June 24, 2014: 
I wish everyone a wonderful summer.  I will miss all my seventh graders, but I know you are prepared to become eighth graders!  While you are relaxing this summer, don't forget your summer reading assignment.  Enjoy the books you choose. 
All the best to you all--
                Mrs. Gonnella.

George G.White Summer Reading 2014

Grade 7 going into Grade 8


General Instructions:


  • Choose and read two books from the attached list for your grade level.
  • Select one passage for each book that represents one story element (theme, setting, character, conflict, climax, resolution, suspense, humor). You must choose a different story element for each book.
  • Write the following for each book on a separate 4 x 6 index card:


On thelined side:

Top line: Title of book (in italics or underlined) and author

Second line: write the story element represented by your passage and the page number.

On the same side of the card, copy the passage youhave chosen.  This should be written veryneatly or typed.


On theblank side of the card:

Write one paragraph explaining why you chose thispassage and how it represents the story element.  Include story details in your paragraph toshow your knowledge of the novel’s plot, characters, setting, etc.


  • Be prepared to present this information orally to the class when you return to school in September.  You may be asked questions about your passages and may be asked to defend your choices.



Sample card—Please note:  Thissample below is for the novel The Outsiders.  You may NOT read this novel.  Make your novel selections from the attached list.

Lined Side:

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton               Page 153


            “We reached the vacant lot just as Dally came in, running as hard as he could, from the opposite direction.  The wail of a siren grew louder and then a police car pulled up across the street from the lot.  Doors slammed as the policemen leaped out.  Dally had reached the circle of light under the street lamp, and skidding to a halt, he turned and jerked a black object from his waistband.  I remembered his voice:  “I been carryin’ a heater.  It ain’t loaded, but it sure does help a bluff.”












Unlined Side:

Throughout the story S.E. Hinton builds suspense through her descriptions of the events in The Outsiders.  Prior to the events of this passage, a main character dies, and everyone is on edge.  Here, Dally is running from the police because he has just robbed a grocery store.  The characters are afraid that Dally will do something reckless, forcing the police to shoot him.  At the same time, the reader is hoping that his friends get to him before the police do.  This suspenseful passage leaves the reader on the edge of his/her seat.






Eighth Grade Summer Reading2014

Annotated Bibliography


Bauer, Joan. Thwonk. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell PublishingGroup,


        215 pages. ISBN: 1416903151   


        This novel warns readers to “be carefulwhat you wish for.” A. J. Mc Creary, the protagonist, stumbles upon a stuffedcupid that comes to life and offers this terrific photographer three choices:artistic, academic, or romantic assistance. Does she choose to increase her talent as a photographer, go for thestraight “A’s,” or follow her heart? Readers get a dose of the unexpected inthis humorous look at the difficulties and realities of teen angst.


Cooney, Caroline B. Code Orange.New York: Random House Children’s Books, 2007.

              200 pages. ISBN: 9780385732604

 Genre: Suspense

            Mitty Blake is having troublegetting started on his Advanced-Bio report. As a matter of fact, the onlyreason he took the class in the first place was to be with Olivia.  Research was getting in the way of romanceuntil he stumbles on an antique textbook that contains an envelope with twoscabs in it. They end up being the ancient remains of smallpox, and Mitty fearshe has infected himself. His report is no longer about the grade; it’s aboutlife, death, and terrorism in this post 9/11 thriller.


Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. New York: DelacortePress, 2009

         375 pages. ISBN: 9780385737944

Genre:Science Fiction

        From the Hardcover edition:  When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the onlything he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's notalone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids whowelcome him to the Glade--a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Justlike Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All theyknow is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them haveopened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has beendelivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sentup--the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is themessage she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess.If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. This is thefirst book in a trilogy.


Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light.  New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2003.                

        380pages. ISBN: 0-15-205310-7

Genre:Realistic fiction based on a true story

            From the Publisher:  “Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokley has bigdreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takesa job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown asks her to burn a bundleof secret letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from the lake,Mattie discovers the letters reveal the grim truth behind a murder.”


