Incoming 8th Grade


Please read all three books listed below. When you return to school in September, you will be tested on each of them, so keep detailed notes. You will be permitted to use your notes, but not the book itself. 

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
This is a story told by Death. An interesting point of view perhaps, but as it is set in Germany during World War II, perhaps it is entirely appropriate. It is also a story of a young girl, who in spite of having a life that no one would wish on anyone, still manages to have glimpses of pleasure through many small things, including the few books that she manages to acquire (or shall we say, steal).

Unbroken (Young Adult Adaptation)  - Laura Hillenbrand
Louis Zamperini, boyhood troublemaker and teenage track star, is a young man when he is drafted into the military during World War II. After his Army Air Force bomber crashes in the Pacific Ocean, he must gather every bit of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional strength to give himself any chance of survival on the open water and beyond. 

Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories
 - Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones     
Today's top authors for teens and young people come together to share their stories about bullying - as bystanders, as victims, and as the bullies themselves - in this moving and deeply personal collection. Lauren Oliver, R. L. Stine, Ellen Hopkins, Carolyn Mackler, Kiersten White, Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka, Lauren Kate and many more contributed 70 heartfelt and empathetic stories from each corner of the schoolyard. 


Please choose one of the two writing prompts listed below. This assignment will be graded and counted towards the first trimester assessment.      Be sure to do the following:
thoroughly address the assigned topic                                                                                                            

make your writing thoughtful and interesting                                                                                                

make sure that each sentence you write contributes to your composition as a whole                        

make sure that your ideas are clear and easy for the reader to follow                                      
include details and descriptive language so that the reader is able to develop a good understanding of what you are saying              

proofread your writing to correct errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure

Option 1: Narrative
The antagonist of a story is the person who acts against the protagonist, the story's principal character. In the story of your life, who is your antagonist? Write a description of this person, and describe the way in which he or she acts against you. At the end of your narrative, include a possible scenario in which you are able to reconcile your differences. 

Option 2: Exposition
Many of us spend hours in front of our computers or phones and communicate more by email, instant messaging, texting or certain apps. Some people believe that this is good because it helps shy people communicate more openly with others. Others believe that computer or texting communication prevents us from developing interpersonal skills and limits our ability to have meaningful relationships with others. How do you feel about this issue? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.