Summer Reading

Summer reading for 2018-19

Ed note; All of these books are available at the Mansfield public library.

Tackling School Summer Reading Lists

The following tips are recommendations that can be found on the PBS website for parents to make sure that the summer reading requirements go smoothly. You can locate this information on www. pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/tackling-school-summer-reading-lists.

  • Create a reading plan with your child. Using a calendar, help your child make a schedule for summer reading. Helping your child plan ahead and stick to the schedule will help him avoid leaving his reading until the last few days of summer.
  • Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it, but also remember that flexibility around trips and special family events is OK.
  • Alternate required reading with your child’s own choices. Your child will be more motivated to read when she has the opportunity to select some of her own reading.
  • Read books together and discuss them. You can read aloud together by taking turns by page, or you can get two copies of the book and each read silently. In either case, tell your child what you are thinking as you read and ask your child questions about what he reads. By reading together, you help your child to understand what he reads and motivate him to read by demonstrating that you enjoy sharing ideas about books.
  • Find audio books if your child is struggling. By listening to books on tape and discussing them with you, your child will learn new vocabulary and information. If audio books are not feasible, read required books aloud to your child and discuss them together. At the same time, help your child to find books at a comfortable level so she gets practice reading herself.

 

Summer Reading books are available at the Mansfield Public Library. In addition, many of the titles can be downloaded to the audio or e-book form. The Mansfield Public Library is part of the SAILS network where additional copies of these books can be requested. Many audio versions can also be found on youtube.com.


​Printable PDF link


Grade 09
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

 

for Students Entering Grade 9

MHS English Department 2018 Summer Reading List

for Students Entering Grade 9

Students entering Grade 9 College Prep A/B are REQUIRED to read ONE of the novels from the list below.

 

Students entering Grade 9 Honors are REQUIRED to read TWO of the novels from the list.

NOTE: AT LEAST ONE of the student’s selections MUST be one of the novels marked with an asterisk (*).

 

ALL STUDENTS ENTERING GRADE 9 ENGLISH NEXT YEAR will be required to complete an assessment on the summer reading within the first two weeks of school; therefore, it is highly recommended that students keep a reading journal to take notes on plot/plot development, characters/character development, and themes/theme development as they read. NOTE: Students who prepare handwritten notes will be able to use them as a reference during the assessment(s); typed notes will not be allowed.

 

Grade 9

 

 

Author

Title

Synopsis

Betty Smith

*A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

*“…a poignant and deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships. The Nolans lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 until 1919...Their daughter Francie and their son Neely knew more than their fair share of the privations and sufferings that are the lot of a great city's poor. Primarily this is Francie's book. from New York Times

Maya Angelou

*I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

* “…this memoir traces Maya Angelou's childhood in a small, rural community during the 1930s. Filled with images and recollections that point to the dignity and courage of black men and women, Angelou paints a sometimes disquieting, but always affecting picture of the people—and the times—that touched her life. Amazon.com Review

Richard Adams

*Watership Down

*First published in 1972, Richard Adam's extraordinary bestseller Watership Down takes us to a world we have never truly seen: to the remarkable life that teems in the fields, forests, and riverbanks, far beyond our cities and towns. It is a powerful saga of courage, leadership, and survival; and epic tale of a hardy band of Berkshire rabbits forced to flee the destruction of their fragile community and their trials and triumphs in the face of extraordinary adversity as they pursue a glorious dream called "home." distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

Walter Dean Myers

Sunrise over Fallujah

Instead of heading to college as his father wishes, Robin leaves Harlem and joins the army to stand up for his country after 9/11. While stationed in Iraq with a war looming that he hopes will be averted, he begins writing letters home to his parents and to his Uncle Richie, the main character from Myers's acclaimed Vietnam War novel, Fallen Angels (Scholastic, 1988). Robin finds himself in a diverse Civil Affairs unit of both men and women, with a mission to serve as a buffer between winning over the Iraqi people and concurrent military operations. As the war unfolds, the military angle of Robin's job escalates, and he experiences increasing horrors of violence, death, destruction, insecurity, sorrow, and extreme fear. Ultimately, he comprehends the reasons Uncle Richie never wanted to talk to their family about what happened in Vietnam, saying, "-are there really enough words to make them understand?" School Library Journal Review

