Summer Reading 2021
Please click on the division-specific tabs below for summer reading information.
- Please note, the math work for rising fifth graders is optional and will not be turned into your fifth grade teacher at the start of next school year.
Within each of the above folders are 3 sub folders: Challenges, Fact Practices, and Numbers and Operations. Students are required to do 5 activities from each sub folder and return the work to school on the first day of class.
Additional math resources available until July 31:
login.mathletics.com: Mathletics provides engaging and valuable math learning through math activities and live practice.
www.reflexmath.com: Reflex provides online fact practice to ensure mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
www.ixl.com/signin/episcopalsod: IXL helps students gain fluency and confidence in math through mastering essential skills at their own pace with fun and interactive questions, built in support, and motivating awards.
my.mheducation.com: This Everyday Math online component allows students to access all math lessons covered this school year, as well as play games to support their learning.
RETURNING FAMILIES: Students know their logins for the above sites. Please have them login to google with their ESD email address and password and then access the math sites using single sign-in. Math websites are available until July 31, 2021.
NEW FAMILIES: Your student accounts are being created. Stay tuned for an account set-up email by the end of May 2021. Math websites are available until July 31. The only math site not available to new families is Everyday Math due to licensing restrictions.
The middle school summer reading program has two parts.
PART ONE: Required Readings
These readings serve as touchstones for the discussion of other works of literature. These requirements are listed in the grade-specific dropdown menus below.
PART TWO: Enrichment Readings
All students need to read at least ONE work of their choosing OR from the provided list for enrichment. These provided book options are linked under their own tab in the grade-specific dropdown menus below.
While we require that students have their own physical copies of the required summer reading books, many enrichment summer reading books are available in ESD's Digital Library!
All students entering the fifth grade must read one book in preparation for their English class, and one book in preparation for their history class.
For English, all incoming fifth-grade students are required to read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Each student must have a copy of the book on the first day of school.
A story of courage, the book takes place in 1943. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has been occupied by Hitler's Third Reich. Soldiers stand on every street corner, and life has completely changed for ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen. - Book description adapted from Book Rags
For history, all incoming fifth-grade students are required to read The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss.
The Pharaoh’s Secret is about Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, who accompany their father to his homeland of Egypt. There they become involved in a mystery surrounding an ancient, lost pharaoh—a rare female ruler. Someone has tried to wipe her from the record, to make it appear as if she never existed! She needs Talibah to help her and her high priest, Senenmut, reclaim their rightful place in history. Exotic locales, mysterious strangers, and a sinister archaeologist round out an adventure that is full of riddles, old tales, and, most surprisingly of all, a link to Talibah’s and Adom’s mother, who died mysteriously.-Book description adapted from Goodreads.
In addition to their required texts for English and History, fifth graders must read a minimum of one book for enrichment reading. They have the option of selecting a book from our suggested list below or choosing their own book.
Middle School Summer Enrichment Reading List 2021
*Please note, enrichment suggestions for fifth grade students can be found on
slide #4 of the above presentation in the Texas Bluebonnet List.
Students should be prepared to write about their enrichment text during the first week of school. As you read, consider how you might understand the book with regard to the following: How would you describe the challenges faced by one of the main characters? How would you describe the challenge itself? How did the main character deal with the challenge? What challenges have you faced in your life? What have you done to overcome these challenges? How have you learned to deal with challenging situations?
It is hoped that students will not restrict their reading to just three books, but rather enjoy reading all summer! When you return to school in the fall, some of the class discussions will focus on your reasons for choosing the books that appear on your reading chart: Do you simply love any book related to science fiction or fantasy? Do you love everything by a favorite author? Do you love any book that is related to a favorite topic such as sports or animals regardless of whether the book is a mystery, biography, or work of historical fiction? What kinds of books energize you? Get you thinking? Get you wondering?
Expectations: You will be assessed in various ways on your summer reading books, so it is a good idea to underline and annotate notes in the margins as you read. Take special note of characters, important plot points, setting, and theme. Do not use library books or books previously owned and annotated; instead, you will need to purchase new books for the summer reading.
For English, all incoming sixth-grade students are required to read Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar.
According to Penguin Random House: While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move her grandfather into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots.
For history, all incoming sixth-grade students are required to read Guts & Glory: The American Revolution by Ben Thompson - Non-Fiction
According to Goodreads: From George Washington crossing the icy Delaware, to Molly Pitcher fearlessly firing her cannon, the people of the American Revolution were some of the bravest and most inspiring of all time. Jump into a riot in the streets of Boston, join the Culper Spy Ring as they steal secrets in the dead of night, and watch the signing of the Declaration of Independence in this accessible, illustrated guide to the birth of the United States.
