Saint John Academy Summer Reading

For Rising 6th Graders

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Greetings Parents and Students

Dear Parents,

The books, stories and poems have been carefully selected to foster an enjoyable and thoughtful reading experience. Enjoy this special time with your child. These assignments are meant to be enriching and meaningful. Be sure to balance the assignments with lots of fun, enjoyable time outside with family and friends.

Best to you and your family,

Mrs. Karen Tessier

Assistant Headmaster

Saint John Academy

Core Elements for Rising 6th Graders

Journal & Books
  • You will need a writing journal (a leather journal that you may keep and reuse over time).
  • Read 2 books (The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson is the mandatory read, and you may choose 1 other book from the list).

  • You are encouraged to read as many as you like.

  • For each book draw a picture of something interesting or an image that strikes you and illuminates something important to the story. Think about the characters, the setting and the sequence of events as your draw. Sketch the picture and then color it.
  • Write a 1-2 paragraph(s) describing each picture inside of your journal (pictures may be drawn and placed inside journal if you would like).

Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard (Fiction)

Crash by Jerry Spinelli (Fiction)

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Fiction/Fantasy)

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (Science Fiction)

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (Adventure Fiction)

The Yearling by Marjorie Rowlings

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea- Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth- Jules Verne

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Black Arrow illustration by NC Wyeth (it's worth trying to find a hardcover version with these illustrations!)


  • Read all four recommended poems, copy one in your journal and memorize, reciting it at home (at the dinner table or some other spontaneous moment). This will also be recited at school.

“A Light Exists in Spring” by Emily Dickinson

“As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

“Blackberry-Picking” by Seamus Heaney

“The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Read these Gospel selections focused on the journey of Jesus and the disciples to Emmaus and the miracle at the wedding feast of Cana.

Luke 24: 13-35

John 2: 1-11

Also view Carravaggio’s painting “Supper at Emmaus” and the "Marriage at Cana" by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen to help you enter the scene of those moments.

  • Choose one of the Gospel passages to reflect on, such as the miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. What does the passage suggest about Mary and her personality? Why did Jesus resist? Do you think Mary sensed that this event would change her own relationship with Jesus as perhaps his life would take on a much more public dimension?
  • Write a paragraph about the other Gospel passage imaging you are a servant or creature observing what is going on. Tell it like a story.
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Be sure to read what is required but also read books that you love!

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Top painting: Farmhouse in Provence by V. Van Gogh