Middle School


1Teacher Margaret has selected When You Catch a Tiger, by Tae Keller, as the book that all rising Middle School students will read this summer. It is the winner of the 2021 Newbery Medal, and it will serve as a springboard for many middle school discussions about stereotypes, acceptance, diversity, and transitions to new situations. Grades six, seven and eight, you will complete one of the activities described below and hand them in on the first day of school. 


  1. The first line of the book is: “I can turn invisible” (p.1). What do you think this line means? Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to be invisible or where you felt that you were invisible in some way; describe that experience. How does Lily become more visible throughout the story?
  2. A stereotype is a commonly held but incomplete and often untrue idea of a person or thing. Sam tells Lily that she’s a QAG - a quiet Asian Girl (p.20). In what ways is this a stereotype? How do you think Lily does or does not fit this label throughout the book? Write a paragraph to explain your answer.
  3. “When you believe, that is being brave. Sometimes believing is the bravest thing of all” (p. 51). What do these lines mean to you? How does Lily show that in the book?
  4. What do you think the tiger symbolizes in the novel? How did meeting the tiger make you feel? How would you describe the tiger? Did your impression of the tiger evolve throughout the book? Draw pictures of the tiger, with captions, that explain how it changed.
  5. Lily and Sam must deal with the failing health of their grandmother in the book. Draw a Venn diagram to show how their methods of dealing with their feelings were alike and how they were different. Please make sure your diagram is neatly completed.

Students in grades six, seven, and eight will also be responsible for reading two (2) books from the lists below.
  • If you are a sixth grade student you should email Mrs. Valerie Parry at  vparry@westfieldfriends.org over the summer telling her what you loved about the book, or what you didn’t like.
  • If you are a seventh or eighth grade student you should email Teacher Carl Abramowitz at cabramowitz@westfieldfriends.org. Be sure to introduce yourself to him. Tell him what you loved or didn't' love about the books you choose to read.
  • Of course if you are interested in reading more than two books, feel free to do so! Send Teacher Margaret a postcard with your thoughts about the books. She looks forward to hearing about the books you’ve selected!
  • Please make sure Mrs. Parry and Teacher Carl have received your emails about all the books you read before the first day of school.