MIDDLE SCHOOL SUMMER READING 2016-2017 6 TH GRADE ENGLISH This summer all students will read two novels from the reading list below. Maniac Magee by J...
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MIDDLE SCHOOL SUMMER READING 2016-2017 6 TH GRADE ENGLISH This summer all students will read two novels from the reading list below. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli has been assigned to your class, and the second novel is your choice from the two selected books below. REQUIRED READING ASSIGNMENTS: Directions: Please read Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and complete the guided reading questions for each section (see attached). After finishing the book, please select a project from the following page to complete and submit upon return to school. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli – Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident had not made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run – and not just run away, but run. This is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats.

Directions: Please choose one of the following novels to read. Be prepared to complete an in-class writing assignment to be given upon return to school. Schooled by Gordon Korman – Capricorn Cap Anderson has been homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Rain. When Rain is injured in a fall, Cap is forced to attend the local middle school. Although he knows a lot about Zen Buddhism, nothing has prepared him for the politics of public school.

Wonder by RJ Palacio – August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school―until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

Directions: Choose one project from the grid below to complete this summer and submit upon return to school. All students will complete the blue box in the center.




Write a one-page movie “pitch” to a producer explaining why the story would make a great movie.

Write a long poem, song, or rap about the book. The words should be typed. You are encouraged to enhance your project with images and music. At least 25 lines or more.

Create a series of five drawings depicting major events in the story. Each drawing must be accompanied by a thorough explanation of what is happening in your drawing At least 50 words need to be included per drawing. Only neat, industrious work will be accepted.




Do a collage that represents the theme or plot of your novel. You may create your collage by using poster paper, scissors, glue, magazine pictures, newspaper, etc., or you may do your collage digitally using your computer.

CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS If you could introduce one character from your book to your family, who would it be? Why? Which character would you not want to introduce to your family? Why? (Your written explanations must be typed; at least 100 words per character and specific examples from the book should be used).

All students will keep a typed journal while reading Maniac Magee. Upon completion of reading each chapter, students will answer critical thinking questions and reflect on their reading. Refer to the specific questions on the following page.

AUDIO INTERVIEW Record an (audio) interview with one of the characters in the book you read. Pretend that this character is being interviewed by a magazine or newspaper reporter. Write a script before taping (you might want to ask the assistance of a parent or sibling).

Create a newspaper for your story. Summarize the plot in one of your articles. Cover the weather in another. Include an editorial (how you feel about something that occurred in the book) and a collection of advertisements that would be pertinent to the story. (Maybe you want to advertise a trip to the setting or an item used in the book). Be creative and make sure it is clear that you have read the book. Use Microsoft Publisher. It must be at least 2 pages.

CHARACTER JOURNAL Write a character diary, writing at least 5 journal entries. Each entry should be 1 page (typed, doublespaced).

GUIDED READING QUESTIONS FOR READING JOURNAL MANIAC MAGEE Directions: Please type your responses for the guided reading questions below. SECTION 1: BEFORE THE STORY-CHAPTER 6 1. What can the reader gather about Maniac Magee from the section titled “Before the Story”? 2. How do Jeffrey Magee’s aunt and uncle behave? Why do you think Jeffrey runs away from them? 3. What do you think Jeffrey does during “The Lost Year”? Why do you think he stays in Two Mills? 4. What can you observe about Amanda Beale from her interaction with Jeffrey? 5. How is Jeffrey different from the other Two Mills residents? 6. Who are the Pickwells? Why does Jeffrey go unacknowledged at their dinner table? 7. Prediction: How will Jeffrey survive in Two Mills? SECTION 2: CHAPTERS 7-12 1. Describe John McNab. Why do you think he becomes so angry with Jeffrey? 2. How does Jeffrey unexpectedly begin to unite the people of Two Mills? Who gives him the nickname “Maniac”? 3. Why is it strange that Maniac is only safe from the Cobras once he crosses Hector Street? 4. Discuss the interaction between Mars Bar Thompson and Maniac. Why don’t the two boys understand each other? 5. Who saves Maniac from Mars bar, and how does this person represent the hope that things may change in Two Mills? 6. What is symbolic about Mars Bar tearing Amanda’s book and Amanda being horrified at this destruction? 7. How do Maniac’s circumstances change after spending an evening with Amanda’s family? What does this communicate to the reader about Amanda’s parents? 8. Prediction: How will Maniac adapt to living with the Beale family?

SECTION 3: Chapters 13-19 1. 2. 3. 4.

How does Maniac fit in with the Beale family? Why do you think Maniac appreciates simple things like new sneakers or cake icing? Why does Mrs. Beale slap Maniac? Why do you think Maniac reacts the way he does? Why do you think the old man at the block party orders Maniac to “go home”? What does this tell you about the old man and his past? 5. Why is Maniac so deeply affected by Amanda’s spiteful comment that Maniac cannot get a library card without an address? 6. Do you think that untying Cobbie’s Knot will solve Maniac’s problems in the East End? Why or Why not 7. Prediction: What strategy, if any, will Maniac use to untie Cobbie’s Knot? SECTION 4: Chapters 20-24 1. Describe the method Maniac uses to untie Cobbie’s Knot. What might Cobbie’s Knot symbolize? 2. Do you agree with Maniac’s decision to leave town after Amanda’s encyclopedia is ruined? 3. What is the significance of Maniac walking, not running, out of Two Mills? 4. Why do you think Maniac chooses to live with animals (e.g., deer, buffaloes) at times? 5. Prediction: What will Grayson reveal about his past?

SECTION 5: Chapters 25-32 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Why does the word “pitcher” sound special when Grayson says it? How did Grayson get duped out of his first day playing in the Minor Leagues? Describe the relationship that develops between Maniac and Grayson. How does the author describe Maniac and Grayson’s Thanksgiving and Christmas? Do you think it is silly of Maniac to give the baby buffalo a gift? Why or why not? What is significant about Grayson’s last Christmas gift to Maniac? How does Maniac deal with Grayson’s death? Why does he regret attending the funeral? 8. Prediction: How will Maniac survive now that Grayson is gone?

SECTION 6: Chapters 33-38 1. How does the weather in January – “a month of frozen hardness of ice” connect to Maniac’s state of mind during that time? 2. Who are Russell and Piper, and why does Maniac decide to help them? What does this say about his character? 3. Why does Maniac make up the story about the “stoopball”? 4. Compare and contrast the McNab household with the Beale household. 5. What solace does Manic find after winning the race? 6. Prediction: How will Mars Bar get revenge of Maniac? SECTION 7: Chapters 39-46 1. Why does Maniac feel like “pure July” after reuniting with the Beales? 2. What does Maniac find when he returns to the McNab home, and why is he so disturbed by it? 3. What two events cause Maniac to lose his temper with Russell and Piper? How do you explain Russell and Piper’s behavior toward Maniac a few days later in the library? 4. What does Maniac hope to accomplish by bringing Mars Bar to Piper’s birthday party? Does his plan work? Why or why not? 5. What do Maniac’s early morning runs and nighttime sleeping places show about the town? 6. Describe what you think Maniac might be thinking after Mars Bar invites Maniac to stay at his house. 7. How might Mars Bar’s heroic act on the trolley trestle help unite Two Mills? 8. How does Amanda treat Maniac when she arrives at the buffalo pen?