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As we begin to expand our STEM literacy, we focus on a summer reading assignment to reinforce the habit of reading for pleasure, enrichment, and information, to encourage exploration of scientific concepts and viewpoints, and to maintain active reading and writing skills during the summer months. Why should you read? Just as exercise builds stronger muscles, reading builds a stronger brain. When you read, you discover new and different ways of living, thinking, and behaving. Reading helps each of us better understand our world and the people in it. Reading can take you to amazing places and help you find out about anything you want to learn. In many ways, regular reading is just the smart thing to do. Recent brain research on reading has shown that the brain chemistry of a person reading a book is very similar to that of a person actually experiencing what is in the book. An example would be the story of a soldier. A person reading a well-written account of life on a battlefield can actually feel the emotions that a soldier experiences while in battle. Tips For Success  Pick a certain time (preferably each day) that is dedicated to reading  Read with your family members or friends and talk about what you are reading  Visit your public library or local bookstore regularly  Keep Post-It notes or other note-taking items nearby to mark down a word that you don’t know or a concept you don’t understand  Listen to the book on tape while you read the book  If you do not understand a word or concept, read the passage out loud  Ask yourself questions when you are reading new information such as "What is the main idea?" "How does this information relate to the last section?" "Why is this important to know?" The worst thing that a Delta student can do is to get discouraged while reading and give up. Please do not be discouraged if you are having trouble finding or reading one of your book choices. Your teachers and principal are here to help. Email Mrs. Holmberg at or Mrs. Stairet at if you need any assistance whatsoever. Please choose two of the following books to read over the summer. Most, if not all, are available at our local libraries. If you are interested in your own copies, used ones are widely available online and at the Bookworm or Adventures Underground in Richland. New copies are available in most bookstores. Assignments are attached. Choose one assignment per book.


Allen, John Paulos Adams, Douglas Asimov, Isaac Asimov, Isaac Bodanis, David Bortz, Alfred Bradbury, Ray Brain, Marshall Brody, Arnold Bryson, Bill Card, Scott Orson Card, Scott Orson Carsen, Rachel Clarke, Arthur Comins, Neil Crichton, Michael Curie, Eve Dewdney, A.K. Doyle, Arthur Conan Dubner, Steven & Levitt, Stephen Ehrlich, Robert Ettlinger, Steve Feynman, Richard &

Innumeracy, Beyond Numeracy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I, Robot Foundation Series Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World To the Young Scientist: Reflections of Doing and Living Science Fahrenheit 451 What if…? Intriguing Answers for the Insatiably Curious The Science Class You Wish You Had A Short History of Nearly Everything Ender’s Game Ender’s Shadow Silent Spring Rendezvous with Rama What if the Moon Didn’t Exist? Voyages to Earth that Might Have Been Andromeda Strain Madame Curie: A Biography Yes, We Have No Neutrons: An Eye-Opening Tour Through the Twist and Turns of Bad Science Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet Freakonomics Nine Crazy Ideas in Science Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious

DRAFT Leighton, Ralph Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Friedman, Thomas

Character Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teachers What Do You Care What Other People Think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works The World Is Flat

Gibson, William


Gilder, Joshua & Anne-Lee

Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History’s Greatest Scientific Discoveries

Gladwell, Malcom

Outliers, Blink, Tipping Point

Gonick, Larry and Huffman, Art Gonick, Larry and Criddle, Craig

The Cartoon Guide to Physics The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry

Gould, Stephen

The Panda’s Thumb

Greene, Brian

Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam, A Life in Physics

Hanlon, Michael

Ten Questions Science Can’t Answer (Yet!): A Guide to Science’s Greatest Mysteries

Harper, Charley

Birds and Words

Hawking, Stephen

A Brief History of Time

Hawking, Stephen

The Universe in a Nutshell

Heinlein, Robert

Starship Troopers

Heinlein, Robert

Stranger in a Strange Land

Herbert, Frank


Highfield, Roger

Physics of Christmas: From Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey

Kakalios, James

The Physics of Superheroes

Kolbert, Elizabeth

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

Krauss, Lawrence

The Physics of Star Trek

Le Couteur, Penny and Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History Burreson, Jay Lovell, Jim & Kruger, Apollo 13 Jeffrey

DRAFT Minichino, Camille

The _______ Murder (H, He, Li, Be, C, B, O, N)

Niven, Larry


Orwell, George


Poe, Edgar Allen

Murders in the Rue Morgue

Reisner, Marc

Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water

Roberts, Jeanie

Lucky Science: Accidental Discoveries from Gravity to Velcro

Sachs, Oliver

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

Sagan, Carl


Schlosser, Eric

Fast Food Nation

Shelley, Mary


Simmons, Dan


Simmons, Dan


Simmons, Dan

The Fall of Hyperion

Simon, Garfield

Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World

Sinclair, Upton

The Jungle

Sobel, Dava Sobel, Sobel

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love

Stephenson, Neil


Stewart, Melissa

Science in Ancient India

Truss, Lynne

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

Tufte, Edward R.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Verne, Jules

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Vonnegut, Kurt

Player Piano

Vonnegut, Kurt

Slaughterhouse Five

Wells, H.G.

