2018-2019 Summer Reading

School of St. Mary 2018-2019 Summer Reading


Incoming 5th grade should read:

Genevieve’s War by Patricia Reilly Giff


Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko


Incoming 6th graders should read:

Wonder by R. J. Palacio


Refugee by Alan Gratz (on this year’s Sequoyah List).


Incoming 7th and 8th graders should read:

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (The Young Readers Edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer


Answer each of the following questions in complete sentences. Be sure to answer all parts if there are multiple questions. Use specific examples from the book to support your answer. All answers should be typed, completed using correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation, and brought to school on the first day.


Chapters 1-4

  1. Malawi is an extremely poor nation. What are the causes of this poverty and what exacerbates it? How might these causes and influences be overcome?
  2. How are toys William and his friends play with different from American children’s toys?
  3. William Kamkwamba says, “Before I discovered the miracles of science, magic ruled the world.”  Give examples of how magic was part of William’s world.

Chapters 5-8

  1. How did the villagers respond to the famine?  Provide examples and explain the behaviors. For example, some people rioted.  Why?
  2. How are male children treated in the Malawian family as compared to the way female children are treated?  What does that tell you about the Malawian culture?
  3. How is William’s view of education different than most American students’? Why was William embarrassed on the first day of school?

Chapters 9-12

  1. Why was reading on his own so difficult for William? Why did this make his accomplishments even more amazing?
  2. How did William’s parents and sisters feel about him building the windmill?  Compare this to the way that his friends reacted?
  3. What is William’s view of science vs. magic?

Chapters 13- Epilogue   

  1. What did William do in order not to fall into the same kind of lifestyle as the other high school dropouts?
  2. People worried that William would get in trouble for building the windmill. What was William’s attitude about getting in trouble?
  3. Why did the villagers blame William when the country started to fall into famine again? Who/what should they have been blaming? And why was it easy to blame it on the windmill?
  4. What did William learn during his crash course in travel and what are some of the firsts that he experienced?
  5. What is TED and what did William think was the best part of the TED Conference?
  6. How did William’s presentation at TED go in his mind? What was the audience’s reaction to the presentation?
  7. What is the African Leadership Academy and why was William accepted into it? How does it inspire him?