Summer Reading 2020
“We read to know we are not alone.” ~ C. S. Lewis
Why Summer Reading?
Encouraging reading over the summer can help avoid what experts call the “summer slide.” This refers to the loss of learning that occurs over the course of a summer, and it is more dramatic than you might think. Studies show that choosing to read in the summer may be the difference between the college-bound student and the non-college bound student. Reading just one book over the course of the summer can minimize the “summer slide,” and keep you on track to reach your potential.
Check out the Abraham Lincoln Award Illinois High School Readers’ Choice Awards, or even the New York Times Best-Sellers List. The New York Times even has a Young Adult Best Sellers List. The important thing is to find a book that appeals to you, and spend some time this summer reading. As Oscar Wilde observed, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
Pick a book and enjoy your summer!
Required Summer Reading
Some English classes require a specific summer reading book. Those courses are 108, 208, 319, and 419. The books are listed below. For this year, we are asking that students read the book(s) over the summer; they will be asked to complete assignments pertaining to the books upon return in the fall. Assignments may include, but are not limited to, objective tests, essays, passage analysis, etc.
2021 Required Summer Reading – Honors/AP Students
Students who are taking E108 Honors Freshmen English will be reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Please scroll below to see the E108 Summer Reading Assignment.
Students who are taking E208 Honors Sophomore English will be reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Students enrolled in E319 AP Language and Composition will read The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea and Hiroshima by John Hersey. Please scroll below to see the E319 Summer Reading Assignments/Expectations.
Students taking E419 AP Literature and Composition will be reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Please scroll below for the E419 Summer Reading Assignment.
E108 - The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry has a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance but is at its core a love story: love of books, love of family, love of community. It is as enchanting a book as you will read this year.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry references short stories that we will be using in our curriculum this fall. When reading, consider setting, motifs, author’s purpose, and your own journey as a reader. If you have already learned annotation strategies, feel free to annotate, but it is not required and it will not be graded. We will discuss annotation strategies when we get to our short story unit.
Fall 2021 The Storied Life of AJ Fikry Assignments:
- Finish reading the novel (Please complete before the first day of class)
- Socratic Seminar Discussion Questions (Please complete before the first day of class)
- Socratic Seminar (Conducted in class)
What is a Socratic Seminar?
A Socratic Seminar is a formal, student-lead, graded discussion based on the text. Students can prepare for the Socratic Seminar by thoroughly responding to the discussion questions and providing textual evidence when necessary. During a Socratic Seminar, students are expected to demonstrate their depth of understanding of the text while using their notes and their book to support their responses.
When school begins and prior to the Socratic Seminar, students will learn about and practice effective discussion skills such as posing open-ended questions, responding to open-ended questions, drawing connections, expanding on other student comments, respectfully providing alternate or contradicting perspectives, and supporting thoughtful responses with textual evidence. Students will also have time during the first week of class to respond to the questions.
The Socratic Seminar grade will be based on two parts: student's written responses and student's oral participation in the discussion.
E208 - English 2/Honors
E208 English 2/Honors
Fahrenheit 45; by Ray Bradbury
Book Summary: “Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of 20th-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family". But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life” (Amazon).
As a sophomore entering an E208 class in the fall, you will be responsible for completing summer reading. The text you will be required to read over the summer is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Please read through the information on this handout. If you have any questions over the summer, please contact Mrs. Serafini at email@example.com, Mrs. Micheletto at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ms. Bingham at email@example.com.
There is also a schoology where you can find additional resources.
Over the summer, you will complete 1 assignment; you will also write a paper and take a test on the novel when school begins.
By the first day of class, you must finish the book and analysis chart assignment below.
Analysis Chart Directions: Due the first day of class; please have an electronic copy
While reading the novel, instead of annotating, please find 10 examples of literary elements. After choosing important and meaningful quotes, please provide deconstructive analysis pertaining to the purpose and meaning of the quote.
Please follow the format below: (Use this list of terms to help you)
Literary Element Identification.
Text Evidence from F451
Purpose and Meaning
1. Allusion & Alliteration
Information Montag brags, "It's fine work. Monday burn Millay,
Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan" (Bradbury 3).
The governing body within this society restricts information with the end goal of preventing individual thought. The quote alludes to well-known authors who have influenced readers over history to demonstrate that by burning their
thoughts/ideas, they are
essentially destroying their influence. Ultimately, an ignorant society is a controllable society.
