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Compiling my Curriculum- English/Language Arts
July 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

I've been working on putting together the curriculum for my kids. Many have asked me lately about how I go about it. So I thought I'd post it here; THis is the English//Language Arts section for my eldest. With my eldest, language arts are the most difficult for me to design. He is on the autism spectrum, and this is by far his most challenging subject. 

Reading - Reading grade level materials (lists in replies)- doing a visual representation/book report *a cross between a book report and a lapbook - focusing on certain qualities:

  *Story Type: Fiction/non-fiction
  * Structural Type: short story, essay, novel, novella, etc
  *Identify recurring themes: bravery, loyalty, friendship, etc.
  * Contrast Points of view: first person, second person, third person, limited omniscient, subjective/objective, and explain how these POV affect the work.

Writing  - Essay Writing 

Each week DJ will have a writing theme. He will use this theme to write a persuasive essay.

Grammar - 

  **Sentence Structure - focus on word modifiers and using an active voice.
  **Identify and use infinitives and participles and make clear references between pronouns and antecedents
  **Identify all parts of speech and types and structures of sentences
  **Demonstrate the mechanics of writing - quotation marks, commast, pronoun reference, etc.
  **Identify hyphens, dashes, brackets, and semicolons and use them correctly
  **Use correct capitalization

Spelling -

 We will be doing  a spelling word/day out of a special English voabulary cards.

 GRADE 5 - this is for my younger son

Reading GRade level works - see reading lists in the replies. Do a lapbook on each book once finished. 

 **Comprehension strategies before, during & after reading various literary genres and their characteristics, basic literary ters (ie setting, POV, simile, metaphor, rhythm, etc). Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make lofical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions dawn from text. 

Writing - story telling. poetry. Writing in different genres for different audiences. Using mechanics of writing for spelling, definition, pronunciation & sentence structure. 

 **Basic Writing of Research PAper - each week he can choose a topic to research and report on. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Drafting thesis, controlling ideas. Compare & contrast, edit and clarify ideas. 

** Write journal entries daily with short narratives of (real or imagined) experiences or events using 3effective technique, well-chosen details, and well structured event sequences. 


**Possessives, mechanics, commas, sentence punctuation, regular & irregular plurals

**Complete, compound and complex sentences


**Plot, POV, 


One word per day out of the book 100 words for 5th grade.


  • KickButtMama
    July 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    7th Grade Reading List 

    Reading List

    Absolutely Normal Chaos/ Sharon Creech 

    Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou grows up quickly during the summer while learning about romance, homesickness, 

    death, and her cousin's search for his biological father. 

    After the Last Dog Died: The True-Life, Hair-Raising Adventure of Douglas Mawson and His 1912 Antarctic Expedition / Carmen Bredeson 

    Describes the life and career of the Australian explorer, Sir Doulgas Mawson, focusing on his 1912 scientific expedition to Antarctica. 

    Alice in Wonderland / by Lewis Carroll 

    A little girl falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a world of nonsensical and amusing characters. 

    America at Bat / Paul Rosenthal 

    Examines how the game of baseball has evolved over the years and become woven into American culture and 

    traditions, highlights baseball heroes, and presents trivia questions. 

    Among the Hidden / Margaret Peterson Haddix 

    In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all 

    his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government 

    is wrong. 

    Anastasia Has the Answers / Lois Lowry 

    Anastasia continues the perilous process of growing up as her thirteenth year involves her in conquering the art 

    of rope climbing, playing Cupid for a recently widowered uncle, and surviving a crush on her gym teacher. 

    The Andromeda Strain / Michael Crichton 

    For five days, American scientists struggle to identify and control a deadly new form of life. 

    Angels Watching Over Me / Lurlene McDaniel 

    Cynical Leah Lewis-Hall, stuck in the hospital alone during the holidays, learns about the miracles of love, faith, 

    and angels when she meets the loving family of her roommate, a young Amish girl named Rebekah. 

    Anne of Green Gables/ L.M. Montgomery 

    An adventurous young orphan goes to live on a farm with an elderly brother and sister. 

    The Bad Beginning / Lemony Snicket 

    After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits 

    when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary 

    to get their fortune. 

