Dear Incoming Fifth Grade Families,

As the school year comes to an end, we wanted to let you know about the summer reading requirements for students entering fifth grade.

All incoming fifth graders should read Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai, as well as one fiction book and one non-fiction book of their choosing as a way to encourage independent reading. We are aware that some students might have encountered this book in one way or another and we encourage them to reread it so that they are prepared for group discussions in the beginning of the year. It is our plan to use N.H. Senzai's novel as our platform for a novel study project that we will be conducting in the Fall in Language Arts, to support the dialogue that will be happening in Social Studies around the analysis of current events and Immigration.

Using Young Adult Literature Winner  and an NPR's Backseat Book Club   pick helps create a conversation on how "a family of refugees from Afghanistan, through the eyes of an 11-year-old named, Fadi [who] struggles to find his way through middle-school life in Freemont, Calif.," helps build a discourse on the experience one feels when adjusting to a life that one is not use to and how it impacts one's self and others.
The story itself told from the point-of-view of our precocious protagonist, gives the students a chance to be inspired by Fadi's quest to find his way back home in order to save Mariam, his sister, through entering a photography competition. "Based in part on Ms. Senzai's husband's experience fleeing Soviet controlled Afghanistan in 1979, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance."
As the author states, "As Americans, whether we consciously realize it or not, we have a particular connection with refugees; at one point of time, most of our families sought refuge in this country. They arrived from all around the world, fleeing war, persecution, famine or just hoping to find a better life for themselves and their children. Most of my books deal with such families..." Through this book, the students will be able to reflect on the importance of having respect for each other, which is part of our BB&N values.

The more students read over the summer, the more prepared they will be for fifth and sixth grade. We encourage them to take a book with them wherever they go! In addition, a great way to keep up with the writing skills is to journal about summer adventures.

Students should be ready to explore the plot and characters upon arrival in school in September. Please have them bring the book to school with them.

We hope you all have a relaxing and safe summer and we look forward to getting to know all of you soon!


Gabrielle Mbeki
Fifth Grade HR ELA & Social Studies
Frances Early
Fifth Grade HR ELA & Math

Shooting Kabul
by N. H. Senzai

ISBN-10 : 1442401958
ISBN-13 : 978-1442401952