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Welcome to Mrs. Paine's Homepage!

Email: vpaine@carondelet-mpls.org

8th Grade Summer Reading Assignment

Welcome to 8th grade ELA!  To keep your reading and writing skills sharp over the summer, you are required to complete this summer reading assignment.  Please read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  For this first book, you will complete a One Pager.  You will remember it from Mrs. Aylward’s class. This book will count toward one classic for independent reading for next year. I have checked a copy of The Outsiders out to you so you do not have to find a copy to read.  Please be prepared to check it in to me in the fall.


  1. All work must be only on one side of the paper

  2. Your first and last name must be clearly displayed

  3. Start with a border that reflects the novel or theme. (this can include words, pictures, symbols, or even quotes)

  4. Using text as a starting point, write your reactions or connections with the novel.  Be sure to include your analysis and AT LEAST one quote from the novel. Remember, you must cite who said your quote, and explain its relevance. 

  5. Draw a visual image. This could be a character, or a moment from a scene. You may also choose to draw symbols that convey an idea about the novel. 

  6. Draw a word cluster around your image. Use these words you collected to emphasize the importance of your chosen image. The word cluster may also artistically symbolize the subject matter.

  7. Write a poem about the novel, a character, or the theme.  If this is particularly challenging you may choose to compose an acrostic poem. 

  8. Personally, connect to the novel with and "I believe" Statement. This could be anything you believe after you have completed the unit. 

  9. Create and Answer two questions about the theme of this story.  Try to create and evaluate rather than remember and understand. 

  10. Be colorful and neat. Your entire page should be filled with these elements. If you have more room, you may choose to repeat any of the previous. No space should be left blank, and nothing should be left in pencil. 

Please choose one books from the book list below or any parent approved book of your choice.  Make sure you choose a book you have not read. For your second book, you will write a Book Review.  The requirements for the book review are listed below. The assignments are due on the first day of school.  You may email the assignment to me at vpaine@carondelet-mpls.org or email with your questions I check my email once a week in the summer.

Writing an English Book Review

The following are requirements for your book review:

* Title of book, in italics

* Author of book

* Written in Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced

* Use a 5 paragraph essay format

Paragraph 1:  Catchy opening sentence, or lead

Brief summary of book (do not give away the ending or include any spoilers)

Paragraphs 2 and 3:  Two things you liked/disliked and why

Paragraph 4:  Your favorite part of the book and why

Paragraph 5:  Audience (to whom would you recommend this book?).  Think about who would want to read it: girls, boys, certain age groups, avid readers, reluctant readers, athletes, sports lovers, adventure seekers, etc.

* Reviews should be about a page in length

Book list

Next to the book titles, I have included the Lexile level of the book when available.  Feel free to use your Lexile score from the NWEA MAP test to determine which book is a best fit for you.  All summaries provided by Goodreads.com or Amazon.com. This is a really short list but you can choose anything from the $5 Classics table at Barnes and Noble or any of their excellent collections for Young Adult Readers.

The Lie Tree  860L

By:  Frances Hardinge

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy - a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

A Wizard of Earthsea 1050L

By:  Ursula K. Le Guin

Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.

Take the Key and Lock Her Up  620L

By:  Ally Carter

Desperate to protect her younger brother Jamie, Grace Blakely, her brother, and her friend Alexei are on the run from the forces in Adria who threaten them because Jamie is the true heir to the throne--but it is hard to hide from Prime Minister Alexandra Petrovic and the secret society that is part of Grace's family heritage, and even harder to know who to trust.

Rewind 750L

By:  Carolyn O’Doherty

"Sixteen-year-old Alex is a Spinner--she has the ability to rewind time to review past events. Hated and feared because of their ability to find the truth, the small population of Spinners is restricted to Centers--compounds created to house and protect them. Alex's society uses the Spinners' skills to solve major crimes, but messing with time comes with consequences: no Spinner lives past the age of twenty. At sixteen, Alex is in her prime--until time sickness strikes early. When she is offered an experimental treatment, Alex sees a future for herself for the first time. But the promising medication offers more than just a cure--it also brings with it dire consequences."

Beneath 610L

By:  Ronald Smith

What waits Beneath? Pat O'Toole has always idolized his older brother, Coop. He's even helped Coop with some of his crazier plans -- such as risking his life to help his big brother dig a tunnel underneath their neighborhood in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Coop is . . . different. He doesn't talk on the phone, doesn't use email, and doesn't have friends. He's never really cared for anything but the thrill of being underground and Pat. So it's no surprise to anyone -- even Pat -- that after a huge fight with their parents, Coop runs away. Exactly one year later, Pat receives a package containing a digital voice recorder and a cryptic message from his brother. He follows the clues to New York City, and soon discovers that Coop has joined the Community, a self-sufficient society living beneath the streets. Now it's up to Pat to find his brother -- and bring him home.

The Incredible Journey 1250L

By:  Sheila Burnford

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 to find their owner in this truly “incredible” adventure.

Instinct tells them that the way home lies to the west and together the three house pets face hunger, the natural elements, and wild forest animals as they make their way home to the family they love.

Remember this book is your choice so if you prefer non-fiction, review a fascinating book about coding or cooking, whatever you are interested in.  Please choose a book that has at least 100 pages.

----------------- 6th Grade Religion-Course Highlights

Scripture study of the Old Testament

Church that is rooted in signs and symbols of the Hebrew Scriptures and rituals

Christian response and social justice

Worship and Prayer

Grading/Homework Requirements

Class work-home work 25%

Assessment 20%

Service component 20%

Participation 10%

Presentations 25%

8th Grade ELA- Course Highlights
Independent reading requirement
Reading skills and strategies
Elements of Literature
Author Studies
Writing Projects

Grading/Homework Guidelines
Assessments 25%, Formal Writing 25%, Grammar 10%, Journal Writing 20%, Vocabulary 20%
Assessments 20%, Independent Reading 25%, Reading Strategies 25%, Speaking/ Presentations 10%, Spelling 20%
Revisions are always accepted and encouraged!

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