murphy Spring 2015 Play, Brighton Beach Memoirs, is coming! An all-school performance will take place Thursday, April 23 at 1:00. Additional evening performances will take place Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Come out and see our young actors and actresses shine!

BBM PLaybill

Science Olympiad Teams Dominate Regionals; Prepare for State!

DSC_0103Both the Marie Murphy Varsity and Junior Varsity Science Olympiad Teams dominated the regional competition this past weekend at Oakton Community College.

The Varsity Team’s regional title was highlighted with top-3 finishes in 23 of the 24 events, including 15 first-place finishes! Their overall score of 37 points was half the points of their nearest competitor (in Science Olympiad, like in golf, lower scores represent a better performance).

Not to be outdone, the Junior Varsity Team also earned the regional title with top-3 finishes in 19 of the 23 events, including 15 first-place finishes as well. Their total score of 49 points was 32 points better than their nearest competitor.

Up next is an April 18th trip to the University of Illinois with the Junior Varsity participating in trial events while the Varsity competes against other regional champions for the state title and a birth in that national competition.



6th and 7th Grade Spring Conferences- Sign up!

We will be holding our second round of parent-teacher conferences on Wednesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 3-7 p.m. on both days.  Students will have an early dismissal on these days (11:00 a.m.).

The sign-up window for these conferences is 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 9, to 12:00 noon on Friday, March 20, 2015.

You will need to use your Registration and PowerSchool credentials to access this online registration system.  If you need help with your username and password, please contact the Marie Murphy office.

Beginning March 9th, please sign-up for conferences here!

Click here to read the letter regarding Parent Teacher Conferences from Mr. Palcer!