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Class Reading Books

We will be reading Freak the Mighty.  This is a story of two misfit boys that join forces to create a lasting friendship.  We will read about their struggles, and how they help each other to compensate for their own weaknesses.  Together they become stronger, better people.


 A Midsummer Night's Dream is a fun, whimsical story that introduces the students to the work of William Shakespeare.  As a class, we will be looking at some techniques to help understand the "language of Shakespeare" and how to read the play.  This can sometimes be a challenge. But my hope is that by becoming familiar with  techniques and hints, the students will develop at the very least an appreciation for the talent that has allowed Shakespeare's work to endure the test of time

Instead of chapters, The House on Mango Street is written in vignettes.  Vignettes are really short chapters.  It is a personal narrative that describes a young  Mexican-American growing up  in America.  The author, Sandra Cisneros, style of writing is unique and her words are insightful and precise.   Gwendolyn Brooks said that Sandra Cisneros "is one of the most brilliant of today's young writers.  Her work is sensitive, nuanceful...rich with music and picture." When I first read this book, I was pulled into Esperanza 's world and found  I had a new favorite author.   

Knots in My Yo-yo String
 is an autobiography by 
Jerry Spinelli.  When I first read this book, I was constantly being pulled back into the memories of my childhood.  I would often have a big ole smile on my face as I remembered doing similar things as a young kid.  

     This is a great book to aid in our personal narrative writing.  As we read about Jerry and his childhood, I will be asking each of you to write about a memory from your personal experiences that connections to Jerry's experiences.  Despite being written about growing up in the 1950's, we will be looking for the universal experiences that connect us all.  

     Some of the other books written by Jerry Spinelli are: WringerStargirlCrashThe Library CardLoserWho Put That Hair in My Toothbrush?Smiles to Go, and  the Newbery Medal winner Maniac Magee.  just to list a few.  I have enjoyed reading Jerry Spinelli books and I hope you will enjoy them also. 

Al Capone Does My Shirts shows us what life was like on Alcatraz when the famous gangster Al Capone aka: scarface was imprisoned on the island.  The story is written from twelve year old Moose's point of view.  The story begins when his family moves to the island because his father was hired to be a prison guard.  Moose soon meets the other children living on the island with their families because their father's are also prison guards.  This historical fiction novel gives us a look as to what is must have been like living on Alcatraz.