    Baseball in April and Other Stories/ Gary Soto 

    A collection of eleven short stories focusing on the everyday adventures of Hispanic young people growing up in 

    Fresno, California. 

    Bearstone / Will Hobbs 

    A troubled Indian boy goes to live with an elderly rancher whose caring ways help the boy become a man.

  • KickButtMama
    July 31, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Black Star, Bright Dawn / Scott O'Dell 

    Bright Dawn must face the challenge of the Iditarod dog sled race alone when her father is injured 

    Boy: Tales of Childhood / Roald Dahl. 

    A collection of humorous anecdotes from the author's childhood, including his summer vacations in Norway and life at an English boarding school. 

    The Breadwinner/ Deborah Ellis 

    Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, 

    eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest. 

    Call It Courage / Armstrong Sperry 

    Based on a Polynesian legend, this is the story of a youth who overcomes his fear of the sea and proves his courage 

    to himself and his tribe. 

    The Call of the Wild / Jack London 

    The 1903 story about the adventures of Buck, a part St. BBernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the 

    Klondike goldfields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack. 

    Cast Two Shadows : The American Revolution in the South / Ann Rinaldi 

    In South Carolina in 1780, fourteen-year-old Caroline sees the Revolutionary War take a terrible toll among her 

    family and friends and comes to understand the true nature of war. 

    The Cay / Theodore Taylor 

    Philip, an adolescent white boy who is blinded in a torpedo attack at sea during World War II, acquires a new type 

    of vision, courage, and love when he is stranded on a tiny Caribbean island with Timothy, a kind, elderly black 


    Cheaper by the Dozen / Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey 

    Presents a memoir by two siblings from the Gilbreth clan in which they look at the lives of their parents, Frank 

    Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, discuss Frank and Lillian's careers as industrial engineers and work 

    with scientific management, and share the adventures the couple encountered raising a family of twelve children. 

    The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding / Michael Brooke 

    An illustrated history of skateboarding, from 1959 through the 1990s, featuring interviews with some of the 

    world's top skaters, and including true stories of the sport. 

    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court / Mark Twain 

    Nineteenth-century mechanic Hank Morgan suffers a blow to the head and wakes up in King Arthur's Court where 

    he tries to introduce modern technology and political ideas to the inhabitants. 

    Crash / Jerry Spinelli 

    Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his 

    relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship 

    and the importance of family. 

    A Day No Pigs Would Die / Robert Newton Peck. 

    To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he 

    learns "doing what's got to be done," especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter. 

    Dear Mr. Henshaw / Beverly Cleary 

    In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, 

    being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world. 

    A Dog's Life / by Peter Mayle 

    The memoirs of Boy, a shaggy dog of unknown origins, who describes his life in the village of Provence in France 

    Dragondrums / Anne McCaffrey 

    When his boy soprano voice begins to change, Piemur is drafted by Masterharper Robinton to help with political 

    work and is sent on missions that lead him into unusual and sometimes dangerous adventures.

  • KickButtMama
    July 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Dragonwings / Laurence Yep 

    In the early twentieth century a young Chinese boy joins his father in San Francisco and helps him realize his 

    dream of making a flying machine. 

    The Egypt Game / Zilpha Keatley Snyder 

    A group of children, entranced with Egypt, play their own Egypt game, are visited by a secret oracle, become involved in a murder, and befriend the Professor before they move on to new interests, such as Gypsies. 

    Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery / Russell Freedman 

    A biography of the first wife of a president to have a public life and career of her own. 

    The Face on the Milk Carton / Caroline B. Cooney 

    A photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads Janie on a search for her real identity. 

     Flush / Carl Hiaasen - With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, 

    Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected 

    waters around their Florida Keys home. 

    Freak the Mighty / Rodman Philbrick 

    At the beginning of eighth grade, Max, who has a learning disability, and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect 

    has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team. 

    Gathering Blue / Lois Lowry 

    Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council 

    Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians 

    A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32 / Joan W. Blos 

    The journal of a fourteen-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events in her 

    small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend. 

    Geronimo: Apache Freedom Fighter / Spring Hermann 

    This story examines the life of the Apache chief Geronimo, who led one of the last Indian uprisings. 