The third required book must be from the many options on the following list. Of course, feel free to read more than your required books! You must select books that you have not read before or else they will not count.
For English, all incoming seventh-grade students are required to read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
The Outsiders asks questions about who is an ‘outsider’ and who is an ‘insider.’ How do people form their identities based on their perceptions of where they fall on the social spectrum? Students will explore the motivations and choices that characters and individuals make in literature and life.
- As there will be writing components connected to this novel, students should come prepared to discuss major plot developments, character evolution, and themes. No writing is required over the summer. However, students should annotate as they read: underline passages that reflect character, plot, and/or theme. Also, occasionally write a little something in the margin that makes sense of why the reader underlined what he or she did. If one finds a favorite passage, it should be marked too, so we can discuss it.
For history, all incoming seventh-grade students are required to read Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (Adapted for Young Readers) by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.
This year in history, we will explore global studies in connection with a year-long analysis of the evolution of American Foreign Policy in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will begin the year with one of the earliest chapters in American Foreign Policy: the Barbary Wars! Kilmeade does an excellent job relaying this exciting moment in US Foreign Policy, complete with pirates, ship explosions, and more. This riveting reading will provide a solid foundation for our first unit. To alleviate confusion as we work with the book on projects and refer to it in discussions, students should all have the same version (ISBN 978-0-425-28895-5).
Please read a book you have not read before from the list below. If there is a book that you are interested in reading this summer that is not on the list, please email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for approval. Happy reading!
EIGHTH GRADE HISTORY
For history, all incoming eighth-grade students are required to read The Magna Charta by James Daugherty
Building on the previous three years of study, the eighth grade history course uses a thematic approach to study various time periods in Western Europe’s history in order to develop students’ critical reading and thinking skills as well as to challenge them to analyze and interpret historical documents, acquire cultural literacy, and learn to consider alternative perspectives.
Students explore medieval Europe in the first semester in order to provide a foundation for the second semester; in the second semester, students study the issues of injustice and intolerance, as well as the idea and role of the upstander in key historical moments. To help students acquire the base knowledge necessary for instant immersion in eighth-grade history once the 2021-22 academic year begins, they are expected to read The Magna Charta by James Daugherty.
According to Goodreads: The Magna Charta explores the rich turbulence of English history, [and] one day stands magnificently apart: June 15th, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On that day the first blow for English freedom was struck, and it has forever affected the Western World. Here is the story of three men, Stephen Langton, William Marshall and Hubert de Burgh, whose heroic deeds are set against those of the ever deceitful and crafty King John.
Daugherty’s book gives an in-depth understanding of The Magna Carta and will serve as one of our foundational texts for the first semester as we dig into our studies of Medieval Europe. This novel provides us with a look at a historical document that historians argue attempted to promise laws that are fair and protect everyone, not just the rich and powerful. This document, and our understanding of medieval society, will continue to be relevant in our second semester studies of our Founding Fathers that took inspiration from The Magna Carta as they crafted the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
*The reading companion will be posted on your class of 2026 Schoology page.
EIGHTH GRADE ENGLISH
In eighth grade English, students look deeply within themselves in order to define who and what they are and who and what they aren’t. Students realize that how they define themselves and how they’re defined by others eventually informs their sense of self and how it shapes their world view. By understanding ourselves--looking inward--we are then ready to look beyond ourselves. We are dedicated to the concept of igniting lives of purpose with an educated conscience.
As a result, our course involves student choice and student voice. With intention to create a unique, rich, and meaningful academic experience, we will begin this journey with the summer reading.
We have encouraged students to explore Ms. Arvizu’s slideshow of award-winning Young Adult literature in order to explore titles that spark something within them. If they do not want to use this well-researched source for titles, they should reach out to Ms. Richman or Mrs. Remaud for advice and approval.
After completing the interest survey #1 about reading genres and topics, students will select three titles from the slideshow or from the English teachers’ suggestions. Students will then complete interest survey #2. In addition to their history book requirement, The Magna Charta by James Daugherty, students will read at least one book of their choice for English, though hopefully students will be inspired to read all three of their choices. Students will be asked to justify and/or explain their reasoning behind their choice, and to establish what they hope to gain from their book as part of their Back-to-School Assignment.
We expect students to annotate their book(s). Below is our suggestion, as we will use this annotation technique throughout the year.
- Questions: Ask questions in the margin.
- Connections: What personal or textual connections can you make? Historical? Current events?
- Inferences/Reflections: What does this make you think of? What can you infer about this?
