Special Collections

Grade 6, 7, 8 Common Core Text Exemplars

Description: These books exemplify the level of complexity that Common Core State Standards require students to engage with. While the choices serve to help educators select texts of similar complexity, quality, and range, this not a required reading list. #teachers


Showing 1 through 25 of 28 results
 

Travels with Charley

by John Steinbeck

An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: ELA

Harriet Tubman

by Ann Petry

A New York Times Outstanding Book: The inspiring true story of a former slave who risked everything to help others escape bondage As a child born into slavery, Harriet Tubman heard tales about an underground railroad that ran from the South to the North, carrying slaves to freedom. She dreamed that she would also escape the slavery of the Southern plantations and live a life of her choosing. When Harriet finally achieved freedom, she knew that she had to help those she'd left behind. So she became a conductor on the Underground Railroad. . . .

This intimate portrait follows Harriet on her journey from childhood to becoming a heroine and a national symbol of courage.

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad is an American Library Association Notable Book and a New York Times Outstanding Book.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: ELA

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat

by Winston Churchill and David Cannadine

The collected speeches of the most eloquent and expressive statesman of his time. The only political leader to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Winston Churchill used language as a weapon at a time when he possessed nothing more than an empty armory with which to fight his nation's enemies.

In this major volume, David Cannadine one of the foremost historians of modern Britain selects thirty-three speeches ranging over fifty years, demonstrating how Churchill honed his rhetoric until the day when, in the words of Edward R. Murrow, he mobilized the English language, and sent it into battle. A landmark of political speech making, perfect for the election year, Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat is an essential addition to the library of every Churchill fan.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: ELA

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

by Frederick Douglass

The story of Frederick Douglass is passionate, harrowing, and inspiring. As a former slave, impassioned abolitionist, gifted writer, newspaper editor, and powerful orator, Douglass was an immense, motivational figure. His early life, filled with physical abuse, deprivation, and tragedy, adds up to a heart-wrenching history. However, he was able to overcome everything that bound a slave to his life and become a leading spokesman for his people.In this first of his three autobiographies, Douglass relates graphic descriptions of his childhood, his shocking experiences as a slave, and his thrilling escape from slavery to safety in the North and his pivotal freedom.Originally published in 1845, a date significant for the fact that very few African Americans could read or write at that time, this tale of sadness, danger, and eventual liberation will appeal to readers of all kinds. For those interested in African American history and the life of one of the most daring and heroic champions of civil rights, this page-turner is a perfect library addition.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: ELA

Freedom Walkers

by Russell Freedman

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus and give up her seat to a white man. Her quiet refusal to surrender her dignity sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, which eventually ended segregation on buses. But the boycott did not start or end there, and here Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman breathes life into all the key personalities and events that contributed to the yearlong struggle, a major victory in the civil rights movement.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

The Words We Live By

by Linda R. Monk

THE WORDS WE LIVE BY takes an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions on new rulings on hot button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, gun control, and affirmative action.

In THE WORDS WE LIVE BY, Linda Monk probes the idea that the Constitution may seem to offer cut-and-dried answers to questions regarding personal rights, but the interpretations of this hallowed document are nearly infinite. For example, in the debate over gun control, does "the right of the people to bear arms" as stated in the Second Amendment pertain to individual citizens or regulated militias? What do scholars say? Should the Internet be regulated and censored, or does this impinge on the freedom of speech as defined in the First Amendment? These and other issues vary depending on the interpretation of the Constitution.

Through entertaining and informative annotations, THE WORDS WE LIVE BY offers a new way of looking at the Constitution. Its pages reflect a critical, respectful and appreciative look at one of history's greatest documents. THE WORDS WE LIVE BY is filled with a rich and engaging historical perspective along with enough surprises and fascinating facts and illustrations to prove that your Constitution is a living--and entertaining--document.

Updated now for the first time, THE WORDS WE LIVE BY continues to take an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions on new rulings on hot button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, and affirmative action.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

This Land Was Made for You and Me

by Elizabeth Partridge

Before Springsteen and before Dylan, there was Woody Guthrie. With "This Machine Kills Fascists" scrawled across his guitar in big black letters, Woody Guthrie brilliantly captured in song the experience of twentieth-century America. Whether he sang about union organizers, migrant workers, or war, Woody took his inspiration from the plights of the people around him as well as from his own tragic childhood.

From the late 1920s to the 1950s, Guthrie wrote the words to more than three thousand songs--including "This Land is Your Land," a song many call America's unofficial national anthem. With a remarkable ability to turn any experience into a song almost instantaneously, Woody Guthrie spoke out for people of all colors and races, setting an example for generations of musicians to come.

