2010 Summer Reading Assignments


    The core English courses are listed below by grade, with each course having its own summer reading requirement.  Find your summer reading assignments by finding the course you have selected for the 2010-11 school year. When you return in the fall, the summer reading assessments will be the first grades entered for the year, so it is important that you complete the correct reading assignments before school resumes. 



    Ninth Grade Courses


    Patterns of Human Experience—Accelerated

    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    An engrossing epic of murder, mysteries and an orphan boy’s promise of wealth, this novel tells the story of Pip, who, as a young boy,  meets two people who will affect his whole life—an escaped convict he is forced to help, and the eccentric Miss Havisham, whose ward, Estella, young Pip adores. 


    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids.  And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.          


    Patterns of Human Experience—Academic A

    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

    Percy Jackson, dyslexic and hotheaded, has been kicked out of yet another school. But stranger things are happening around him, and soon he finds himself at Camp Half Blood, a refuge and training ground for children of the Greek gods, who are still around and causing trouble for humans.

    Feed by M. T. Anderson

    The “feed,” or computer transmitter implanted directly into Titus’ brain, has become a crucial part of his life until he meets Violet, who cares about the world outside the feed and challenges everything Titus holds dear.


    Patterns of Human Experience—Academic B

    Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

    In Warsaw in 1939, a boy who knows nothing of his background wanders the streets and survives by stealing what food he can.  By the novel’s end he’s come to understand something about himself and the horrors of the Nazi regime, sharing with readers his hopeful and resilient spirit. 

    Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock.

    This critically acclaimed debut novel introduces D.J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, her unusual family, and her unexpected friendship with the rival town’s quarterback.


    Tenth Grade Courses



    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

                    This bitterly funny murder mystery is told by an autistic fifteen year old,

                    Christopher, who is both gifted and troubled.

    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

                    Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best

                    friend’s mother with a baseball but believes he will be redeemed by martyrdom.


    Decisions/Consequences/Reflections—Academic A

    And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

    This novel is the story of ten strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host.  Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets—until they begin to die.

    A Lesson before Dying Ernest J. Gaines

    In a small Cajun community in 1940s Louisiana, a young black man is about to go to the electric chair for murder.  Though the young man on trial had not been armed and had not pulled the trigger, in that time and place, there could be no doubt of the verdict or penalty.

     Decisions/Consequences/Reflections—Academic B

    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

                    During the turn of the twentieth century, Mattie, a sixteen-year-old girl, struggles between her responsibilities at home and

    her dream of going to college.  Mattie’s father is recently widowed, and the duties that her mother used to perform with ease and grace have fallen on Mattie’s shoulders.

    Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

    Robin Perry, an eighteen-year-old from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 and what he witnesses and experiences changes his life forever.


    Eleventh Grade Courses

    American Journey—Honors

    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

                    This novel depicts the hardships and suffering of the Joad family as they journey from Oklahoma to

                    California during the Depression.            

    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

                    A young Puritan woman, publicly scorned for bearing an illegitimate child, refuses to be vanquished

                    by her seventeenth-century Boston community.

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin

                    In this story, written and set in the late nineteenth century, Edna Pontellier, a young woman living with

                    two small children in a passionless marriage, gradually awakens to her individuality.


    Advanced Placement Language and Composition—AP 

    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

                    A young Puritan woman, publicly scorned for bearing an illegitimate child, refuses to be vanquished

                    by her seventeenth-century Boston community.

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin

                    In this story, written and set in the late nineteenth century, Edna Pontellier, a young woman living with

                    two small children in a passionless marriage, gradually awakens to her individuality.

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

                    On Writing is combination memoir and writing guide.  Stephen King tells of how he came to be a writer and, in the process,

    explores the many aspects of the writer’s craft, from plot construction through some of the nuts and bolts of getting a book published.


    American Journey—Accelerated

    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Set in a World War II American bomber squadron stationed off the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is a satire of war featuring John Yossarian, a pilot who, furious that thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him, struggles to make sense of a bureaucracy represented by the phrase “catch-22.”

    In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

    Set in the Dominican Republic during the 1950’s, In the Time of the Butterflies is a novel based on the true story of the Mirabal sisters and their covert but courageous struggle against the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.


    American Studies--Accelerated

    March by Geraldine Brooks

    This is the story of Mr. March, the absent father of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, revealing his courtship of  Marmee, his meetings with some rather influential writers, his military service during the Civil War,

                    and his friendship with an educated and amazing slave.

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

                    In this memoir, Maya Angelou depicts her life growing up during the 1930s and 1940s in Arkansas.  Through her

                    experiences, the reader is able to see the struggles within American society during this time.


    American Journey—Academic A

    A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

                    This is a magnificent and tender tale of love and war on the Italian front during World War I.

    Night Sky, Morning Star by Evelina Zuni Lucero

    Night Sky, Morning Star is a story of remembrance and reconciliation in one Native American family separated by time and chance.


    American Journey—Academic B

    Our Time on the River by Don Brown

    In the midst of the Vietnam War, David, a young college student feels that it is his duty to support his country and surprises his family by enlisting.

    Lucy the Giant by Sherri L. Smith

    A gangly teenager runs away from her troubled home and finds both self-esteem and friendship aboard an Alaskan fishing boat.  However, she eventually has to confront the demons from her past before she can truly find peace in herself.


    Twelfth Grade Courses


    Advanced Placement Literature and Composition—AP

    King Lear by Wm. Shakespeare

    This is the story of an old King Lear who is led into madness by his duplicitous daughters and his own vanity, but who emerges with a new if painful understanding of kingship, love, loyalty, and responsibility.

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

    An early and, at the time, controversial example of the modernist novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man depicts the developing consciousness of an artistic sensibility in Ireland during the early twentieth century.

    Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    In this tragic story, young Prince Hamlet, tortured by his father’s death, his mother’s “o’erhasty” marriage to his uncle, and his uncle’s preemption of the throne of Denmark, finds he is unable to accomplish the revenge he so desperately desires.

    Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney

    Seamus Heaney’s superb translation of this epic poem gives new life to the exploits of Beowulf,  whose bravery, strength, and skill in battle not only save a people, but also define for succeeding generations the role of the warrior hero.


    The Human Condition--Accelerated

    Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

                    This is the true story of the life and struggles of the man behind the black revolution of the 1960’s.               

    Red Azaleas by Anchee Min

                    Anchee Min depicts her changing fortunes in Mao Tse Tung’s brutally oppressive but spiritually resilient China.


    The Human Condition—Academic A

    The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

    In his extremely engaging memoir, African American James McBride recounts his search to uncover his white mother’s past along with his own identity.             

    I’ve Lived a Thousand Years:  Growing Up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson

                    This is a poignant and stirring memoir of the Holocaust written by a survivor who was thirteen years old when

                    the Nazis invaded Hungary and forced her family on a dark journey that led to Auschwitz.


    The Human Condition—Academic B

    This Boy’s Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff

                    A troubled teenager attempts to find meaning in his life as he struggles with a well-intentioned but

                    distant mother and an abusive stepfather.    

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

                    A tale of hope and inspiration, this story focuses on Aron Ralston’s incredible ordeal after having his

                    arm pinned by a boulder while hiking alone in the Utah Canyons.