- Evaluation: What judgment can you make about certain aspects of the text? You might consider the author's style, as well as characters/details that resonate, such as: “I like the way the author writes.” “Nice simile connecting ___ to ___,” etc.
- Vocabulary: Circle vocabulary words you don’t know. Make a guess as to what they mean using context clues or look them up.
- Please write a brief summary for each chapter or major part of your book, as doing so will help you with assignments when you return to class.
Back-to-School Assignment - On the first day of school, students will bring their choice book, annotations, and/or other notes and the following supplementary pieces:
- A brief statement about why they chose the book that they did, what they hoped to get from the book, and what they actually got from that book.*
- Three current events articles from a reputable news source that relate thematically to their book.
- Song lyrics that either relate to a character, plot point, or theme of their book.
*Example of Justification of Choice Statement:
I chose The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because I am interested in WWII, and I wanted to learn more about the Holocaust. As it turns out, I didn’t really learn too much about the tragedy that led to the extermination of more than six million people; this wasn’t really the book for that, and maybe I’ll try some nonfiction for a deeper understanding of the causes of this tragic event in history. I did learn about a whole new way of looking at things. For example, my ideas about death changed after looking at it from the perspective of the book’s narrator. The style of the writer was weird and interesting; he talks about tasting sounds and feeling colors, and the imagery in the novel allowed me to see things I had never imagined before. The writer talks about all kinds of different human relationships, and I loved seeing how relationships were formed and fostered, and even how they were lost and left. I learned (again!) that life and death are not always fair, and sometimes the good guy doesn’t win. The book was long and sad, but also happy, funny, and hopeful. I may not have gotten what I came for in The Book Thief, but I am glad I read it because I got things I didn’t expect.
All students should read at least ONE of the titles from the list below, in addition to the required texts for history and English. Spend some time with your parents reading about the various titles, either by researching on Goodreads or by actually going to the bookstore and perusing the shelves. Then, choose one or more of the following.
Don't forget, resources like Membean and NoRedInk offer opportunities to keep your reading and writing sharp all summer long.
You can navigate to these sites using their logos.
The upper school summer reading program has two parts.
PART ONE: Required Readings
These readings serve as touchstones for the discussion of other works of literature. Select your upcoming English class from the dropdown menu below to view the required reading for that class. Please purchase a physical copy of the text for in-class use.
PART TWO: Enrichment Readings
All students need to read at least ONE work (or approximately 250 pages) for enrichment. In addition to reading the required works for each grade level, we encourage students to read additional texts of their own choosing from the list linked in the Enrichment Readings dropdown below.
While we require that students have their own physical copies of the required summer reading books, don't forget that many enrichment summer reading books are available in ESD's Digital Library!
Don't forget, resources like Membean and NoRedInk offer opportunities to keep your reading and writing sharp all summer long.
You can navigate to these sites using their logos below.
- English I
- English II
- English II Honors
- English III
- English III: AP Language and Composition
- English IV: AP Language and Composition
- English IV: AP Literature and Composition
- Enrichment Reading
All students need to read at least ONE work (or approximately 250 pages) for enrichment. In addition to reading the required works for each grade level, we encourage students to read additional texts of their own choosing from the list linked below.
In May, students should set their own goals for reading by answering the following questions: What do I want to understand that I don’t right now? What do I want to know more about? What interests me that I’d like to explore further? After selecting the texts, students will then explore how the particular work will help them achieve their goals: Why am I choosing these titles? What do I hope to achieve by reading these particular works and genres? At the beginning of the fall semester, students will be asked to reflect on their reading experience by exploring: What do I know now that I didn’t know then?
Students, it is hoped that you will not restrict your reading to a minimum “requirement.” When you return to school in the fall, some of your discussions will focus on your reasons for choosing the “options” books you read: Do you simply love any book related to science fiction or fantasy? Do you love everything by a favorite author? Do you love any book that is related to a favorite topic such as sports or animals regardless of whether the book is a mystery, biography, or work of historical fiction? What kinds of books energize you? Get you thinking? Get you wondering? How can reading enrich and expand some essential part of your being?
As you are selecting titles for your personal summer reading list, we suggest you seek recommendations from teachers, mentors, parents, and friends. Why not peruse the library or a bookstore, taking your time to let a work speak to you? We encourage you to expand your horizons by venturing into new topics, genres, and authors.
While we encourage reading works of “literary merit,” the texts you read in the summer do not need to be “classics,” per se; they should be works (novels, plays, journals, poems, short stories, essays, etc.) that will enrich some aspect of your life, your learning, and your growth in a meaningful way.