The Island of Dr. Moreau

DRAFT Wells, H.G.

The Time Machine

Wells, H.G.

The World of the Worlds

Wheeler, John

Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam, A Life in Physics

Summer Reading Project Choices Select one of the following projects per book to demonstrate, in a creative manner, your understanding of one of the books you read. All projects are due by Monday, August 29th. Most projects include an oral explanation that may last no longer than three minutes. The oral or written presentation is part of your final score. For novels and works of fiction your project should reflect your understanding of the following elements of fiction writing:  Theme  Narration  Setting  Conflicts  Symbols  Characterization For non-fiction works (biographies, explorations of real world science or events, statistical analyses) your projects should reflect your understanding of the following characteristics of non-fiction writing.  Purpose or message  Writer’s stance or perspective  Important concepts  Intended audience GRAPHIC PROJECT CHOICES Develop a comic strip, drawn by hand or on a computer, which is at least 12 frames long and highlights important scenes or concepts from your book. Short dialogue balloons are acceptable, but be sure to include an explanation of each scene at the bottom of each frame. Share with class in a brief (<3 minute) presentation and turn in to your teacher.


Create a scrapbook for the main character or central purpose in the book. Include artifacts that describe the character or purpose in detail. Be creative-avoid actual pictures from the book. Each artifact must be labeled and explained. Share with class in a brief (<3 minute) presentation and turn in to your teacher.

Graphic Project Expectations: 

Selection of Scenes or Concepts o Cover the essential events/concepts o Reveal the central theme or message o Capture the significant characters, settings, and conflicts in the work


Organization, Layout, and Design o Organize clearly the selected concepts/scenes o Use an appropriate, effective, easy to follow layout of material o Display the basic elements of design (rule of threes, placement, proportion, etc.) o Employ white space effectively

Visual Appeal, Artistic Quality o Use color and form effectively o Incorporate elements of the work’s imagery or symbolism o Show artistic merit and quality through composition and drawing skills o Demonstrate an artistic point of view or style appropriate to the work

Clear and Effective Dialogue, Explanation and/or Commentary o Write dialogue appropriate to the character(s) that reveals central conflict of the scene and develops the character(s) o Provide concise and complete explanations for scenes or artifacts o Use print face, handwriting, or font that is readable and reflective of the tone or relevance of the scene or artifact.

Presentation Technique o Keep to the time limit o Display the visual effectively o Organize comments around a central idea or point of emphasis o Avoid reading the text to the audience, summarize or highlight instead o Speak clearly, maintain a pace that is lively, but easy to follow o Present a comfortable, composed demeanor while speaking

PRESENTATION PROJECT CHOICES A ‘Bag That Book’ Project which uses an appropriate container (Can? Bag? Box?) that you decorate to reflect the book and place six items that have a connection to the book. OR You must explain the container decorations and items to your class in three to five minutes and in a brief, written report to your teacher.

Can you prove in less than five minutes that you read your book? Give a 2.5-minute presentation in which you try to convince your audience to read the book and to convince your teacher that you read the book. Fellow students and your teacher have 2.5 minutes to ask you questions about the book.

Presentation Project Expectations: 

Keep to the time limit o Know the time limit o Pace material and speaking to maximize time usage

Display visuals effectively o Use appropriate physical or technological aids to display visuals

DRAFT o Incorporate visuals to enhance, not detract, from the presentation o Negotiate effectively the presentation of both visuals and the speech 

Organize comments around central ideas or points of emphasis o Introduce your presentation so the audience is engaged and ready to listen o Present the body of the speech in a clear, easy to follow order o Conclude so the audience clearly understands the central message(s)of your talk

Avoid reading the speech to the audience o Use notes o Maintain eye contact with the audience o Look at all parts of the audience o If answering a question, summarize or incorporate the question into the answer

Speak clearly, maintain a pace that is lively, but easy to follow o Avoid verbal pauses o Speak at a pace that is engaging and easy to keep up with o Use standard English, grammar, and vocabulary where appropriate o Violate standard English usage as a way to better achieve the speech’s purpose o Speak loudly enough o Vary the tone of voice while speaking

