7-1 Literary Texts—Characters With Character

RL=Reading level

Stories (Read Aloud/ Introduction to the Middle Ages)
  • Favorite Medieval Tales (Mary Pope Osborne)

  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village (Laura Amy Schlitz) (RL 5.6)
  • The World of King Arthur and His Court: People, Places, Legend, and Lore (Kevin Crossley-Holland)
  • Anna of Byzantium (Tracy Barrett) (L 910)
  • Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess (Richard Platt and Chris Riddell) (L 1010)
  • The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy, Book One) (Kevin Crossley-Holland) (L 640)
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Avi) (easier to read) (L 780)
  • Adam of the Road (Elizabeth Janet Gray) (easier to read) (L 1030)
  • The Midwife’s Apprentice (Karen Cushman) (easier to read) (L 1240)
Medieval Korea
  • A Single Shard (Linda Sue Park) (L 920)
Medieval Africa (Read Aloud)
  • Sundiata: Lion King of Mali (David Wisniewski) (L 820)
  • Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta 1325-1354 (James Rumford)
Mali (L 650)
  • Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali (Djibril Tamsir Niane)


Informational Texts

Informational Text
Medieval Europe
  • Cathedral: the Story of Its Construction (David Macaulay) (E) (L 1120)
  • The Medieval World (Philip Steele) (RL 5.2)
  • Manners and Customs in the Middle Ages (Marsha Groves) (RL 7.3)
  • Joan of Arc (Diane Stanley) (L 980)
  • Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (Mark Twain) (RL adult)
  • Outrageous Women of the Middle Ages (Vicki Leon) (RL 7.4)
  • The Horrible, Miserable Middle Ages: The Disgusting Details About Life During Medieval Times (Fact Finders: Disgusting History series) (Kathy Allen)(L 850)
  • The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History (Oxford Illustrated Histories) (Barbara Hanawalt) (L 1180)
  • How Would You Survive in the Middle Ages (Fiona MacDonald and David Salariya) (L 910)
Medieval Africa
  • The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa (Patricia and Fredrick McKissack) (RL 6.9)

Art, Music, and Media

  • Gregorian chants and madrigals

7-2 Literary Texts--Perseverance

  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (Rodman Philbrick) (L 950)
  • The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed (Heather Vogel Frederick) (L 1020)
  • Jesse (Gary Soto) (L 900)
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (Gary Schmidt) (L 1000)
  • I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade (Diane Lee Wilson) (L 1010)
  • Treasure Island(Robert Louis Stevenson) (L 1100)
  • Ties That Bind, Ties That Break (Lensey Namioka) (L 830)
  • The Miracle Worker (and Related Readings) (William Gibson) (RL 7.1)


  • The Miracle Worker: A Play (William Gibson)

Informational Texts

  • Dare to Dream!: 25 Extraordinary Lives (Sandra McLeod Humphrey) (RL 6.4)
  • African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America (Joan Potter) (RL adult)
  • The World At Her Fingertips: The Story Of Helen Keller (Joan Dash) (RL 7.9)
  • The Struggle to be Strong: True Stories by Teens About Overcoming Tough Times (Al Desetta) (L 830)
  • Geronimo (Joseph Bruchac) (L 900)
  • The Civil Rights Movement in America (Elaine Landau) (L 1080)
  • Dare to Dream: Coretta Scott King and the Civil Rights Movement (Angela Shelf Medearis) (L 890 RL 6.3)

  • Inventing the Future: A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison (Marfe Ferguson Delano) (L 1140 RL 7.9)
  • Helen Keller: A Photographic Story of a Life (Leslie Garrett) (L 890 RL 7.3)
  • Helen's Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's Teacher (Marfe Ferguson Delano) (L 1030)

Graphical Autobiography
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Marjane Satrapi) (L 380)

Art, Music, and Media

  • The Miracle Worker (1962)

7-3 Literary Texts—Determination in Life and in Literature

  • The Diary of Anne Frank: A Play (Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett) (E) (L 481)
  • 101 Monologues for Middle School Actors: Including Duologues and Triologues (Rebecca Young)

  • A Friend Called Anne: One Girl’s Story of War, Peace and a Unique Friendship with Anne Frank (Jacqueline van Maarsen)(L1040)

  • I Am David (Anne Holm) (L 910)
Comparisons to The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Z for Zachariah (Robert C. O’Brien) (L 820)
  • Milkweed (Jerry Spinelli) (L510)
  • The Devil’s Arithmetic (Jane Yolen) (L730)

  • War and the Pity of War (Neil Philip) (L1520)

Informational Texts

Biographies (includes other possible comparisons to The Diary of Anne Frank)
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank) (L1080)
  • Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary: A Photographic Remembrance (Ruud van der Rol and Rian Verhoeven) (L1030)
  • The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944 (Walter Dean Myers)
  • Night (Elie Wiesel) (L590)
  • Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo (Zlata Filipovic) (L640)
  • I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust (Livia Bitton-Jackson) (L720)

Informational Text
World War II
  • A History of US: War, Peace, and All that Jazz (Joy Hakim) (E) (L860)
  • Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission (Hampton Sides) (advanced) (L1197)
  • True Stories of D-Day (True Adventure Stories) (Henry Brook)
  • Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference (Joanne Oppenheim) (L1040)
  • Hiroshima (John Hersey) (L1190)
  • Fighting For Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II (Michael L. Cooper) (L1040)
  • Never to Forget: The Jews of the Holocaust (Milton Meltzer) (L1120)
  • Six Million Paper Clips: The Making of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial (Peter W. Schroeder and Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand)
Atomic Structure/Atomic Bomb
  • Atomic Structure and Chemical Reactions: Middle Grades and High School (Nevin Katz)
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Richard Rhodes)


Art, Music, and Media

  • The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) (Screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett)
  • Anne Frank, the Whole Story (2001)
  • Paper Clips (HBO documentary) (2004)
  • Bataan Rescue: The Most Daring Rescue Mission of World War II (PBS documentary) (2005)

7-4 Literary Texts—Survival in the Wild


  • The Call of the Wild (Jack London) (L1110)
  • Woodsong (Gary Paulsen) (L1090)
  • Far North (Will Hobbs) (L820)
  • Incident at Hawk’s Hill (Allan W. Eckert) (L1200)
  • Black Hearts in Battersea (Joan Aiken) (L 900)
Comparisons to The Call of the Wild
  • Touching Spirit Bear (Ben Mikaelsen) (L670)
  • The Higher Power of Lucky (Susan Patron) (L1010)
  • Call it Courage (Armstrong Sperry)(L830)
  • Hatchet (Gary Paulsen) (L1020)
  • Other Will Hobbs survival tales, such as Beardance (L890)

Graphic Novel
  • The Call of the Wild (Puffin Graphics, Jack London)

Informational Texts

  • Jack London: A Biography (Daniel Dyer) (L1060)
  • Guts (Gary Paulsen) (L1230 NC)
  • Will Hobbs (My Favorite Writer Series) (Megan Lappi)

Informational Text
  • Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration (Lynn Curlee)

Art, Music, and Media

  • Call of the Wild (2009)
  • The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon (1997)
  • A Cry in the Wild (1990) (movie based on Hatchet)
7-5 Literary Texts—Science or Fiction?

“Classic” Science Fiction
“Modern” Science Fiction (L1040)
    • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm (Nancy Farmer) (L660)
    • My Favorite Science Fiction Story (Martin H. Greenberg) (L940)
    • Eva (Peter Dickinson) (L1010)
    • The House of the Scorpion (Nancy Farmer)(L660)
    • Fly by Night (Frances Hardinge) (L1080)
    • George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt (Lucy and Stephen Hawking)
Easier to Read (but excellent) (L940)
    • Among the Hidden (Shadow Children series, #1) (Margaret Peterson Haddix) (L800)
    • George’s Secret Key to the Universe (Lucy and Stephen Hawking)
Challenging to Read (L850)
    • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) (L1000)
    • Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) (L780)
    • The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (Arthur C. Clarke)

    • A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)

Informational Texts

Informational Text
    • "Elementary Particles" from the New Book of Popular Science (E)
    • "Space Probe" from Astronomy & Space: From the Big Bang to the Big Crunch (Phillis Engelbert) (E)
    • Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (Tanya Lee Stone)
Robots (Related to I, Robot)
    • Robo World: The Story of Robot Designer Cynthia Breazeal (Women’s Adventures in Science series) (Jordan D. Brown)
Planets/Stars (L1040)
    • Beyond Jupiter: The Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel (Women’s Adventures in Science series) (Fred Bortz) (L1030)
    • Summer Stargazing: A Practical Guide for Recreational Astronomers (Terence Dickinson)
    • Stephen Hawking: Cosmologist Who Gets a Big Bang Out of the Universe (Mike Venezia)
    • Stars & Planets (Carole Stott) (L1000)
    • The Physics of Star Trek (Lawrence M. Krauss) (advanced) (RL 9.0)

Art, Music, and Media

    • Gustav Holst, The Planets (1914-16)

    • War of the Worlds (The Mercury Theater on Air, October 30, 1938) (This is Orson Welles’s radio broadcast of War of the Worlds)

7-6 Literary Texts—Literature Reflects Life: Making Sense of Our World

  • Home of the Brave (Katherine Applegate) (RL 4.3)
  • A Girl Named Disaster (Nancy Farmer) (L730)
  • The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper) (E) (L920)
  • The Grey King (Susan Cooper) (L930)
  • Peter Pan in Scarlet (Geraldine McCaughrean)
Classics (L930)
Comedy/Tragedy (L1040)
Comedy (L830)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (Jeff Kinney) (L970)
  • Letters from a Nut (Ted L. Nancy)

Short Stories
  • Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories (Sandra Cisneros) (EA)
  • Best Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing (Avi)
  • Little Worlds: A Collection of Short Stories for the Middle School (Peter Guthrie)
  • American Dragons: Twenty-Five Asian American Voices (Lawrence Yep) (EA)

  • I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You: Paired Poems by Men & Women (Naomi Shihab Nye and Paul B. Janeczko)

Informational Texts
None for this unit