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1. Chinese Cinderella
Adeline Mahs Chinese Cinderella is an autobiography. Adelines mom died giving
birth to her so she everyone in her family hates her because shes considered bad
luck. The story is about Adelines painful childhood, enduring her stepmothers
wrath as well as her half brother and half sisters spoiled nature. Adeline finds
peace at school because that is the only place where she is treated like a person;
she does really well in school to try to gain her fathers approval. In the end,
Adeline is wins an international playwright competition and her father allows
her to go to university in England. Her Aunt Baba sends her a Chinese folklore,
Chinese Cinderella, so she can read in whenever she is discouraged. In a way,
Adeline and Cinderella are both the same because they mourn for their dead
mothers and go up against despair. The book has a Lexile level of 960L, matching
the seventh grade reading level while the interest level of the book is for ninth to
twelfth grade. I chose this book because it would be interesting for the students
to learn about a foreign culture.
2. Stay Strong Simple Life Lessons for Teens
Stay Strong Simple Life Lessons for Teens is a nonfiction book I chose because
of its content that students can directly relate to. In this inspirational book,
Terrie Williams gives her lessons to teens about how to take the higher road in
their lives. Teens will eventually come across complications in their lives and
have overgeneralizations about things. The author gives lots of insights and
examples of common misconceptions that teens may come across in life. Content
also includes how to best handle different difficult situations. The book is written
a storytelling and didactic kind of style that is easy for all teenagers to
understand. It has a Lexile level of 890L, which is about a sixth grade reading
level. The interest level ranges from grades seven through nine.
3. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
James Herriots All Creatures Great and Small book is a nonfiction text, an
autobiography of Herriots life as a vet. Herriot gets a job as a vet with his boss,
Siegfried and has to learn to get along with other vets. Herriot starts to build his
reputation as a vet and learns a lot from more experienced vets. Through the
chapters, Herriot helps lots of animals but also ends up having to put down some
because some of the cases were really severe and not operable. Herriot not only
has to deal with animal sickness, but also owners who do not know how to take
care of their animals like Tricky-Woo, a dog that almost died because its owner
overfed it. Herriot also meets Helen in treating an injured calf and ends up
marrying her in the end. The book has a Lexile level of 900L or a sixth grade
readability level and an interest level of ninth grade. I chose this book because it
is a nonfiction text that is easy to read and would be interesting for the students
with its heartwarming stories about animals.
4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


Maya Angelous I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has a Lexile level of 1070L
(ninth grade readability) and an interest reading level for grade nine. I chose this
book because Maya Angelous style of writing (both prose and poetry) would be
one that we can discuss a lot about in class. It would also be a very good choice
for nonfiction texts or autobiographical texts in class. I also think that the stories
about young Angelous experiences with prejudice can help students better
understand racism and the after effects we still see in society today.
The summary of the book is as follows:
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a
small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of
abandonment and the prejudice of the local powhitetrash. At eight years old
and back at her mothers side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times
her ageand has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San
Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own
strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (I met and fell in love with William
Shakespeare) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
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5. Charles & Emma: The Darwins Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Deborah Heiligmans book is a nonfiction text with a Lexile level of 1020L
matching an eighth grade readability level, and an interest level for grade six. I
chose this text because I think it would be a good text to use for presenting
controversy in class, especially with the debate about teaching the evolution
theory in schools. As put in the Barnes and Nobles brief introduction about the
book, the end result is an engaging exploration of history, science, and religion
for young readers. The summary is as follows:
Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, his revolutionary tract on
evolution and the fundamental ideas involved, in 1859. Nearly 150 years later,
the theory of evolution continues to create tension between the scientific and
religious communities. Challenges about teaching the theory of evolution in
schools occur annually all over the country. This same debate raged within
Darwin himself, and played an important part in his marriage: his wife, Emma,
was quite religious, and her faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked
on a theory that continues to spark intense debates.
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6. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose
Philip Hooses book is a nonfiction text on the topic of racial segregation in the
50s. The book has a Lexile level of 1000L, which corresponds to a seventh grade
reading level, and an interest level for sixth grade. I chose the text because it
would be a good bridge to classics that deal with the heavy subject of racism and
discrimination. This story would be something the students would be better able
to relate to because the story presents a teenager as a challenger to the
segregation laws. The summary is as follows:

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of
Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated
bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would
be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself
shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a
year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder
v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of
Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.
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7. Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
Sheinkins nonfiction book is one about atomic bombs. The book has a Lexile
level of 920L (6th grade readability) and an interest level for students from 10-15
years old. Black and white old pictures and diagrams accompany the text to help
students with visualizing how it was back then. I chose the text because it was
one of the nonfiction books that won an award last year. It would also be an
appropriate text to teach along side war novels.
The summary is as follows:
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking
discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in
two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents.
In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the
scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines
to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one
brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This
is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the
world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.
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8. Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London by Andrea Warren
Warrens book is a nonfiction text about Charles Dickens life. The book has
colored pictures that accompany the text including pictures that show the hard
lives children face in London. The text has a Lexile level of 1160L or the
readability level of 11th grade, and an interest level for sixth graders or higher. I
chose this book because I think it would be a good text to use for background
knowledge when teaching British novels, specifically the ones by Dickens.
The summary is as follows:
Provoked by the horrors he saw every day, Charles Dickens wrote novels
that were originally intended as instruments for social change to save his
countrys children.
Charles Dickens is best known for his contributions to the world of
literature, but during his young life, Dickens witnessed terrible things that stayed
with him: families starving in doorways, babies being dropped on streets by
mothers too poor to care for them, and a stunning lack of compassion from the
upper class. After his family went into debt and he found himself working at a

shoe-polish factory, Dickens soon realized that the members of the lower class
were no different than he, and, even worse, they were given no chance to better
themselves. It was then that he decided to use his greatest talent, his writing
ability, to tell the stories of those who had no voice.
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9. The Assist: Hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their Lives by Neil Swidey
Swideys book is a nonfiction text that falls under the category of sports. The text
has a Lexile level of 1080L and can be read by students from grades 8-12. I chose
the book because male students would be drawn to nonfiction texts about sports.
I think the text will be a good bridge between nonfiction text and real life,
especially because basketball is not the only battle the characters are fighting,
Swidey also emphasizes on the heavy handed topic of desegregation.
The summary is as follows:
Jack OBrien is a high school basketball coach extreme in both his
demands and his devotion. With monastic discipline, he has built a powerhouse
program that wins state championships year after year while helping propel
players to college. He does this as a white suburban guy working exclusively with
black city boys who make the daily trek across Boston to attend Charlestown
High School, where the last battles of the citys school desegregation wars were
fought a generation ago.
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10. A Child Called It: One Childs Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer
Pelzers book is an autobiography about his childhood life. The recounting of the
authors childhood events are cruel and unbearable, yet the authors recovery
and ability to succeed in life gives it a hopeful spin. The text has a Lexile level of
850L (6th grade readability) and an interest level of grade nine through 12. I
chose this book because it is a really sad story filled with hope. I think this would
be a very good text to use if I were to teach the students about gratitude or about
child abuse.
The summary is as follows:
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe
child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was
brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a
mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly
dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because
she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an it.
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11. Okay For Now
Gary D. Schmidts Okay for Now is a contemporary realistic fiction novel. The
book has a Lexile level of 850L, which matches grade 6, however the interest
level ranges from sixth to eighth grade. The book is written in first person from
the point of view of a teenager in very casual language. Heres a brief summary of
the book: Doug has to move to Marysville because of his Dads job. Dougs family
relationship isnt really good because they have financial problems, his Dad uses
violence, and his older brothers are bullies. Everything doesnt seem so bad
when he falls in love with art reading the Audubon book at the library; he starts
taking art lessons at the library. The Audubon book then gets sold for money for
the community and Doug tries to get it back with his own money. He decides to
do a play to earn it, his partner Lil gets sick, but Doug is still able to pull if off by
himself. The book comes to a sad ending when Doug finds out that Lil has cancer.
I chose this book because I think its a good book for sixth grade. Even though
parents might object because the story includes sensitive topics such as effects of
the Vietnam War, domestic violence, and also bullying, I think these are topics
that students should learn about. It would also be a good opportunity to have a
discussion on how to prevent bullying.
12. Graceling
Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a fantasy novel with a Lexile level of 750L. The
interest level is grades 10-12. The book is written in an easy to read language
and tells the story of Katsa, who is a graceling, or a person who possesses and
extraordinary power, and her grace or power, is killing. She works for her uncle,
King Randa, to punish people who do wrong to him. Katsa is also part of the
Council, a group of people who do kind things for people. In a mission at the very
beginning of the story, Katsa resuces a Lienid grandfather and meets Prince
Tealiff, or Po. Katsa and Po go on a journey to find the person who kidnapped
Pos grandfather. Po uses his grace of mind reading to find out that the kidnapper
is King Leck who is well known for his kindness. They set out for King Lecks
kingdom and end up witnessing King Leck murdering his own wife. The dying
queen asks Po and Katsa to find Bitterblue, her daughter because the king wants
to torture her. Po and Katsa also find out that King Leck has been able to keep his
good reputation all this time because of his grace of controlling suspicions. Po,
Katsa, and Bitterblue are able to escape in the end because Katsa kills King Leck.
However, Po ends up being blind. I chose this book because it is has won lots of
awards and think that it would be a good pick from the fantasy genre for the
13. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chboskys fiction novel is a coming of age story that is written in a
diary/journalistic style. The protagonist Charlie writes letters to a stranger
because he says he needs someone to listen to him without knowing who he is.
He is coping with the suicidal death of his friend, Michael. Charlie meets Patrick
and Sam, his stepsister and they become really good friends. Charlies high