Literary Element Identification
Text Evidence from F451
Purpose and Meaning
Montag watches “while the flapping
pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house” (Bradbury 1).
Opening the novel, Bradbury describes the books as “pigeon-winged.” Because birds symbolize freedom, the fact that the books are dying depicts the death of that freedom due to the burning of information. Additionally, the books are flapping as they die; this is connotatively showing
their struggle and that their death is not an easy one. Still further, pigeons are often seen as bothersome and “flying rats.” The depiction of them as such underscores the society’s view of books as unwanted pests. Lastly, mentioning the porch of the house appeals to pathos as the porch is historically a place for contemplation and
congregation; by having the books die here, a way of life is symbolically dying as well.
The following information on dystopias may help you connect your literary devices to the overall meaning of the work.
Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics
Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions.
Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.
Characteristics of a Dystopian Society
- Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
- Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
- A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
- Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
- Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
- Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
- The natural world is banished and distrusted.
- Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad. • The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
Types of Dystopian Controls
Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls:
- Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Examples include Minority Report and Running Man.
- Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials. Examples in film include Brazil.
- Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Examples include The Matrix, The Terminator, and I, Robot.
- Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.
The Dystopian Protagonist
- often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.
- questions the existing social and political systems.
- believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives.
- helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.
E319 AP LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION SUMMER READING 2021 Teachers:
Ms. Ksiazek firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Cedeno email@example.com
Mr. Klinger firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings, Scholars! As Honor’s level students, many of you are already familiar with the general idea of summer reading. Over this particular summer, we expect that you read and annotate two texts: Hiroshima by John Hersey, and The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea. You are expected only to read and annotate; you will not be required to craft any formal writing to be handed in upon the start of the school year. We have created a Schoology group where we will be posting information about the readings and resources. It will also serve as a hub for people to ask questions, check-in for updates, and share reactions. The access code for our AP Summer Lang Reading 2021 is: PHBT-72V2-T8C55.
You will read both of the following texts.
“In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the ‘Devil's Highway.’ Three years later, Luis Alberto Urrea wrote about what happened to them. The result was a national bestseller, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a ‘book of the year’ in multiple newspapers, and a work proclaimed as a modern American classic” (Courtesy of Amazon).
“On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic "that stirs the conscience of humanity" (The New York Times).
“Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told. His account of what he discovered about them is now the eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima” (Courtesy of Amazon).
While reading The Devil’s Highway and Hiroshima, focus your analysis on the rhetorical triangle: what can you tell about the speaker of the text, who do you think his intended audience is, and what is his purpose throughout the book? To help you figure out these major areas of analysis, consider the following specific questions as you read in order to track the rhetoric:
- What does the author try to make you think, feel, or do?
- What diction (word choice) and syntax (sentence structures) does he use to help impact the audience?
- What appeals does he rely on to help convince the audience (logos, ethos, pathos)?
- Where do we see the author utilizing imagery and anecdotes (illustrative stories) to help achieve his purpose?
- What tone(s) does the author use to write the book?
- What is the effect of the shift?
- Does it change in places throughout the text?
- If so, how?
- Does the author seem to be balanced or biased in his narration?
- What is the author trying to argue by the end of the text? How/where can you tell so?
- (How) does the author address any contrary or opposing perspectives? (Counterargument)
Upon our return to school you should be prepared to:
- Conduct informal analysis of self-selected quotes from The Devil’s Highway
- Write an in-class rhetorical analysis essay responding to a passage from Hiroshima
- Participate in Socratic Seminar discussion regarding the texts
Q: Must I annotate aggressively--similar to the annotation of a poem for close reading purposes?
A: You should annotate in a fashion and to an extent that is useful for you to produce organized
Q: Must I turn in my annotations for credit?
A: This is not a requirement for our summer reading assignment, BUT you will be encouraged to use any
notes that you take for any of our assignments or assessments. (It’s also important to remember that
we reserve the right to collect evidence of annotation for diagnostic purpose--so we can determine
whether we need to re-teach annotation.)
Q: What if I need help?
A: Please post a question to our E319 Summer Reading Schoology page or email one of the instructors
Q: What is a Socratic Seminar?
