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Grade 8 Summer Reading Letter

Dear Eighth Grade Parent/Guardian:

Greetings from the Coakley Middle School’s grade eight English teachers! The grade eight summer reading program is offering three books for your child to choose from; each student is to read one of the three selected books: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by B.M. Mooyaart (Translator), The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, or The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

All three books are centered on the subject of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. The stories provide a valuable opportunity for opening honest and imperative discussion concerning tolerance and discrimination between adolescents, their peers, and their teachers. The eighth grade ELA teachers strongly believe this topic to be a relevant and essential issue to our classroom content and future areas of study.  We would like to suggest and encourage that they read and discuss the book of their choice with other incoming eighth graders over the summer if possible, although this is not required.  We would also like to invite you to read the book with your child and allow them to benefit from your insight, perspective, and experience.

The English/Language Arts Department believes strongly in the summer reading program. We have found that writing assignments from past years have been well done and the themes of the novels tie in nicely with the eighth grade ELA curriculum. The assigned reading and subsequent writing assessment encourages our students to truly engage themselves in the text while expressing creativity and understanding through their writing. Students will have a common base from which they can derive ideas and make connections to other forms and genres of literature and stories studied in our classes throughout the year.

As always, we will evaluate this year’s summer reading assignment in the fall with the hope of improving our program each year.


The Coakley Middle School Grade Eight English Department

Bridget Manning, Katherine Mooney, and JJ Oliver

We encourage students to read more than just the selected work and to keep a log of their other reading experiences.