school life is a blur of dating, drinking, and making friends. However, there has
always been something at the back of Charlies mind that is bothering him, like a
repressed memory. In the end, Charlie has a mental breakdown and has to go to
the hospital. Readers find out that his Aunt molested him when he was really
young. Charlie ends his series of letters by saying that things will get better. The
book has a Lexile level of 720L (readability of sixth grade) and an interest level
for grades nine through twelve. I chose this book because it falls under the
category of banned books and feel like students will be excited to read one of the
banned books. In addition, the book also deals with lots of sensitive topics
including LGBT, which I think is something students should learn about at some
point in high school because it is a part of growing up.
14. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Boynes novel is a historical fiction novel about war. I chose this book
because it would be a good bridging text to subjects about the holocaust. The
book is written from the point of view of a young boy, Bruno, and describes
events of the holocaust as he experiences them. Thus, I think it would be a
subtler text for the holocaust and could also work as a text we use for practicing
making inferences. In the book, Brunos family moves to Auschwitz from Berlin
because of his dads promotion. Because he lives beside a concentration camp,
Bruno meets a boy in striped pajamas at the fence of the concentration camp
one day. He becomes best friends with Shumel. Shumel doesnt understand why
his family is at the concentration camp and Bruno finds out from his sister, Gretel
that is because they are Jews. A bit before Bruno is about to move back to Berlin,
Shumels dad disappears so Bruno decides to help Shumel find his dad as a
departure gift. He changes into striped pajamas and slips into the camp. Both
Bruno and Shumel end up dying in a gas chamber. The book has a Lexile level of
1080L (readability of eighth grade) and interest levels of grades nine through
15. Paper Town
John Greens mystery novel has a lexile level of 850L (grade 6 readability level)
and an interest level of ninth through twelfth grade. The story is about Quentin
Jacobsen (aka Q) a high school senior has been in love with Margo since he was
little. Margo asks him to help her with a revenge plan on people who have
treated her badly, including her boyfriend whos cheating on her best friend and
he agrees. That night after they carry out the revenge plan, Margo and Q dance
together and Margo leaves him by saying that she will miss him. The next day
and the days after, Margo doesnt show up at school. Q and his friends such for
her and finds clues that Margo leaves behind. Qs friends think Margo killed
herself so they go on a search for her. In the end, Q and his friends find her in
upstate New York and she reveals that she has always wanted to leave Florida. It
is implied in the end that Q and Margo cannot be together because they have
separate paths. I chose this book because it is one of the recommended mystery
novels in my young adult literature textbook. I think a mystery novel would be a
good source for practicing making inferences and predictions in the classroom. I