    A Girl Named Disaster/ Nancy Farmer 

    While fleeing from Mozambique to Zimbabwe to escape an unwanted marriage, Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona 

    girl, struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African 


    Gregor the Overlander / Suzanne Collins - 

    When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger 

    an epic battle involving humans, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy. 

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / J.K. Rowling - Novice wizard Harry Potter, now sixteen-years-old, begins 

    his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the midst of the battle between good and evil 

    which has heated up with the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort. 

    Here Today / Ann M. Martin - In 1963, when her flamboyant mother abandons the family to pursue her dream of 

    becoming an actress, eleven-year-old Ellie Dingman takes charge of her younger siblings, while also trying to deal 

    with her outcast status in school and frightening acts of prejudice toward the "misfits" that live on her street. 

    Hoot / Carl Hiaasen 

    Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of 

    burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. 

    Hope Was Here / Joan Bauer When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to 

    work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political 

    campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor. 

    The House of the Scorpion / Nancy Farmer - 

    In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-yearold leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States. 

    Hush / Jacqueline Woodson - 

    Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection program. 

    Jackaroo / Cynthia Voigt 

    When hard times among the people revive old stories of the hero Jackaroo, an innkeeper's daughter follows her 

    own quest to unlock the secret reality behind the legend. 

    Jip: His Story / Katherine Paterson 

    While living on a Vermont poor farm during 1855 and 1856, Jip learns his identity and that of his mother and 

    comes to understand how he arrived at this place. 

    A Journey to the Center of the Earth / Jules Verne 

    Three men dare to adventure into a subterranean world full of danger and beauty. They discover many unusual 

    things on their trip to the Earth's mysterious core. 

    Julie of the Wolves/ Jean Craighead George 

    Escaping from an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl gets lost on the Alaskan tundra and is befriended by a wolf pack. 

    The Jungle Books/ Rudyard Kipling 

    The adventures of a young boy, Mowgli, who is reared by a pack of wolves, and the wild animals of the jungle. 

    Also includes other short stories set in India. 

    Keeper / Mal Peet - 

    South American journalist Paul Faustino begins his interview with World Cup Soccer star El Gato and learns a 

    fantastic story of a young, lonely boy growing up in the middle of a rain forest who wandered upon a mysterious 

    soccer field and an apparition that appeared to him daily. 

    Keystone Kids / John R. Tunis 

    When two young brothers join the Brooklyn Dodgers, one becomes team manager and is faced with the task of 

    uniting a team rife with dissension and prejudice against the new Jewish rookie catcher. 

    Lily's Crossing / Patricia Reilly Giff 

    During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily's friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her 

    to see the war and her own world differently. 

    The Lost Years of Merlin / T.A. Barron 

    A young boy who has no identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true 

    name after a series of fantastic adventures. 

    Lyddie / Katherine Paterson 

    Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory 

    worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. 

    Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles/ Kathryn Lasky 

    In 1769, thirteen-year-old Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa, begins a journal 

    chronicling her life at the Austrian court and her preparations for her future role as queen of France. 

  • KickButtMama
    July 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Millicent Min: Girl Genius / Lisa Yee - 

    In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play 

    volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother's departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer. 

    My Brother Sam Is Dead / James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier 

    Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces 

    while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town. 

    Old Yeller / Fred Gipson 

    In the late 1860s in the Texas hill country, a big yellow dog and a fourteen-year-old boy form a close, loving relationship. 

    Olive’s Ocean / Kevin Henkes - 

    On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the 

    death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to 

    be a writer. 

    The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place / E.L. Konigsburg - 

    Upon leaving an oppressive summer camp, twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane spearheads a campaign to preserve three unique towers her grand uncles have been building in their back yard for over forty years. 

    The Ox-Bow Incident / Walter Van Tilburg Clark 

    A posse captures and hangs three men believed to be guilty of cattle rustling and murder, only to learn later that the 

    men were innocent. 

    Petey / Ben Mikaelsen 

    In 1922 Petey, who has cerebral palsy, is misdiagnosed as an idiot and institutionalized; sixty years later, still in the 

    institution, he befriends a boy and shares with him the joy of life. 

