Announcing the 2019 Summer Read!

Merci Suarez Cover Image

With summer vacation comes summer reading, and we are so excited for you to meet Merci Suarez!

Merci Suarez Changes Gears is the 2019 Newbery Medal winning story of Merci, a middle school girl who lives in Florida with her big, loving, Cuban family and deals with many of the same kinds of issues that our own Queen’s Grant scholars have to deal with. Check out the official blurb:

“Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra    community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and   getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.”


Kindness is Contagious

In the epilogue, Caitlin issues this challenge to us as readers:

Kindness Is Contagious

So, let’s answer her question. What will kindness do for you? How will you let it make a difference in your life? What are some specific ways you can be intentional about showing more kindness?


An End to Meanness

In Part 3, Caitlin recalls an incident with one of her classmates, Amanda, who often has unwashed hair and an unclean face. Amanda gets picked on by people, but Caitlin mostly left her alone… Until one day when a piece of dandruff fell out of Amanda’s hair and onto Caitlin’s notebook. She told her friends about it, and they said mean things to her like, “Um, have you ever thought about washing your hair?” Amanda was clearly upset and embarrassed about that comment.

Caitlin’s experience with Martin is showing her some things about poverty, and she starts to make some connections between what she knows of Amanda and what she’s learned from Martin. She realizes that it’s not Amanda’s fault, and she feels bad about the way she’s been treating her.

Then, Caitlin makes the following vow not to be mean again, and to stick up for people like Amanda. Who will make this same vow?

No More Meanness

Generosity and Shoes

In Part 3 of our summer reading book, Caitlin begins to understand just how much she’s helping Martin when she sends him things along with her letters. 

Read the excerpt below and respond to any of these questions in the comments:

  • Did this part surprise or shock you? How?
  • How would you react in Caitlin’s situation?
  • How can not having a pair of shoes impact a person?
  • What did Caitlin mean by “injustice was happening in the world”?

Also, there are several great charities that focus on providing shoes for those in need. Check out these organizations for ways to get involved (and donate your old clothes/shoes):

Introducing our ALL MS Summer Read for 2016…

I will always write back

We’re trying something different this year – ALL Queen’s Grant Middle School students and teachers will be reading the same book this summer, regardless of grade level. This shared reading experience will give all of our students and staff a common text to use as a springboard for discussion when we return to school in the fall. I Will Always Write Back was chosen for its strong moral focus elements (especially compassion) and we look forward to seeing the impact it has on our school culture.

I Will Always Write Back is available here on Amazon, but you can also probably find a copy locally – we have called Barnes and Noble at the Arboretum and asked them to order copies to have in stock.

As always, we thank you, the parents and students of QG, for partnering with us in education. We’re excited about the 2016-17 school year and hope that you are, too!