But Woody didn't have the chance to find everything he was looking for. He was ravaged by Huntington's disease, just like his mother, and died in a mental institution at the age of fifty-five.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

Vincent van Gogh

by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

Vincent van Gogh-- one of the 19th century' s most brilliant artists-- will forever be remembered as the Dutchman who cut off his ear. But this incident only underscores the passion that consumed him-- a passion that, when he took up painting at age 27, infused his work. Whether painting a portrait, a landscape, or a still life, van Gogh sought to capture the vibrant spirit of his subject. It didn't matter that others found his work too unconventional. Van Gogh persevered. And as he moved from the cold climate of Holland to balmy southern France, he pioneered a new technique and style. In a career spanning only a decade, van Gogh painted many great works, yet fame eluded him. This lack of recognition increased his self-doubts and bitter disappointments. Today, however, van Gogh stands as a giant among artists.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Winner of the Sibert Honor

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

The Great Fire

by Jim Murphy

A vertible cinematic account of the catastrophe that decimated much of Chicago in 1871, forcing more than 100,000 people from their homes. Jim Murphy tells the story through the eyes of several survivors. These characters serve as dramatic focal points as the fire sweeps across the city, their stories illuminated by fascinating archival photos and maps outlining the spread of fire.

1996 Newbery Honor Book.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

A Short Walk Around the Pyramids & Through the World of Art

by Philip M. Isaacson

For art lovers and novices, the perfect introduction to the world of art in all its varied forms.

What do you consider a work of art? Is it a painting, a photograph, a sculpture? Or can it be so much more?

Philip Isaacson, the author of Round Buildings, Square Buildings & Buildings That Wiggle Like a Fish, explores the world of art and history and creates the perfect introduction for young readers to learn about the complex subject. With clear prose, Isaacson discusses abstract versus realism, the links between tribal art and modern sculpture, the use of color, and why some everyday objects and even cities can be considered art.

A Common Core Appendix B Text Exemplar Selection, Philip M. Isaacson's guide will inform as well as inspire. Includes full color photographs.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

United States Constitution

by United States of America

This is the United States Constitution.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

A Night to Remember

by Walter Lord

Lord's classic bestseller, and the definitive account of the unsinkable ship's fateful last hours

At first, no one but the lookout recognized the sound. Passengers described it as the impact of a heavy wave, a scraping noise, or the tearing of a long calico strip. In fact, it was the sound of the world's most famous ocean liner striking an iceberg, and it served as the death knell for 1,500 souls.

In the next two hours and forty minutes, the maiden voyage of the Titanic became one of history's worst maritime accidents. As the ship's deck slipped closer to the icy waterline, women pleaded with their husbands to join them on lifeboats. Men changed into their evening clothes to meet death with dignity. And in steerage, hundreds fought bitterly against certain death.

At 2:15 a.m. the ship's band played "Autumn." Five minutes later, the Titanic was gone. Based on interviews with sixty-three survivors, Lord's moment-by-moment account is among the finest books written about one of the twentieth century's bleakest nights.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: History / Social Studies

Astronomy & Space

by Phillis Engelbert

Features include approximately 300 entries; approximately 240 illustrations; sidebars; a historical timeline of famous astronomers, events and discoveries; glossary of terms; and a cumulative index.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: STEM

Geeks

by Jon Katz

J

esse and Eric were roommates in the tiny town of Caldwell, Idaho, nineteen-year-old working class kids eking out a living with their seven-dollar-an-hour jobs selling and fixing computers. College was never in the cards. Their families had been torn apart by divorce and hard times, separation and illness. They had almost no social lives, and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers, and every spare moment on-line.

Jesse and Eric were proud geeks-- suspicious or disdainful of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. They'd been outsiders as long as they could remember, living far from the mainstream of school or town life. Nobody spoke for them, they were on nobody's social or political agenda.

Geeks is the story of how Jesse and Eric--and others like them--used technology to try and change their lives and alter their destiny. They rode the Internet out of Idaho to Chicago, a city they had ever set foot in, seeking the American Dream, a better life. Geeks describes this brave and difficult journey, as two self-described social misfits use the resources of the Internet to try to construct a new future for themselves, escape the boundaries of their dead-end lives, and find a community they could belong to.

Geeks explores a growing subculture about which many of us know little, a world with its own language, traditions, and taboos. In telling the stories of Jesse, Eric, and others like them, Geeks is a story about the very human face of technology.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: STEM

Math Trek

by Ivars Peterson and Nancy Henderson

There s a new amusement park in town. Come on in and find out all the exciting ways you can have fun with math in everyday life. Wander through the fractal forest, take a ride on the Mobius-strip roller coaster, and get dizzy learning about how math makes the Tilt-A-Whirl possible. The more activities you try, the more you'll learn how cool it can be to see the world through the eyes of a mathematician.

Once you've sampled some of the interesting and unique projects in Math Trek, from untangling unknots to winning games with weird dice to figuring out secret codes, you'll see that every trip to the MathZone is an exciting adventure!

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: STEM

The Number Devil

by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Annoyed with his math teacher who assigns word problems and won't let him use a calculator, twelve-year-old Robert finds help from the number devil in his dreams.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: STEM

The Building of Manhattan

by Donald A. Mackay

Meticulously accurate line drawings and fascinating text trace Manhattan's growth from a tiny Dutch outpost to the commercial, financial, and cultural heart of the world. This book explains construction above and below ground, including the excavation of subway lines and the building of bridges and skyscrapers. Hundreds of illustrations reveal intricate details of construction techniques.