    P.S. Longer Letter Later/ Paula Danziger & Ann M. Martin 

    Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara-Starr continue their friendship through letter-writing after TaraStarr's family moves to another state. 

    Rats / Paul Zindel 

    When mutant rats threaten to take over Staten Island, which has become a huge landfill, fourteen-year-old Sarah 

    and her younger brother Mike try to figure out how to stop them. 

    Redwall / Brian Jacques 

    When the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous 

    hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall's inhabitants destroy the enemy. 

    Revenge of the Witch / Joseph Delaney - 

    Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, starts work as an apprentice for the village spook, whose job is to 

    protect ordinary folk from "ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties." 

    The Road to There: Mapmakers and Their Stories / Val Ross - 

    Describes the lives and inspirations of several important mapmakers throughout history, such as Cheng Ho, Captain James Cook, and Phyllis Pearsall, and includes map reproductions. 

    The Runner / Cynthia Voigt 

    As a dedicated runner, a teenage boy has always managed to distance himself from other people until the experience of coaching one of his teammates on the track team gradually helps him see the value of giving and receiving. Saffy’s Angel / Hilary McKay - 

    After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family 

    changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special memento of her past. 

    Search for the Shadowman / Joan Lowery Nixon 

    While working on a genealogy project for his seventh grade history class, Andy Bonner becomes determined to 

    solve the mystery surrounding a distant relative who was accused of stealing the family fortune. 

    Shiloh / by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 

    When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and 

    the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs. 

    The Sign of the Beaver / Elizabeth George Speare 

    Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive 

    until local Indians teach him their skills. 

    A Single Shard / Linda Sue Park 

    Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge near a potters' village, and longs to 

    learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself. 

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/ Ann Brashares 

    Carmen decides to discard an old pair of jeans, but Tibby, Lena, and Bridget think they are great and decide that 

    whoever the pants fit best will get them. When the jeans fit everyone perfectly, a sisterhood and a memorable summer begin. 

    Sliding into Home / Dori Hillestad Butler 

    When thirteen-year-old Joelle, a star baseball player, moves to a new town where the only option for girls is softball, she starts an all-girl baseball league against the wishes of her school coaches and others in the town. 

    Sounder / William H. Armstrong 

    A young African-American boy learns the pain of humiliation and anger when his father is given an unjust jail 

    sentence for stealing a ham from a white man. Learning to read and to discover that things do not die, but become 

    part of other things, brings the youngster new hope. 

    Stitches / Glen Huser - 

    Travis, a middle-school student who wants to become a professional puppeteer, has endured years of torment from 

    a trio of bullies, but he finds himself fighting for his life when the harassment turns to violence just after the ninthgrade dance. 

    Stowaway / Karen Hesse 

    A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway from 1768 to 1771 aboard the Endeavor which 

    sailed around the world under Captain James Cook. 

    A Summer Life / Gary Soto 

    The poet recreates the life he experienced as a Chicano growing up in California's Central Valley. 

    Surviving the Applewhites/ by Stephanie S. Tolan 

    Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family's Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had. 

    Take It to the Hoop / Sandra Steen and Susan Steen 

    Traces the development of women’s basketball, from its beginning in the 1890s through the formation of the 

    Women’s National Basketball Association in 1997. 

  • KickButtMama
    July 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Tales from Shakespeare / Charles and Mary Lamb 

      Retells for children the stories of twenty of Shakespeare's plays, including "King Lear," "Romeo and Juliet," and 

      "A Midsummer Night's Dream." 

      Tangerine / Edward Bloor 

      Paul Fisher, a stellar soccer player despite being legally blind, finally comes into his own when his family moves 

      to the strange town of Tangerine, Florida. 

      That Was Then, This Is Now / S.E. Hinton 

      Sixteen-year-old Mark and Bryon have been like brothers since childhood, but now, as their involvement with 

      girls, gangs, and drugs increases, their relationship seems to gradually disintegrate 

      This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie / Elizabeth Partridge 

      An illustrated biography of Woody Guthrie, composer of "This Land Is Your Land," and over three thousand other 

      folk songs and ballads, telling about his travels throughout the U.S. in the first half of the twentieth century, and 

      discussing how his experiences influenced his music. 

