Theme: The Individual



Rationale: In order to begin eighth grade language arts with a shared reading experience, we require each student to read the selection listed under his/her course level. We have selected a novel that relates thematically to the essential questions of each course. We believe that pre-requisite reading should be focused, and a common reading experience helps to establish a community of learners on the first day.

Requirement: Students must read the required novel before the start of the school year in which they will take Integrated Language Arts 8. Teachers will assess the reading during the first few days of the course.

We recommend that students keep a handwritten reading journal that they will be permitted to use as a memory aid for the assessment.


English 8

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Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. Gene learns about himself as he faces his responsibility for the accident that hospitalizes his best friend. A coming of age story that explores the evil hidden in our own hearts. Amazon.com Review


Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. Juvenile delinquent Cole Matthews' life is changes by his experience with Circle Justice and survival on a remote Alaskan island. Amazon Review


Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.
Turner Buckminster, son of the new minister in a small Maine town, is shunned for playing baseball differently than the local boys. His new friend, Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from the poor community of Malaga Island, shows him a new world along the Maine coast and involves him in taking a stand for community.


Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society in which citizens believe that they are ugly until they reach age 16. They then undergo an operation to change them into "pretties." Amazon Review.


English 8 100
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Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. Juvenile delinquent Cole Matthews' life is changes by his experience with Circle Justice and survival on a remote Alaskan island. Amazon Review


Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society in which citizens believe that they are ugly until they reach age 16. They then undergo an operation to change them into "pretties." Amazon Review.



Note: A parent (or guardian) who has an objection to a selection designated for his/her son or daughter should send a letter to the high school principal, explaining the objection and requesting an alternative assignment.