Eight Must Read Young Adult Books

1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins “May the odds be ever in your favor.” This book is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. A long time ago, there was a war. Now every year each … Continue reading

Welcome to the Summer Reading Page!

Welcome, Class of 2018!

I am so excited to work with you starting in September.  I am already busy planning how to make English 8 the best 8th Grade English class you will ever take.

This year for summer reading activities, we are going to try something a bit different.  Instead of a project, I just want you to talk to each other about what you are reading.  I know for me, when I read a good (or bad!) book, I just want to talk about it and share my thoughts with a friend.  Over the course of the summer, I am going to expect you to comment and respond to others comments as you complete your summer reading.

This year’s 8th grade English read is new: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  It was a book that really made me look at things I had always come to expect very differently.  Yes, it is long, and I understand that might be overwhelming at first, but I really do think if you are open to it, you will enjoy it.  The book examines life in Germany during the Holocaust and has a very interesting narrator and a different perspective.  I have read a lot of books about this time period and this, to me, is not only the most unique, but also the most powerful.

Because of the novel’s uniqueness, I got a bit confused my first time through it.  Good readers do get confused sometimes, but they don’t give up.  They try to think of ways to get un-confused. One way to do that is to ask questions. And because we are all reading it, your classmates and I will try to help answer those questions.  Although questions aren’t required, they are encouraged.   What is required is responding to the AFTER READING THE BOOK posts and commenting on your classmates’ ideas.  You must respond at least 6 times (four of which must be in response to classmates’ ideas).

Have some fun with this, be respectful, and share your ideas.  Your comments will allow me to plan lessons around what interests you so that we can start off September with a bang!

If you have any questions at all, you can always email me at lisa.iaccarino@worcesteracademy.org.

Happy Reading!!


  • You must respond to at least two posts marked (AFTER READING THE BOOK DISCUSSION)
  • You must respond to at least four DIFFERENT classmates’ responses.  Whenever possible, try to create a discussio


  • ADDENDUM: You may respond to six DIFFERENT classmates’ responses if your post would merely repeat something you or someone else has already said.  Basically, you must participate at least six times.
  • Each response should be at least four sentences – see below on what makes a valid response.


  • Participation in the “I’m Confused” Blog Posts

How to Comment Appropriately

Not to put the pressure on, but this blog IS the first time I will view you as a student, so put your best foot forward!  HINT HINT: CHECK YOUR SPELLING! You may have never commented on a blog before, so I want to make sure you know what you are doing.  If you click on the comments (click on the quotation box at the top right), you can see examples of good comments and bad comments that I have posted to give you a sense of what they should look like.

Imagine that the question I am answering is: Did you enjoy The Book Thief

As always, if you have any questions, email me: lisa.iaccarino@worcesteracademy.org

Remember that each comment and each reply should have at least four sentences!

Please avoid putting your full last name when commenting!

It’s only the PROLOGUE and I’m Already Confused!?!?!?!

After reading the first chapter of any book, you often have a lot of questions.  The Book Thief  has a very interesting narrator and narration style, which really confused me the first time I read it!  Are you already confused after  Chapter 1?  If so, what are you confused about? If you can help out a classmate, feel free.  I will delete anything that might confuse someone more.  Don’t give up yet!  The greatness is just getting started!!!

To fully understand the novel, you will need to know who the narrator is.

Helpful hint: Prologue means Before (Pro) Words (Logue).  Prologues are meant to give some background information before the story begins and sometimes hint at what is to come.


The narrator of The Book Thief is rather unusual, don’t you think?  I know I’ve never read a book where Death narrated and found it gave a unique perspective to the book.  What do you think of the narrator?  How do you think the narrator created understanding in the story?  Did you like this approach?  Do you think this made the story too negative? What was the narrator’s view of the events?  How did he feel about Nazi Germany?

You may answer any or all of these questions, and of course, can add thoughts of your own related to the narration that may not have been asked.

AFTER READING THE BOOK DISCUSSION 3: Why did you make us read this book?

Why do you think?  This is a book about the Holocaust, which occurred  70 years ago now.  It might be hard to see its relevance.  Is this a relevant book to your life and our world?  Does this book better help you understand our world?  What are your thoughts on its relevance and reasons why I may have wanted you to read this book?  What are your thoughts in general about the book?  Should it be a class read again?