      This Side of Paradise / Steven L. Layne 

      After his father begins working for the mysterious Eden Corporation, Jack uncovers a sinister plot that threatens 

      the existence of his entire family. 

      Tiger Eyes/ Judy Blume 

      Resettled in New Mexico with her mother and brother, Davey Wexler recovers from the shock of her father's death 

      during a holdup of his 7-Eleven store in Atlantic City. 

      The Transall Saga / Gary Paulsen 

      While backpacking in the desert, thirteen-year-old Mark falls into a tube of blue light and is transported into a 

      more primitive world, where he must use his knowledge and skills to survive. 

      Travels with Charley : In Search of America / John Steinbeck. 

      Contains observations about life and descriptions of nature as described by Steinbeck as he traveled from coast to 

      coast at sixty years of age with his French poodle, Charley. 

      Treasure Island / Robert Louis Stevenson 

      While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her 

      son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune/ 

      The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle / Avi 

      Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle, the only passenger on a voyage from England to America in 1832, must take 

      serious matters into her own hands when she learns that the captain is murderous. 

      Tuck Everlasting / Natalie Babbit 

      The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older. 

      Up a Road Slowly / Irene Hunt 

      After her mother's death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences 

      many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen. 

      The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963: A Novel / Christopher Paul Curtis. 

      The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African-A

      We Were There, Too! : Young People in U.S. History / Phillip Hoose Draws from first-person accounts, journals, interviews and other primary sources to tell the true stories of over 

      seventy young people from a variety of cultures who played a role in the making of the United States, including 

      explorers, patriots, rebels, slaves, miners, and activists. 

      The Westing Game / by Ellen Raskin 

      The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover 

      the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance. 

      Where the Red Fern Grows: The Story of Two Dogs and a Boy / by Wilson Rawls. 

      A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds 

      and teaches them to be champion hunters. 

      The Whipping Boy / Sid Fleischman 

      A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming 

      involved with dangerous outlaws. 

      A Wrinkle in Time / Madeleine L'Engle 

      Three extraterrestrial beings take Meg and her friends to another world 

      The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 

      A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet. 

      You Come To : Favorite Poems for All Ages/ Robert Frost 

      Presents over fifty poems by Robert Frost, selected by the poet especially to be read aloud, including "Acquainted 

      with the Night," "A Patch of Old Snow," "Not of School Age," and "Mending Wall." 

    • KickButtMama
      July 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM


      Grade 5


      Any available unabridged edition of a title is acceptable.

      Angleberger, Tom. Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book. Amulet

      Books, 2011. Harvey, upset when his Darth Paper finger puppet brings 

      humiliation, gets Dwight suspended – but Origami Yoda asks Tommy and 

      Kellan, now in seventh grade, to make a new case file to persuade the School 

      Board to reinstate Dwight. Series

      Appelt, Kathi. The Underneath. Atheneum, 2008. An old hound that has been 

      chained up at his hateful owner's run-down shack, and two kittens born 

      underneath the house, endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations 

      in their quest to be reunited and free. Newbery Honor 2009. National Book 

      Award Finalist 2008

      Bolden, Tonya. George Washington Carver. Abrams Books, 2008. Born a slave 

      during the Civil War and raised by his mother’s owners, George Washington 

      Carver, also known as the “Peanut Man,” became an important African 

      American conservationist, scientist, researcher, and teacher.

      Broach, Elise. Masterpiece. Holt/Christy Ottaviano, 2008. Marvin, a beetle, and his 

      family live in the home of eleven-year-old James and his family. When James’ 

      birthday party fails miserably, Marvin surprises James with an elaborately 

      intricate pen and ink drawing Marvin has created. Trouble begins when the 

      drawing is mistaken for James’ work, which sets off action that leads to a fastpaced mystery featuring an unlikely friendship, the discovery of art forgery, and 


      Buyea, Rob. Because of Mr. Terupt. Delacorte, 2010. Over the course of a school 

      year, seven kids in the fifth grade narrate their experiences in the classroom 

      with an energetic first time teacher.

      Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Shines My Shoes Dial Books, 2009. Moose 

      Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family and the families of the 

      other prison guards, is frightened when he discovers that noted gangster Al 

      Capone, a prisoner there, wants a favor in return for the help that he secretly 

      gave Moose. Sequel

      Colfer, Eoin. The Atlantis Complex. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. When an army of fairy 

      space probes programmed to destroy Atlantis returns to Earth, Artemis Fowl 

      attempts to stop the destruction of the city while dealing with his own

      delusional and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Series

      Connor, Leslie. Crunch. Katherine Tegen, 2010. With their parents stuck in New 

      England during a gasoline crisis, Dewey and his siblings struggle to keep open 

      the family bicycle business and solve the mystery of missing bicycle parts.

      Delano, Marfe Ferguson. Helen’s Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen 

      Keller's Teacher. National Geographic, 2008. Annie Sullivan grew up in 

      extreme poverty with her own eye problems. Her first and only job was teaching 

      Helen Keller how to “see” despite the fact that she was blind, deaf, and mute.

      DiCamillo, Kate. The Magician’s Elephant. Candlewick, 2009. Orphan Peter 

      Augustus Duchene sees a fortune teller that leads him on an adventurous 

      journey involving an elephant and a magician in order to find his long lost 

      younger sister Adele.

      DiTerlizzi, Tony. The Search For WondLa. Simon & Schuster, 2010. Living in 

      isolation with a robot on what appears to be an alien world populated with 

      bizarre life forms, a twelve-year-old human girl called Eva Nine sets out on a 

      journey to find others like her. Features “augmented reality” pages in which 

      readers can access additional information online about Eva Nine’s world.

      Feldman, Jody. The Gollywhopper Games. Greenwillow, 2008. When the Golly Toy 

      & Game Company announces the Gollywhopper Games, Gil Goodson wants to 

      be the lucky winner; this could be the perfect opportunity for his family to move 

      away from Orchard Heights. Can he solve the puzzles and complete the stunts? 

      This may remind you of a modern day Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

      Flanagan, John. Halt’s Peril. Philomel, 2010. Tennyson, the false prophet of the 

      Outsider cult, has escaped and Halt is determined to stop him before he crosses 

      the border into Araluen, but Genovesan assassins put Will and Halt's 

      extraordinary archery skills to the test. Series

      Forester, Victoria. The Girl Who Could Fly. Feiwel and Friends, 2008. “Piper 

      decided to jump off the roof. It wasn’t a rash decision on her part.” And so we 

      meet a strong-willed, generous girl with extraordinary talents.

      French, Vivian. Robe of Skulls. Candlewick, 2007. In order to raise gold for a 

      spectacular robe made of skulls, evil sorceress Lady Lamorna plots to blackmail 

      the neighboring kings and queens. Can sweet, brave Gracie, with the help of a 

      family of talking bats, save the princes from a froggy fate? Series

      Golding, Julia. Secret of the Sirens. Marshall Cavendish, 2006. Upon moving to 

      her aunt's seaside home in the British Isles, Connie becomes part of a secret 

      society that shelters mythical creatures and must use her ability to 

      communicate with these beings to protect them from evil and the incursions of 

      humans. Series

      Gourlay, Candy. Tall Story. David Fickling Books, 2010. Sixteen-year-old Bernardo, 

      who is eight feet tall and suffers from a condition called Gigantism, leaves the 

      Philippines to live with his mother's family in London, much to the delight of his 

      thirteen-year-old half-sister Andi, a passionate basketball player.

    • KickButtMama
      July 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Grant, Michael. The Magnificent Twelve, Book One: The Call. Katherine Tegen, 

      2010. Mack MacAvoy, a seriously average twelve-year-old boy, is faced with a 

      difficult decision when a three-thousand-year-old man appears in the boys' 

      bathroom and informs him that he is one of the Magnificent Twelve and is 

      needed to find his eleven teammates and save the world. Series

      Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella. Simon & Schuster, 1999. Fifteen-year-old 

      Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming’s proposal ensnares her in such a 

      suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette that she plots her escape.

