Northanger Abbey: By Jane Austen

Catherine Morland is not your average heroine.  As far as her books tell her, the heroes should be brilliant, cultured, and witty.  Catherine is none of these, but delights in the adventures of her novels, rather than having one of her own.  
Until one day, she is invited to holiday in Bath.  This holiday will change her life entirely.  Her small, rural town at home now miles away, she is forced into the spotlight of the culture of a busy, bustling city. Catherine is not amused, until a certain young man appears in her life.  Mr. Tilney is everything a man should be, but can Catherine deserve him?  What will her friend Isabella, and Isabella's lovesick brother think?  Can Catherine abandon her friends for someone she barely knows? Then, upon being invited by the general to Northanger Abbey,  she discovers the family may have some secrets.   What mysteries will she find in those old stone halls?  What secrets lay hidden in the rooms of the Tilney family household?  

Made in Austen's brilliant style, Northanger Abbey shines out as on of the most unusual of her novels.  It was written over the span of 13 years, so that Austen from a young writer to become a more accomplished one, had time to make many changes to this work of art.  Beautiful in style as well as a compelling read!!

Grade Level: 10.8

Pembrick's Creaturepedia: By Ollister B. Pembrick

For those of us who have gone on the journey through the Dark Sea of Darkness, the Ice Prairies, or whether you prefer to live a simple life in the Glipwood township, all well meaning citizens know that Pembrick's Creaturepedia is the best source of knowledge in regards tot he strange creatures that dwell in the world of the Wingfeathers.  How else would we know that a flabbit's ears are ' not cute' or the eight-eyed Raggant has a jubilant demeanor?  Thank you, Ollister Pembrick for such a thorough compilation of the strange creatures that roam our borders.  

"With this creaturepedia close at hand, you may walk the world of Aeriar calm and/or composed, rather than embalmed and/or decomposing.
-O. Pembrick, Master of Disguisery"

The Night Gardener: Jonathan Auxier

Torn from Ireland and forced to make their way in the world, Molly and Kip must trust their future to strangers.  Fortune seems to smile upon them as a sudden job opportunity presents itself in the form of caretaking an old manor house and the residents therein.  But there seems to be another resident lurking in the halls late at night.....

If you liked Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes, then yo will love this newest novel by Jonathan Auxier!!  If you don't mind a little bit of a thriller of a novel, that is!  I was certainly on the edge of my seat for nearly half the book, I must say.  Not for the faint of heart!!  *** SPOILER ALERT*** Just a note of caution: One untimely death of a character that is depicted quickly and with little detail as to not be graphic.  Still,  this character meets a rather unfortunate end.  

Grade Level: 4.9

Summer Reading Projects

Thank you for the lovely summer projects that have already been turned in!!! It's wonderful to see how you are progressing on your summer books so far. Keep it up 6th graders!!

The Last Battle: C.S. Lewis

Narnia is no longer the place we once knew.  It has ben tainted by evil and is slowly falling apart.  During the last days of Narnia, the land is facing its most difficult challenge yet—and its not what yo might expect.  Narnia is not facing a great invader from some unknown place.  Narnia is at war against herself.  The land is filled with creatures and people who would choose to believe the lie that a treacherous ape is letting them, instead of believing in the true Aslan.   Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear in this, the magnificent ending to The Chronicles of Narnia.

Be prepared to get choked up!! This novel is an excellent finale to the Chronicles of Narnia.  
Grade Level: 5.6

Wildwood: By Colin Melloy

"Prue McKeel's life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one's ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it."
And thus begins our journey through Wildwood, a fabulous novel involving two siblings and an Impassable Wilderness.  It is a story of love and adventure.  You will travel through secret worlds and discover amazing creatures and evil sorcerers.  If you like stories about magic, epic battles against coyote armies, and friendship ultimately prevailing, then this is the book for you!!!

Grade Level: 6.3

Fortunately, The Milk: By Neil Gaiman

"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."
"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."

Grade Level: 4.3

In A Glass, Grimmly: By Adam Gidwitz

“So thirsty," Jack groaned.
"So worried,"said the frog. I hope we don't starve to death."
"Yes,"said Jill, "not starving to death would be nice."
"So would not thirsting to death," said Jack
"Thirsting isn't even a word," said Jill
"It isn't?"
"Then what's the word?"
"I don't know. You just can't."
This is, of course, the kind of inane conversation that occurs when people are slowly losing their minds.” 

Jack and Jill are actually cousins, didn't you know that?  Oh, and the Frog Prince is actually a tale about a frog who is not really a prince at all.  Just a frog who falls in love with a nasty, selfish princess, poor fellow.  This story shows the journey of two children who are learning (slowly, sometimes) to love themselves, and not get their identity from others.  Least of all some nasty, rude boys who convince Jack to sell his cow for some silly magic beans (even though the beans are actually magic) and Jill, so clouded by her queen mother's beauty that she cannot see what a terrible example she might be to follow.  

The second book in the on-going series by Adam Gidwitz does not disappoint!! Fans of the original Grimm fairy tales will love these fresh takes on their old beloved tales.

Grade Level: 4.4

The Great Gatsby: By F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book is not for children.

F. Scott Fitzgerald  decided to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned."  And thus, The Great Gatsby was created.  

 This novel has been coined his 'finest' work by some critics, and has become the most well-known novel ever by Fitzgerald.  The decadence of the Jazz age and the superfluous nature of money has given this novel a permanent place in American literature. Self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby is the embodiment of the desired American culture: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. 

""Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." 
— F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

Gatsby's success and gruesome demise gives caution to readers who easily feel drawn to fleeting treasures of this world.  Please keep in mind that themes in this book are very adult and this book should be read by students no younger than high school.  

Grade Level:  7.3

A Tale Dark and Grimm: By Adam Gidwitz

Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.  If, by awesome, you mean gruesome, and full of murder and mayhem.  Dear Hansel and Gretel have a story that has been told over numerous generations.  But have you been told the ENTIRE story?? I think not.  Only this novel will give you all of the dreary details of poor Hansel getting turned in to a carnivorous beast, and sad, lonely Gretel losing her family and very nearly getting eaten (twice).   

This book is one I highly recommend, but I would like to warm you ahead of time!!  As grimm as the old fairy tales get (see what I did there?) this one is quite true to the originals.  Beware when picking up this book!  It is wonderfully written and puts an interesting twist on the old tales.  

"You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones.  And thoough the darkest zones there can be no guide.

No guide, that is, but courage."


Grade Level:  4.6