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Suggested Summer Reading

AP/Honors English Summer Assignments

AP Literature and Composition (12)

The following is the suggested summer assignment for AP Literature and Composition.  Doing the reading in advance (it is a lengthy reading assignment) make sure to allow yourself plenty of time) can help you get ahead of the class workload at the start of school.

Read completely The Odyssey by Homer (use the Robert Fagles translation).  It might be best to purchase the book so that you can make annotations while you read.

You will be writing an in-class essay and taking an exam early in the first semester.

You may want to annotate the following as you read:

  1. Lines of verse  that seem especially important, especially with regard to some major themes: Hospitality and Piracy; The relationship of God and Man; The Qualities and Characterizations of Male and Female.
  2. The characters epithets.  For example, Odysseus is referred to as "the wanderer" and that man skilled in all ways of contending.  Follow these ephitets for all of the main characters.
  3. Passages that show how the following issues serve as obstacles to Odysseus's safe homecoming (Bks. 9-12)  folly, temptation, death visit to Hades and monsters.
  4. Names of people, gods, and places (there will be a matching section on an exam)

AP Language and Composition (11-12)

Suggested Non-Fiction Books to Read and Review:

The following is a list of suggested summer reading for the student who would like to get a fast start on his/her classwork.  Choose one from the list below, obtain a copy and read. Annotate by underlining, making notes in the margins, looking up pivotal words, etc.

The class starts quickly in the fall; advance reading will help reduce workload at the start of the semester. An assignment on this or a similar reading will be due early in the semester.

Find something that you like; there are plenty of items to choose from.

  • Stephen Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers, D-Day June 6, 1944, Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West (all American history)
  • Roger Angell, Once More Around the Park: A Baseball Reader, A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone, The Summer Game, Late Innings: A Baseball Companion
  • Peter Beckman, History of  Pi (mathematics)
  • David Berlinski, A Tour of the Calculus (mathematics)
  • Bobrick, Benson, Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired (the translation of the Authorized {King James} Bible and the resulting independent thought)
  • Jacob Bronowski, A Sense of the Future, The Western Intellectual Tradition from Leonardo to Hegel, The Ascent of Man, Science and Human Values (histories of ideas)
  • Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation (history of W. W. II generation)
  • Arthur C. Clarke, Selected Essays (science and ideas)
  • Freeman Dyson, Infinite in All Directions, Disturbing the Universe, Imagined Worlds, Origins of Life (a physicist talks about history of science)
  • Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower, Darwin's Century, The Invisible Pyramid (science for the non-scientist)
  • Richard Feynman, Six Easy Pieces (don't be fooled--easy for the Nobel prize winner)
  • Antonia Fraser, Mary, Queen of Scots, Cromwell, Henry VIII (popular history)
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, No Ordinary Time (20th century history)
  • Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb, Bully for Brontosaurus, The Mismeasurement of Man, Wonderful Life (a paleontologist explains)
  • Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (important cosmology for 20th century)
  • Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson (general essays)
  • Jonathan Kozol, Death at an Early Age, Rachel and her Children, Savage Inequalities (social critic looks at social problems)
  • William Manchester, A World Lit Only by Fire (Middle Ages), The Last Lion, vols. I & II (bio of Winston Churchill), American Caesar (bio of Douglas MacArthur)
  • C. J. Peters, Virus Hunter (autobiography of biologist/doctor)
  • Philbrick, Nathaniel, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex  (The story of a ship rammed by a whale and the survivors. Moby Dick may have been based on the story of this ship.)
  • Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, The Island of the Color-Blind (a neuropsychologist interprets humanity)
  • Carl Sagan, Cosmos, The Demon-Haunted World, The Dragons of Eden (astronomer and philosopher)
  • Lewis Thomas, Lives of the Cell, The Medusa and the Snail (doctor, biologist helps interpret the world)
  • Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, The Guns of August, The First Salute, The March of Folly (turning points in history)

Honors English 11

SUGGESTED SUMMER READING FOR HONORS ENGLISH 11

Welcome to Honors English 11! We look forward to meeting you in the fall.  In the meantime, strongly suggest that you get a head start on classwork by reading over the summer.  You may purchase your books (recommended) or check them out from a library; in either case, you will need to have them available in class at some point. We recommend that you annotate your books directly in the text if possible.