      Hale, Shannon. Rapunzel’s Revenge. Bloomsbury, 2008. In this graphic novel, 

      Rapunzel, having grown up in a lovely castle with the woman she thought was 

      her mother, is placed in a very tall hollow tree as punishment after her curiosity 

      prompts her to climb the castle wall and look at the ruin of the world beyond 

      her home. She is able to escape and, with the help of Jack, embarks on a plan 

      to free the land and find her true mother.

      Hannigan, Katherine. True (…Sort Of). Greenwillow, 2011. For most of her eleven 

      years, Delly has been in trouble without knowing why. Her little brother, R.B., 

      and a strange, silent new friend, Ferris, help her find a way to be good -- and 

      happy -- again.

      Holm, Jennifer L. Turtle in Paradise. Random House, 2010. A girl named Turtle 

      moves to the Florida Keys, where she meets her extended family and makes 

      new friends.

      Kehret, Peg. Ghost Dog Secrets. Dutton, 2010. Sixth-grader Rusty is determined to 

      help an injured dog that is chained outdoors in frigid weather with no food, 

      water, or shelter. He calls animal control and takes matters into his own 

      hands, aided by his best friend and a ghost collie that leads Rusty to an even 

      deeper secret.

      Kerley, Barbara. Walt Whitman: Words for America. Scholastic, 2004. A 

      biography of the American poet whose compassion led him to nurse soldiers 

      during the Civil War, to give voice to the nation’s grief after Lincoln’s 

      assassination, and to capture the true American spirit in verse.

      Lasky, Kathryn. The Man Who Made Time Travel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 

      2003. The need for sailors to be able to determine their position at sea led to 

      the efforts of John Harrison, an eighteenth-century man who spent his life 

      refining navigation instruments.

      Leal, Ann. Also Known as Harper. Holt, 2009. Harper Lee Morgan’s family is 

      struggling, but she holds close to her passion for writing poetry and this 

      provides her with an opportunity to express her feelings, even as she must skip 

      school to take care of her younger brother Hemingway.

      Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Little, Brown, 2009. A magical 

      story of a young girl who wishes for fortune and happiness for her village and 

      leaves her family to find the mysterious Old Man of the Moon. Newbery Honor 


      Lutes, Jason. Houdini: The Handcuff King. Hyperion, 2007. In bold graphics, 

      author and artist formulate a living picture of this amazing escape artist and 

      show how time and morals shaped him and his art.

      Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms. Random House, 2010. An adventure 

      about the Thorne Rooms, sixty-eight miniature rooms made by Mrs. James 

      Ward Thorne in the 1930s, and a magic key that allows a person to shrink 

      down small enough to explore the rooms' secrets. 

      Marino, Nan. Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty 

      Told Me. Roaring Brook, 2009. Set in 1969, Tammy has a difficult summer 

      when her best friend suddenly moves away and a new, know-it-all boy moves 

      into the neighborhood.

      Mass, Wendy. 11 Birthdays. Scholastic, 2009. Best friends since their mothers met 

      at the hospital when they were born, Amanda and Leo always celebrate their 

      birthdays together. However, now that they are turning 11, they are no longer 

      speaking to each other and everything is not as normal as it may appear. This 

      is one birthday that does not seem to end! 

      Montgomery, Sy. Quest for the Tree Kangaroo. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Wonderful 

      color photographs and an excellent text provide details of the search for the tree 

      kangaroo in Papua New Guinea’s cloud forest.

      Nelson, Peter & Rohitash Rao. Herbert’s Wormhole. Harper, 2009. While Alex is 

      getting to know his inventive neighbor Herbert they unexpectedly travel to the 

      twenty-second century through a space-time wormhole where they encounter 

      aliens, jet packs, and their future selves.

      O’Connor, George. Hera, The Goddess and Her Glory. First Second, 2011.

      Recounts the stories of the many heroes who sought and won the approval and 

      patronage of Hera, the Queen of the Gods, including the story of Heracles. 


      Paterson, Katherine and John. The Flint Heart: A Fairy Story. Candlewick, 2011. 