Author and illustrator Donald A. Mackay traces Manhattan's history from its first wood, stone, and brick houses to its famous modern structures, including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the World Trade Center. Along with historical background, he presents clear explanations and illustrations of the skilled labor and methods behind the island's tunnels, bridges, and train lines. Mackay describes who does what at a construction site, the assembly of a tower crane, and the construction of skyscrapers, from the foundations to the floor-by-floor elevations, along with other amazing procedures that are all part of a day's work in building the big city.

A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: STEM

Cathedral

by David Macaulay

Readers worldwide recognize Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay's imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children's literature and a touchstone for budding architects.

Cathedral's numerous awards include a prestigious Caldecott Honor and designation as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Macaulay's intricate pen-and-ink illustrations. Journey back to centuries long ago and visit the fictional people of twelfth-, thirteenth-, and fourteenth-century Europe whose dreams, like Cathedral, stand the test of time.

This title has been selected as a Common Core text exemplar (Grades 6-8, Informational Texts: Science, Mathematics, and Technical Studies).

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Informational Text: STEM

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

Winner of the Newbery Medal, this remarkably moving novel has impressed the hearts and minds of millions of readers. Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie's story--Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.* "[A] vivid story.... Entirely through its own internal development, the novel shows the rich inner rewards of black pride, love, and independence."--Booklist, starred review

Date Added: 01/15/2019


Category: Story

Black Ships Before Troy

by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Story of the Iliad Homer's epic poem, The Iliad, is one of the greatest adventure stories of all time. In it, the abduction of the legendary beauty, Helen of Troy, leads to a conflict in which even the gods and goddesses take sides and intervene.

It is in the Trojan War that the most valiant heroes of the ancient world are pitted against one another. Here Hector, Ajax, Achilles, and Odysseus meet their most formidable challenges and in some cases their tragic ends.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Story

"Papa Who Wakes Up Tired In The Dark" and "Eleven"

by Sandra Cisneros

Excerpts from two stories by Sandra Cisneros

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Story

The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks

by Katherine Paterson

A pair of mandarin ducks, separated by a cruel lord who wishes to possess the drake for his colorful beauty, reward a compassionate couple who risk their lives to reunite the ducks.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Story

The People Could Fly

by Virginia Hamilton

24 folktales briefly and dramatically told lend themselves to be read aloud or acted out around campfires, on stormy nights, or to be discussed for readers of all ages. Their heroes prevail through cleverness, perseverance, quick thinking and, often, magic. The stories come from far and wide where enslavement of Africans was practiced from Portugal, to the United States, to the Cape Verde Islands. After each story, Virginia Hamilton, the Newberry Award winning author, provides concise information about its source, history, symbols, storytelling elements and interpretation. Find out how the lion who goes about scaring the other animals by roaring, "Me and myself!" is silenced, how Little Daughter evades a stalking wolf with her goodest, sweetest, song, and how a man whose horse and grandmother is killed by a bully, avoids being killed himself, becomes wealthy, and brings the brute to justice. In one story a young man uses his three obedient rabbits to outwit a princess, queen, and king, catching them in a sackful of lies. Another story warns that should you ever cut off a creature's big , long tail and eat it, it will come for you in the night calling for you to give it's, "tailypo," back. It will creep up your wall, through your window, across your floor, on to your bed and you'll be too scared to move, too scared to scream...

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Story

Dragonwings

by Laurence Yep

Moon Shadow is eight years old when he sails from China to join his father, Windrider, in America. Windrider lives in San Francisco and makes his living doing laundry. Father and son have never met.

But Moon Shadow grows to love and respect his father and to believe in his wonderful dream. And Windrider, with Moon Shadow's help, is willing to endure the mockery of the other Chinese, the poverty, the separation from his wife and country, even the great earthquake, to make his dream come true.

Inspired by the account of a Chinese immigrant who made a flying machine in 1909, Laurence Yep's historical novel beautifully portrays the rich traditions of the Chinese community as it made its way in a hostile new world.

Newbery Honor Book

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Book

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Story

The Dark Is Rising

by Susan Cooper

Cooper's second book, The Dark is Rising, was named a Newberry Honor Book and became a major motion picture. The fourth, The Grey King, won the Newbery Medal.

Book 1. Over Sea, Under Stone: Three children on vacation in Cornwall find an ancient manuscript which sends them on a dangerous quest that entraps them in the eternal battle between the forces of the Light and the Dark. They search for a grail that will reveal the true story of King Arthur.

Book 2. The Dark is Rising: On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

Book 3. Greenwitch: Jane's invitation to witness the making of the Greenwitch begins a series of sinister events in which she and her two brothers help the Old Ones recover the grail stolen by the Dark.

Book 4. The Grey King: Will Stanton, visiting in Wales, is swept into a desperate quest to find the golden harp and to awaken the ancient Sleepers.

Book 5. Silver on the Tree: In this conclusion of the tale begun in Over Sea, Under Stone, Will Stanton, the Welsh boy Bran, and the Drew children try to locate the crystal sword that alone can vanquish the strong forces of Dark.

Date Added: 04/09/2018


Category: Story


Showing 1 through 25 of 28 results