Category Archives: 7th – 8th Grade

Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman

   Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman is a 12-chapter book with 12 different characters. The common factor to these main characters is their neighborhood, which is dilapidated and riddled with gangs and violence. Each chapter has an individual plot, but all main characters are joined by the setting which is a vacant lot and low-income apartment complex. The book is great for teaching theme and character development. The characters are influenced by their common goal, which is to clean the vacant lot and begin to garden.…

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Zombie Dog by Clare Hutton

We are enjoying the book.  My students seemed to be very  engaged .  We are doing a lot of predicting.   We haven’t finished the book yet .  However so far we have read that a middle school girl  named Becky has moved with her family  next door to a very creepy house.  Its so creepy that it is putting a strain on Becky’s friendships at school.   Nobody wants to visit her at her new home  because of the spooky abandon house next door.    So far there have been some strange sounds…

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Seedfolks by Paul Fleishchman

This book is really great for plot development.  Every chapter is a complete story, but then one chapter builds on another.  The characters are diversified and they lend themselves  to a study of  character development.  This book also presents the opportunity to study external as well as external conflicts because each character (in each chapter) has a conflict that is resolved either by themselves or because of their interaction with each other.  Upon review , this book allows the reader to study the integration of…

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Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

This novel is a true story of a boy determined to reunite with his mother.    Carmen , a woman with 5 children,  works in Los Angeles cleaning houses. She cleans Sonia’s house and this is the reason for her novel. Carmen left 4 of her children in Guatemala in order to work in the United States.  She sends her children money, clothes and pictures. Her son, Minor, at the age of 23, went out to look for her and found her in Los Angeles.…

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Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce, a grumpy bear, who loves eggs and looking for new ways to prepare them finds himself in a bind when trying to hard boil goose eggs. He is surprised when his eggs hatch and the goslings think he is their mother. Bruce tries everything to get rid of the eggs, but finally gives up and accepts his new role as their mother. When his attempts to teach them to fly south for the winter fail, Bruce decides to migrate with his beloved geese to…

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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is a science fiction novel set in a futuristic utopia. Jonas is a 12 year old male that is chosen by his community to become the next Receiver of Memory. The Receiver of Memory is the only person in the community that is aware of all good and bad things that happened in the past. He experiences the happy memories, but also endures all the painful memories all on his own. When he becomes aware that his community has been denied any color,…

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Bud, Not Buddy By Christopher Paul Curtis

This is a historical fiction that takes place during the Great Depression. It is an extraordinary story of a young boy named Bud and his search for his father. This novel teaches the struggles of many Americans during the Great Depression. Bud, the main character of this story is placed in foster care after his mother passes away. After a horrible experience in a foster home, Bud, goes on an incredible journey to find his father and the sense of belonging to a family. Christopher…

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The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Must read for all upper elementary and middle school students.  Girls will be shocked and furious to see how females are viewed and treated in other parts of the world.  Boys are interested in the dynamics of war and how it affects others.  Both will gain a greater appreciation for living in the United States of America. Parvana is an 11 year old girl forced to become the breadwinner after a series of tragic events occurred in her family.  Once the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, the…

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A Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen

     Charley eagerly wants to join the action during  the Civil War, so he fakes his age to sign up for the First Minnesota Volunteers.  As he travels to the battlefront, we see what America was like at the time of the war.  Charley’s naive, eager anticipation to see action quickly changes once he first experiences the brutal bloodshed that war is.      This is a great book to read for a believable account of the major Important Civil War battles from a teenagers view.  The…

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