Konisgburg, E. L. Silent to the Bone. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002

        272pages. ISBN: 0689867158


            The plot of this book is looselybased on a real case of psychological mystery. When thirteen year old BranwellZamborska rushes to call 911 when he finds his infant half sister Nikkiunconscious, he is suddenly unable to speak. He is struck mute and quicklyaccused of injuring the baby.  While Nikki lies in a coma, Branwell is sent to a facilityfor troubled youths.  His best friendConnor devises a code to try to communicate with Branwell in hopes of findingout the truth.  Filled with suspense,journey with Connor, as he unravels the mystery that led to his best friend’smuteness.


Lubar, David. Dunk. New York: Clarion Books, 2002.

           249 pages. ISBN: 061819455X

Genre:Realistic fiction

            Chad wants to be the Bozo at theDunk Tank on the boardwalk at the Jerseyshore.  He can’t wait to perfect the fineart of heckling victims as they pass him by. He gets more than he bargained for though when a series of events fromgetting in trouble with police to getting up enough courage to ask out a girlto finding that laughter can heal old wounds as much as it can be used to hurlinsults.  Readers journey with Chad as hetravels though a “twisted world where humor packs a loaded punch.”


Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. New York: Scholastic Inc.,2010.

        375 pages.  ISBN: 9780545229265

 Genre: Fiction

Fromthe publisher: For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all thatchanges when his father, a renowned behavioral scientist uproots the family topursue his latest research project:  ahigh profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquirelanguage—talk. His parents bring home Zan—an eight-day-old chimpanzee—and tellBen to treat him like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. At least nowhe’s not the only one under his father’s scrutiny.

            It isn’t long before Ben is Zan’sfavorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. Readersfollow Ben as he is forced to make a difficult choice between a parent and abrother.


Peters, Julie Anne. Define “Normal.” New York: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2003.

        208pages. ISBN: 0331734896

Genre:Realistic Fiction

            From the publisher: Antonia is a“priss,” Jazz is a “punk.” Antonia belongs to the math club. Jazz hangs out atthe tattoo parlor. Antonia’s parents are divorced and her mother struggles topay the rent.  Jazz is from a traditionalfamily and lives in a mansion with a pool. But when these two very differentgirls find themselves facing each other in a peer-counseling program, theydiscover they have some surprising things in common. Alternately hilarious andheart-wrenching, this is an absorbing read that will keep audiences thinkingand laughing.



Pfeffer, Susan Beth. This World We Live In. New York:Houghton Mifflin, 2010.

        239pages. ISBN: 9780547550282

Genre:Science Fiction

            From the publisher: This is thethird book in the dystopian trilogy that began with Life as We Knew It. It’s been a year since a meteor collided withthe moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans,life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, thelandscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce. Still she is thesteadfast protagonist who dares to make challenging, life threatening decisionsto keep her and her family alive. Critics applause the author’s ability tounderstand this book without having read the first tow in the series.


Smith, Roland. Peak. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2007.

        246pages. ISBN: 978-0-15-206268-2pb


            From the publisher: Whenfourteen-year-old Peak Marcello’s long-lost father presents the opportunity forthem to summit Everest together, Peak doesn’t even consider saying no—eventhough he suspects there are strings attached. And if he makes it to the topbefore his birthday, he’ll be the youngest person ever to stand above 29,000feet. It’s not a bad turn for a guy who’s been stuck in New York City with only skyscrapers toillegally scale.


Stein, Garth. Racing in the Rain. NewYork: Harper, 2011.

              248 pages. ISBN: 97800620157747

Genre:Realistic Fiction

            This is the story of a man and hisfamily told from the point of view of their pet dog! Enzo is a lab terrier mixplucked from farm outside of Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver,Denny Swift, as he pursues success on and off the track. Denny meets andmarries Eve, has a daughter, Zoe, and risks his life and his savings to make iton the professional racing circuit. Read how Enzo tells us his master’s lifestory.


Voigt, Cynthia. Izzy, Willy, Nilly. New York: Atheneum MacMillan, 1986.

            276 pages. ISBN: 0689804466

Genre:Realistic Fiction

            Isobel, a sophomore, had it all; popularity, looks, the rightfriends.  All that changed when Marco, asenior, invited her to a party.  Shenever made it home that night because she and Marco were involved in a caraccident.  That night Izzy lost her legand much more but also made important discoveries about friendship, herself,and the importance of being popular.


If you choose to read anymore books on the list and complete index cards for each, you will receiveextra credit.


Enjoy your summer!