can do a read aloud with it and students can follow along, we can try to solve the
mystery together.
16. The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy
Douglas Adams book falls under the categories of humor and science fiction. The
book has a Lexile level of 1000L or an eighth grade readability level. The interest
level is 9-12. I chose this book because it got a lot of awards. I think the element
of humor would be something that can be discussed in class. The story is as
follows: Earth is going to be destroyed by the Vogon Constructor Fleet and
Arthur Dent escapes with his alien friend, Ford Prefect on a Vogon spaceship.
They get caught and are tortured by terrible poetry and are thrown into space.
They are then picked up by the President of the Galaxy, Zaphod and his girl
friend Trillian. Arthur and Ford join the couple to find a lost planet called
Magrathea. When they find the planet, Arthur finds out that Earth was a super
computer that was designed to figure out the great question of life and the
universe because the pan-dimensional beings that built the computer already
had the answer to life and the universe. However, it was destroyed before that
happened. Thus, if Arthur allows the pan-dimensional beings to extract his brain,
they would be able to begin Earth again.
List of Awards:
Number one on the Sunday Times best seller list (1979)
"Golden Pan" (From his publishers for reaching the 1,000,000th book sold)
Waterstone's Books/Channel Four's list of the 'One Hundred Greatest Books of
the Century', at number 24. (1996)
BBC's "Big Read", an attempt to find the "Nation's Best-loved book", ranked it
number four. (2003)'s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy_(novel)

17. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine LEngle

I chose the graphic novel version of Madeleine LEngles A Wrinkle In Time for
the classroom because I think it would be fun to teach a graphic novel in the
classroom. The students would be able to explore the relationships between
pictures and words and most of all, enjoy an easy read. The story about the
protagonist, Meg Murry who travels through time and space with her brother
Charles Wallace to rescue her father, imprisoned on another planet. The story
starts out with Meg unhappy that she is an ordinary girl and missing her father
who had disappeared for almost a year. One night, Mrs. Whatsit shows up at her
place and surprises her mom by mentioning the existence of a tesseract or a
wrinkle in time or space. Thus, Meg, her brother, Calvin, Mrs. Whatsit and her
two friends travel through time to rescue her Megs father. In the end, Meg is able
to save the day with her loving nature. The book has a Lexile level of 740L or a
fifth grade readability level and an interest level of sixth grade. The book also

includes time traveling and a lot of made up terms for creatures of space, which I
think the students will enjoy.

18. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Jennifer Donnelly historical fiction novel is one about growing up and pursuing
dreams. Mattie has to help support her family as requested by her mother before
she died. She has dreams for becoming a writer and is encouraged by her teacher
Ms. Wilcox, to apply to Barnard College so that she can pursue her dreams as a
writer; she is guaranteed a scholarship, but still needs to earn money for other
expenses. Mattie works at Glenmore Hotel to earn money and is requested by
Grace Brown, a guest at the hotel to burn some letters. Not long after, Grace is
found dead and Mattie has to decide whether or not to burn the letters. Upon
reading the letters, Mattie finds out about Graces tragic life and how she has
been abandoned and murdered by someone she had an affair with. Mattie then
has to choose the path of her own life, whether she would stay in Eagle Bay as a
wife or go to New York to pursue her dreams. The book has a Lexile level of 700L
which matches a fourth grade reading level, but has an interest level that
matches ninth grade. I chose this book because it is an interesting blend of
historical fiction and mystery. It might be a good bridging text between teaching
fiction and nonfiction, especially a nonfiction text that has to do with events of
the past.
19. Proxy by Alex London
Alex Londons Proxy is a fiction novel for reluctant YA readers. The book has a
Lexile level of 690L or a fourth grade readability level, and is appropriate for
students around sixth grade. I chose the book because it has a very interesting
storyline, which reluctant readers would definitely jump at.
The summary is as follows:
Knox was born into one of the City's wealthiest families. A Patron, he has
everything a boy could possibly wantthe latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a
Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When
Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a
car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.
Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.
Then again, neither is Knoxs. Knox and Syd have more in common than
either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the
system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knoxs father is no ordinary Patron,
and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a
secret society of rebels, test both boys resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a
world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be
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20. Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Clarks book is one that falls under the category of fiction and addresses the topic
of LGBT, capturing the essence of not fitting in. The book has a Lexile level of
700L and an interest reading level for students above twelve years old. The text
caught my attention with its style of writing. It is a collection of poetry verses
that I can use when teaching poetry and also in discussing issues about LGBT in
The summary is as follows:
From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. Hes a star
wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly
perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why
his body feels so wrongwhy he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft
skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who
sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?
In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into
one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa
fighting to keep her and Brendans relationship alive, and Angel struggling to
confront her demons.
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21. Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell
Rowells fiction novel is one that presents the topic of growing up. The book has
a Lexile level of 570L and an interest level for students ages 14-17. The text is
easy to read in its chick lit style of writing. I chose this book because I think this
would be a book I can use for female reluctant readers in my class with its
interesting plot and low readability level. It can also be a light read for my
students while taking a break from the classics.
The summary is as follows:
In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole
world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her lifeand shes really
good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon
Snow series when they were just kids; its what got them through their mother
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon
Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Caths sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath cant let go.
She doesnt want to.
Now that theyre going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesnt want to
be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. Shes
got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fictionwriting professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a
handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she cant stop
worrying about her dad, whos loving and fragile and has never really been
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren
holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even
want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