APPLICABLE READINGS:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  If you have previously read this, we recommend that you re-read it.
  • Read another work of your choice from the list below.  Choose a novel (or play) that you have not read previously.
  • American Literature is rife with Biblical allusions. For this reason, we urge you to become familiar with the following passages from The Bible.
    • The books of Genesis, Exodus, and Mark
    • 2 Samuel, Chapters 11 and 12
    • Luke 2:41-50 and Luke 16: 19-31
    • Matthew 27: 11-26
  • Advance reading will help assure you a solid start in the fall.  Be diligent, and have a wonderful summer!

(List for #2 above)

Author, Novel

  • Anderson, Sherwood Winesburg, Ohio
  • Anaya, Rudolfo Albuquerque
  • Baldwin, James Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Burns, Olive Ann Cold Sassy Tree
  • Dreiser, Theodore An American Tragedy
  • Dreiser, Theodore Sister Carrie
  • Ellison, Ralph The Invisible Man
  • Faulkner, William Absalom, Absalom
  • Faulkner, William As I Lay Dying
  • Flagg, Fannie Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Gaines, Ernest A Lesson Before Dying
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel House of the Seven Gables
  • Hemingway, Ernest The Sun Also Rises
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott This Side of Paradise
  • Lewis, Sinclair Main Street
  • MacCarthy, Cormac All the Pretty Horses
  • Melville, Herman Benito Cereno
  • Melville, Herman Moby Dick
  • Miller, Arthur All My Sons
  • Miller, Arthur Death of a Salesman
  • Morrison, Toni The Bluest Eye
  • Morrison, Toni Song of Solomon
  • O'Neill, Eugene Desire Under the Elms
  • O'Neill, Eugene Long Day's Journey Into Night
  • Sinclair, Upton The Jungle
  • Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Vonnegut, Kurt Sirens of Titan
  • Vonnegut, Kurt Breakfast of Champions
  • Walker, Alice The Temple of My Familiar
  • Welty, Eudora Delta Wedding
  • Wharton, Edith The Age of Innocence
  • Wilder, Thornton Our Town
  • Williams, Tennessee The Glass Menagerie
  • Williams, Tennessee A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Wolfe, Thomas The Right Stuff

Honors English 10

Get a head start on a successful year by reading the following texts. Summer reading will reduce your work load in the first weeks of school!

Read: Antigone, by Sophocles

This is a fairly easy play to read, but it is filled with multiple layers of themes.  One of these themes involves the tension which exists between the needs or rights of the individual and the needs or authority of the government.  Think about modern day examples of this tension between the rights of individuals and the needs of state.

Read: Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Assignment: Steinbeck believed that nature is an indifferent force which controls human beings.  The philosophy, called Naturalism, is evident in Of Mice and Men as Steinbeck reveals characters who are impacted, for better or worse, by the forces of heredity and environment.  Watch for passages which deal with this concept.

Honors/Pre-AP English 9

Honors English is a challenging, quick-moving class for students who like to study language arts / literature and who like to be challenged in both level of difficulty and amount of work.  Honors English philosophy is one of inclusion . . . we encourage students to participate; be aware that it can be rigorous.

Because of the fast-paced nature of the class, you might want to get a head start by doing some summer reading. The following reading and writing assignment will be due early in the semester -- but we invite you to geat ahead and lessen your classwork inn the first weeks of the school year.

ASSIGNMENT:  DUE SHORTLY AFTER SCHOOL STARTS

Read: ANTHEM by Ayn Rand

Identify the three names of each character.  Explain the significance/meaning of the names of each character. Include a discussion of the names' relevance to the novel.

Do this in a four-five paragraph analytical essay, not merely a book report or a plot summary.

The essay will be graded for content and development (100 points), and grammar/mechanics (100 points)

  • Spelling, capitalization, punctuation errors    -3 points each
  • First/second person pronouns                       -5 points each
  • Fragments, run-ons, comma splices              -10 points each