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Up Close: Harper Lee

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Up Close: Harper Lee)

Up Close Harper Lee cover
Up Close: Harper Lee by Kerry Madden. Viking, 2009

1. Whether or not you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, what did you learn about the impact of that novel?

2. Harper Lee does not want to be defined by a single book. What do you want to be defined by (e.g. behaviors, values, activities, etc.)

3. This book explores Harper Lee’s private and public lives. How do you describe your public and private lives?

Akata Witch

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Akata Witch)

Akata Witch cover
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Viking, 2011

1. If you were a Leopard Person, what would your juju be?

2. How does Sunny’s sense of identity change throughout the book?

3. Which do you think is more important to the story — the power of friendship or the power of magic? Why?

Books for Middle School Age

Anya’s Ghost

October 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in October | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Anya’s Ghost)

Anya's Ghost cover
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol. First Second, 2011

1. Anya’s family routine is shown several times (e.g. kitchen meals). Show your routine in words and pictures.

2. If you had Anya’s ghost, what would you have it do at home and at school? What harm or good would that cause?

3. Not just the ghost is manipulative. Describe instances of manipulation and what motivated it.

Warp Speed

October 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in October | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Warp Speed)

Warp Speed cover
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic Inc., 2011

1. What does this book say about the power of bystanders to make a difference?

2. In which situations would you want to be invisible and when is it better to be invincible?

3. Star Trek, Star Wars, or Batman? Discuss.

Books for Middle School Age

Hidden / Bluefish

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in September | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Hidden / Bluefish)

Hidden cover
Hidden by Helen Frost. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011

1. The title of the book is Hidden. What kinds of things are hidden in this story?

2. How does the weight of their shared secret affect Wren’s and Darra’s relationship?

3. How are Wren and Darra able to understand each other’s point of view?

 

Bluefish cover
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. How do Travis (“Bluefish”) and Velveeta feel about the nicknames they’ve been given?

2. Travis is unable to read at the beginning of this story. Why do you think he keeps this a secret
instead of asking for help?

3. Why do you think Travis, Velveeta, and Bradley get along so well?

Books for Middle School Age

Olive’s Ocean

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | 2011-2012 | Summer - (Comments Off on Olive’s Ocean)

Olive's Ocean book coverOlive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2003

Books for Middle School Age

Esperanza Rising

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | 2011-2012 | Summer - (Comments Off on Esperanza Rising)

Esperanza Rising book coverEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Scholastic Press, 2000

Books for Middle School Age

Blue Jasmine

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | 2011-2012 | Summer - (Comments Off on Blue Jasmine)

Blue Jasmine book coverBlue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth. Hyperion, 2004

Books for Middle School Age

Little Blog on the Prairie

May 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | 2011-2012 | May - (Comments Off on Little Blog on the Prairie)

Little Blog on the Prairie book coverLittle Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell. Bloomsbury, 2010

1. What technology could you not give up for a whole summer?
2. What did Gen and her family gain from their summer at Camp Frontier?
3. If you went to Camp Frontier, what do you think you’d enjoy the most? What do you think you’d enjoy the least?

Books for Middle School Age

Casey at the Bat / Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors

April 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | 2011-2012 | April - (Comments Off on Casey at the Bat / Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors)

Casey at the Bat book coverCasey at the Bat by Ernest W. Thayer. Illustrated by Joe Morse. Visions in Poetry / Kids Can Press, 2006

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman. Illustrated by Becki Prange. Houghton Mifflin, 2010Ubiquitous book cover

1. In each book, how do the illustrations enhance the reading?
2. How can the poem “Casey at the Bat,” written in 1888, be relevant to today?
3. How is “Ubiquitious” a fitting title?

Books for Middle School Age

The Day of the Pelican

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | March | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on The Day of the Pelican)

Day of the Pelican book coverThe Day of the Pelican by Katharine Paterson. Clarion, 2009

1. How is it possible to be a refugee in your own country?
2. What strengths do the Lleshi’s have that enable them to overcome hatred and discrimination?
3. How do Meli and Mehmet’s definitions of home change?

Books for Middle School Age

Forge

January 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | January | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Forge)

Forge book coverForge by Laurie Halse Anderson. Atheneum, 2010

1. What motivated African American soldiers to fight in the Revolutionary War?
2. What would you have found most difficult about being a soldier at Valley Forge?
3. How does the war affect friendships during the course of the story?

Books for Middle School Age

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