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22. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Rowells other fiction novel presents an interracial love story that would be
appealing to all students. The book has a Lexile level of 580L and is suitable for
students ages 14-18. I picked out this book because of the award it has won as
well as the good reviews it has received. I think that I will be able to use this as a
bridging text to Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet seeing as the text is also one
about star-crossed lovers.
The summary is as follows:
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
Im not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, were 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
Im not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two
star-crossed misfitssmart enough to know that first love almost never lasts,
but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, youll
remember your own first loveand just how hard it pulled you under.
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23. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Myers novel falls under the genre of crime fiction. The story is written in the
format of a drama/play/movie. The book has a Lexile level of 670L and an
interest level for grade nine. I chose this book because I think that the book
sounds interesting and from our fishbowl activity in class, it presents topics that
are good for debating. I also think that the format of the text would present good
opportunities to teach drama or oral lessons in class.
The summary is as follows:

This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award
nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve
Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a
screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the
book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.
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24. No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman

Gordon Kormans novel falls under the genre of fiction. I chose the book because
of its well-known humor and content. The setting of the book is in a school so
students will be able to make connections with the text very easily. The novel is
about Wallace Wallace, an honest kid who will never tell a lie. This gets him into
trouble with his English teacher Mr. Fogelman about a book review of Old Shep,
My Pal with regards to conflicting views about the book. Wallace thinks the
book is terrible because the dog dies in the end, which always happens in a story
about a dog, but Mr. Fogelman believes its a classic and tells Wallace to write a
proper review of the book (that conforms to his view). Wallace is forced to
temporarily quit the football team to serve detention in the drama club until he
writes the book review. The drama club is making Old Shep, My Pal into a
school play and Wallace with his honest suggestions, help make the play better.
He ends up saving the dog in the school play and makes lots of friends. The book
has a Lexile level of 610L, matching a grade four readability level. The book has
an interest level for grades six through eight.
25. Last Shot by John Feinstein
Feinsteins novel is one that falls under the category of mystery. The text has a
Lexile level of 760L (5th grade readability level) and an interest level for sixth
grade. I chose this book because it has a mix of mystery and basketball that
seems like something male students would be interested in. I think this would
also be a good text to read aloud and practice making inferences as well as
making predictions in class.
The summary is as follows:
New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the real
March Madnessbehind the scenes at the Final Four basketball tournament.
When Stevie wins a writing contest for aspiring sports journalists, his
prize is a press pass to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the
Superdome, he overhears a plot to throw the championship game. With the help
of fellow contest winner Susan Carol, Stevie has just 48 hours to figure out who is
blackmailing one of the star players . . . and why.
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