Present a comfortable, composed demeanor while speaking o Stand with an appropriate posture o Keep a relaxed, slightly open stance, knees flexed, not locked o Gesture effectively o Move deliberately o Answer questions directly, unhurriedly, with good eye contact o Avoid fidgeting and nervous habits o Avoid chewing gum

TECHNOLOGY PROJECT CHOICES Develop a mock MySpace/Facebook page for a main character or figure from your book. Required: “About Me”/Profile section that includes a detailed description, interesting facts, and friends (if appropriate). Complete five other options: Pictures of people, places or events; heroes; description of family; goals; favorites; music; movies, TV and books. At least three links to sites/content the character/figure would value. Provide


Develop a play list of at least five (school appropriate) songs that one or more of the characters or figures in the book would have on his/her play list. Include a chorus or verse from each song and identify which character would have listened to that song and explain why. Be sure to type the play list, verses, and explanations.

DRAFT a written explanation for your selections.

Technology Project Expectations: 

Select an appropriate character o Choose a character that is important to understanding the central theme/purpose of the work

Reveal significant insights into the character o Cover the essential events/concepts o Reveal the central theme or message o Capture the significant characters, settings, and conflicts in the work o Demonstrate understanding of the work’s central purpose, message or theme

Display comfort and skill in using the technology o Employ standard usage, spelling, and punctuation where appropriate o Employ commonly recognized text shorthand where appropriate o Apply sound judgment/concern for privacy in selecting information to post on social networking sites. o Manipulates/Navigates the technology effectively

Explains selections and information posted effectively o Presentation  Keep to the time limit  Display the visual effectively  Organize comments around a central idea or point of emphasis  Avoid reading the text to the audience, summarize or highlight instead  Speak clearly; maintain a pace that is lively, but easy to follow  Present a comfortable, composed demeanor while speaking o Written Explanation  Provide concise and complete explanations for selections  Employ standard usage, spelling, and punctuation where appropriate

WRITTEN PROJECT CHOICES Can be handed in to your teacher with a written commentary or shared with the class. Create a newspaper Write a collection of four Create an interview page with at least four (or more) poems (each at with the author, typed newspaper articles least 15 lines long) character or figure

DRAFT based on people, events, and ideas from the book. Be sure to write the articles in newspaper styles—straight news, features, advice columns, etc.—and place them on a Newsprint size page in columns so it resembles a newspaper. You may include relevant pictures or ads. Attach a written explanation or be prepared to present your work to the class in <3 minutes.


about significant events, characters, settings, themes, conflicts, ideas, concepts etc. in the book. Include titles for each poem. In your commentary or sharing, you must explain why you wrote each poem and how each one relates to the book. Attach a written explanation or be prepared to present your work to the class in <3 minutes.


from your book. Write seven questions to ask a main character or figure and then write what the character’s response to each question would be. Be sure the answers refer to specific details in the book and give insight into the character/ figure. Attach a written explanation or be prepared to present your work to the class in <3 minutes.

Written Project Expectations: 

Select appropriate characters, events, or ideas o Use characters, events, ideas significant to understanding the central purpose or theme of the work

Use a format appropriate to the type of project o Write newspaper articles using journalistic techniques of strong lead, small paragraphs, concise style, and straightforward diction o Write interview questions that are clear, probing, and respectful o Write interview answers that are thoughtful, thorough and reflect the characters, figures, or author or ideas of the original work o Write poems that employ the techniques of compression, imagery, and meter o All projects typed using appropriate fonts such as Times New Roman, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, or Arial

Demonstrate clear understanding of the literary elements of the work o Incorporate characterization, imagery, symbolism, and diction similar to the original work into the project o Select the project can that best demonstrate the literary and compositional elements of the original

Connect projects to the work’s major concepts/events and central theme/purpose o Communicate the understanding of the work through the project o Reflect on the central themes/purposes of the work in the explanation

Write correctly and effectively

DRAFT o Employ Standard English grammar, spelling, and punctuation o Violate Standard English Grammar, spelling, and punctuation with care and purpose to achieve a desired effect in poetry or create characteristic answers to questions o Write with style, voice, and diction appropriate to the project and engaging for the audience ď&#x201A;§

Presentation Technique o Keep to the time limit o Display the visual effectively o Organize comments around a central idea or point of emphasis o Avoid reading the text to the audience, summarize or highlight instead o Speak comfortably and clearly, maintain a pace that is lively, but easy to follow