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SMS Summer Reading

Dear Parents of South Middle School Students,
Welcome to the South Middle School Summer Reading Program.  In keeping with our desire to promote a commitment to lifelong learning, we require that our students read this summer.  Reading opens many doors for children to learn about the world.
In order to make this program a success, we need your support.  When you encourage your child to read and visit the public library, you are helping him/her to build a store of knowledge, increase vocabulary, improve comprehension, and foster critical thinking skills (i.e. make inferences, draw conclusions) all of which will result in higher grades in school.
Over the summer, we are requiring that every SMS student read the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio. This book can be purchased online at a website such as or here at South for $10 in hardback form while supplies last.  We have also contacted the Henderson Public Library about obtaining additional copies of this book for students to check-out. In this book, August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance, which are skills and themes that will be a school-wide focus throughout the year.
English teachers will be discussing this book with students during the first week of school, so students need to have read the book over the summer to participate in these discussions and activities.  Additionally, all students who demonstrate that they have fully read and comprehended the text will be receiving a special reward upon returning to school in the fall.
 Someone will be at SMS from 9 to 3 to assist in purchasing this book for $10
If you have any questions over the summer, please contact me at school or email me at or Megan Durbin, English Department Coordinator at