There is a list of several fiction books for students to choose from for this fall. (The descriptions of the books are taken from amazon.com.) Students are going to read at least two of the books before winter break:
When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it's love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty's secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd's anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?
Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness. Separately, they would soon have died. But, together, the three house pets faced starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals to make their way home to the family they love.
My Side of the Mountain
Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude—and danger—of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.
Call It Courage
Mafatu has been afraid of the sea for as long as he can remember. Though his father is the Great Chief of Hikueru—an island whose seafaring people worship courage—Mafatu feels like an outsider. All his life he has been teased, taunted, and even blamed for storms on the sea. Then at age 15, no longer willing to put up with the ridicule and jibes, Mafatu decides to take his fate into his own hands. With his dog, Uri, as his companion, Mafatu paddles out to sea, ready to face his fears. What he learns on his lonesome adventure will change him forever and make him a hero in the eyes of his people.
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent's divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.
Island of the Blue Dolphins
This book won the Newberry Medal. It tells the story of a 12-year old girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after she leaps from a rescue ship. Isolated on the island for eighteen years, Karana forages for food, builds weapons to fight predators, clothes herself in a cormorant feathered skirt, and finds strength and peace in her seclusion.
Julie of the Wolves
To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When her life in the village becomes dangerous, Miyax runs away, only to find herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness. Without food and with time running out, Miyax tries to survive by copying the ways of a pack of wolves. Accepted by their leader and befriended by a feisty pup named Kapu, she soon grows to love her new wolf family. Life in the wilderness is a struggle, but when she finds her way back to civilization, Miyax is torn between her old and new lives. Is she Miyax of the Eskimos—or Julie of the wolves?
Everyone already picked their first book to read and formed groups. Groups figured out how much they needed to read each day to finish their book on time. They have had some class time to read, and they can also read at home. They have a worksheet to complete as they read--I told them to fold it into fourths and use it for a bookmark and then add answers as they found them.
The worksheet for the first book is due Nov. 13. (Most students are already done.)
We will look at the activities for the books next week.
The first activities will be due Nov. 20.
Everyone will then pick their second book to read.
The second worksheet will be due Dec. 4.
The second activities will be due Dec. 11.