A: A Socratic Seminar is a formal, student-lead, graded discussion based on the text. Prior to the first day
of class, students can prepare for the discussion by thoroughly responding to the discussion questions
and providing textual evidence when necessary. During a Socratic Seminar, students are expected to
demonstrate their depth of understanding of the text while using their notes and their book to support
When school begins and prior to the Socratic Seminar, students will learn about and practice effective
discussion skills such as posing open-ended questions, responding to open-ended questions, drawing
connections, expanding on other student comments, respectfully providing alternate or contradicting
perspectives, and supporting thoughtful responses with textual evidence.
The Socratic Seminar grade will be based on two parts: student's written responses and student's oral
participation in the discussion.
E419 - Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
E419 Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
Mrs. Gilkey email@example.com
Mr. Micheletto firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to have digital access to this information, please join our AP Lit Summer Reading Schoology Group. Access Code: XN5H-B3RV-4STP3
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had. Summer Reading Assignment/Instructions
Elements from The Kite Runner will infuse many of the other works in the 419 curriculum. Be advised that you must have the novel completed before returning to school. When reading, think in terms of motifs, allusions, archetypes, symbols, and social issues, as well as the rhetorical strategies learned in English 319. In addition, consider the following points as you read and mark the text. We will be using the points below to drive our discussions and analysis:
- Trace the psychological progress of the main characters in the story. How are their private lives shaped by the larger forces of history or culture?
- Consider Hosseini’s narrative style in the novel and the importance of connecting past and present.
- Explore the political and religious themes in the novel.
- Analyze the novel as a Bildungsroman (coming-of-age) story.
- Consider the ideas of trauma, guilt, and redemption.
- How does Hosseini use literary elements/devices, especially symbolism, to reflect important themes or ideas in the novel?
While we will not be collecting text-marking, you will be expected to identify specific passages from the text, as we navigate the above topics. You should be able to quickly access these passages during graded class discussions and on essays.
Fall 2021 Kite Runner Assignments: When we return to school, you will engage in the following assignments/assessments:
- Multiple Choice Reading Comprehension Test
- 2 AP Open Ended Essays
- Socratic Class Discussions
Books You May Enjoy This Summer
For this summer, SHS is encouraging all students to pick a book and read. For most students, there will not be a required reading book. We’ve included some titles that students have enjoyed in the past, but the best book for summer reading is the book that is interesting to you.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.
Esperanza Rising By Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.
The Glass Castle By Jeanette Walls
The Glass Castle is a memoir written by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls, which details he unconventional childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill. Walls begins the book by explaining what has prompted her to write about her family: after she has “made it” and become a successful writer living in New York, she comes across her mother picking trash out of a dumpster and, in shame, slinks down in her taxi seat and pretends not to see or know her. Later, Walls con-fronts her mother, asking what she is supposed to tell people about her parents, and her mother replies, “Just tell the truth. That’s simple enough.”
Lockdown: Escape from Furnace By Alexander Gordon Smith
Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. Together with a bunch of inmates–some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers–Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.
Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand
The inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. From his delinquent childhood to the Berlin Olympics to World War 2, Louis Zamperini embarked on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering from hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
Blink By Malcolm Gladwell
Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of “thin slices” of behavior. The key is to rely on our “adaptive unconscious”–a 24/7 mental valet–that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or re-act to a new idea.
City of Bones By Cassandra Clare
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. Within twenty-four hours, Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
The Enemy By Charlie Higson
In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone sixteen and older is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. Teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food. When a mysterious traveler arrives and offers them a safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across Lon-don. But their fight is far from over—the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it. Full of unexpected twists and quick-thinking heroes, The Enemy is a fast-paced, white-knuckle tale of survival in the face of unimaginable horror.
The Selection By Kiera Cass
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of a prince. But for America Singer, being selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself – and realizes that the life she had always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Escape from Camp 14 By Blaine Harden
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk. In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother. Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, looking for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Leif Enger’s novel about a father raising his three children in 1960s Minnesota is a breathtaking celebration of family and faith. Through the voice of eleven-year-old Reuben, Peace Like a River tells of the Land family’s cross-country search for Reuben’s older brother, an outlaw charged with murder. Reuben’s dad, Jeremiah, leads the family in an unforgettable journey marked by tragedy, romance, and the unique magic that can be seen in everyday life.
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. Cia Vale is eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies’ chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first trust no one. But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust