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IEW Book Picks for Middle School Students in SSS Level B, Year 1

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Are you a parent concerned about providing a well-rounded English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum for your middle schooler? Look no further! By introducing a carefully selected collection of books, we'll not only enhance their reading skills but also foster creativity, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of language and storytelling.

Listed below are the captivating books suggested by the Institute for Excellence in Writing for SSS Level B, Year 1 students to enrich their educational experience and create a well-rounded ELA curriculum. This writing program is for students reading at a 6th - 8th-grade level. Adding these books along with the literature companions to your list can help make the writing program a full ELA credit for the year.

1. "The Twenty-One Balloons" by William Pene du Bois is a delightful adventure tale about Professor William Waterman Sherman, who sets off on a journey in a hot air balloon. He lands on the mysterious island of Krakatoa, where he discovers a utopian society thriving on the abundance of diamonds. However, things take a surprising turn when a volcanic eruption threatens the island.

2. "The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy" is a retelling of Homer's epic poems, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey," specifically adapted for young readers. It follows the adventures of Odysseus, a Greek hero, during the Trojan War and his perilous journey back home. The book captures the thrilling battles, mythical creatures, and timeless heroism of these ancient Greek tales.

3. "Ballet Shoes" by Noel Streatfeild tells the story of three orphaned sisters—Pauline, Petrova, and Posy Fossil—who are adopted by an eccentric explorer. Each girl has her own unique talent and dream: Pauline as an actress, Petrova as a mechanic, and Posy as a ballet dancer. The book follows their journey as they strive to pursue their passions and make a name for themselves in the world.

Tell me when literature companions are available for these books.

4. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl is a beloved children's book about a young boy named Charlie Bucket who wins a golden ticket to visit the famous chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka. Along with four other children, Charlie embarks on a whimsical and adventurous tour of the factory, encountering extraordinary characters and magical confections. The story celebrates the power of imagination, friendship, and the joy of indulging in chocolatey delights.

5. "Swiss Family Robinson" by Johann David Wyss tells the tale of the Robinson family, who are shipwrecked on a deserted island. With resourcefulness and determination, the family builds a new life in the wilderness, creating shelter, finding food, and taming animals. The book showcases their survival skills, ingenuity, and the enduring bond within the family.

6. "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien follows Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is reluctantly swept into an unexpected adventure. Bilbo joins a group of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their homeland from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Along the way, they encounter magical creatures, treacherous landscapes, and the mysterious ring that will play a pivotal role in the future events of Middle-earth.

7. "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling is a collection of imaginative and humorous tales that explain the origin of various animals and natural phenomena. Each story offers a whimsical explanation for how something came to be, such as how the elephant got its trunk or how the camel got its hump. Kipling's storytelling prowess and playful language make these stories delightful for readers of all ages.


Tell me when literature companions are available for these books!

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