      A magical amulet, created by a Stone Age magic man for an ambitious 

      individual wishing to take control of his tribe, brings power and despair to those 

      who touch it. When the amulet reemerges, Charles and his sister Unity must 

      find a way to rescue the humans, fairies, and animals from the mysterious 


      Peck, Richard. On the Wings of Heroes. Dial Books, 2007. Set in the time period of 

      World War II, Davy Bowman has two heroes: his dad who fought in World War I 

      and his brother who is currently in the Air Force.

    • KickButtMama
      July 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Philbrick, Rodman. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. Blue Sky Press, 

      2009. Homer P. Figg escapes from his wretched foster home in Pine Swamp, 

      Maine, and sets out to find his beloved older brother, Harold, who has been 

      illegally sold into the Union Army. Newbery Honor, 2010

      Riordan, Rick. The Lost Hero. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. Jason, Piper, and Leo, three 

      students from a school for "bad kids," find themselves at Camp Half-Blood, 

      where they learn that they are demigods and begin a quest to free Hera, who 

      has been imprisoned by Mother Earth herself. Series

      Rutkoski, Marie. The Cabinet of Wonders. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. 

      Twelve-year-old Petra, accompanied by her magical tin spider, goes to Prague 

      hoping to retrieve the enchanted eyes the Prince of Bohemia took from her 

      father, and is aided in her quest by a Roma boy and his sister. Series Say, Allen. Drawing from Memory. Scholastic, 2011. Using watercolor paintings, 

      original cartoons, vintage photographs, and maps, Caldecott medalist Allen Say 

      chronicles his experiences as an artist during World War II and describes his 

      relationship with his mentor Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist. 

      St. John, Lauren. The White Giraffe. Dial Books, 2006. After losing her parents in 

      a tragic fire, eleven-year-old Martine must live with a grandmother she has 

      never met on a wildlife preserve in Africa, where she learns about a mystical 

      white giraffe.

      Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Wendy Lamb, 2009. As her mother prepares 

      to be a contestant on the 1980’s television game show “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a 

      twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious 

      notes received from an anonymous source that seem to defy laws of time and 

      space. Newbery Award, 2010

      Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.

      Little, Brown, 2008. Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance, all graduates of the 

      Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and members of the Benedict

      Society, embark on a scavenger hunt that turns into a desperate search for the 

      missing Mr. Benedict. Series

      Stone, Jeff. Eagle. Random House, 2008. After attacking and killing his former 

      grandmaster, sixteen-year-old Ying realizes he has been betrayed in addition to 

      being wanted for treason, and consequently is forced to turn to Hok, his old 

      temple sister, for help. Series

      Walker, Alice. Langston Hughes: American Poet. HarperCollins, 2002. An 

      illustrated biography of the Harlem poet whose works gave voice to the joy and 

      pain of the black experience in America.

      Weeks, Sarah. Pie. Scholastic, 2011. Alice's Aunt Polly passes away and entrusts 

      the recipe for her world-famous pie crust to her cat, which she leaves in Alice's 

      care. As everyone, including Alice, tries to discover the secret ingredients, Alice 

      learns some important lessons about faith, love, and family.

      Wells, Rosemary. On the Blue Comet. Candlewick, 2010. Searching for his father, 

      Oscar boards a train that takes him on an adventure that crosses the country 

      both forward and backward in time. 

      Weston, Robert Paul. Zorgamazoo. Razorbill, 2008. Imaginative and adventurous 

      Katrina eludes her maniacal guardian to help Morty, a member of a vanishing 

      breed of zorgles, with his quest to uncover the fate of the fabled zorgles of 

      Zorgamazoo as well as of other creatures that seem to have disappeared from 

      the Earth.

      Wiles, Deborah. Each Little Bird that Sings. Harcourt, 2005. Comfort Snowberger

      is well acquainted with death since her family runs the funeral parlor in their

      small southern town; but even so, the ten-year-old is unprepared for the series

      of heart-wrenching events triggered by the sudden death of her beloved great

      uncle Edisto.

      Wood, Maryrose. The Mysterious Howling. Balzer + Bray, 2010. Three wild children 

      and their young governess, Penelope, are caught up in the mysteries of Ashton 

      Place and the people who live there. Series

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