 

Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees

Fourteen-year-old Lily Owen, who is neglected and isolated on her father’s North Carolina peach farm, becomes a runaway who finds the true meaning of family in the home of three black sisters who raise bees. The story is set in the early 1960s against the background of racial violence and unrest. Amazon.com Review

Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Fifth-grade scholarship students and best friends Henry and Keiko are the only Asians in their Seattle elementary school in 1942. Henry is Chinese, Keiko is Japanese, and Pearl Harbor has made all Asians-even those who are American born-targets for abuse. Because Henry's nationalistic father has a deep-seated hatred for Japan, Henry keeps his friendship with and eventual love for Keiko a secret. When Keiko's family is sent to an internment camp in Idaho, Henry vows to wait for her. Library Journal Synopsis

Matthew Quick

Boy 21

Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights, and Finley is left to take care of his disabled grandfather alone. He's always dreamed of getting out someday, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay. Russ has just moved to the neighborhood, and the life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, but answers only to the name Boy21--taken from his former jersey number. As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, a unique friendship may turn out to be the answer they both need. Barnes and Noble.com Synopsis

 

Matthew Quick

Sorta Like a Rockstar

Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism—and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. The world is Amber's stage, and Amber is, well...she's sorta like a rock star. True? True. Barnes and Noble.com Synopsis

 





 Grade 09 PDF


for Students Entering Grade 10


MHS English Department 2018 Summer Reading List

for Students Entering Grade 10

Students entering Grade 10 College Prep A/B are REQUIRED to read ONE of the books from the list below.

 

Students entering Grade 10 Honors are REQUIRED to read TWO of the books from the list.

NOTE: AT LEAST ONE of the selections MUST be from the novels marked with an asterisk (*).

 

ALL STUDENTS ENTERING GRADE 10 ENGLISH NEXT YEAR will be required to complete an assessment on the summer reading within the first two weeks of school; therefore, it is highly recommended that students keep a reading journal to take notes on plot/plot development, characters/character development, and themes/theme development as they read. NOTE: Students who prepare handwritten notes will be able to use them as a reference during the assessment(s); typed notes will not be allowed.

 

Grade 10

 

 

Author

Title

Synopsis

*Khaled Hosseini

*The Kite Runner

*This painful, moving, remarkable debut novel depicts the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of a deeply flawed protagonist. Growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan, Amir feels unloved by his widowed father, who seems to care more for Hassan, the son of their Hazara servant, Ali. Amir and Hassan are close but not quite friends. On what should have been the best day of his young life, when he wins a kite-flying contest and finally some respect from his father, Amir betrays Hassan and becomes haunted by guilt. Amir comes to California when the Soviets invade his country but returns years later to rescue Hassan's orphaned son from the Taliban and redeem himself. Library Journal Review

*Charlotte Bronte

*Jane Eyre

*As an orphan, Jane’s childhood is not an easy one, but her independence and strength of character sustain her through the miseries inflicted by cruel relatives and a brutal education system. Taking a job as a governess in a house containing dangerous secrets and a passionate man she finds increasingly attractive, Jane is ultimately forced to call on her resources in order to hold fast to her beliefs. Amazon.com Synopsis

*Anthony Doerr

*All the Light We Cannot See

“While set mostly in Germany and France before and during the war--is not really a “war novel”. Yes, there is fear and fighting and disappearance and death, but the author’s focus is on the interior lives of his two characters. Marie Laure is a blind 14-year-old French girl who flees to the countryside when her father disappears from Nazi-occupied Paris. Werner is a gadget-obsessed German orphan whose skills admit him to a brutal branch of Hitler Youth. Never mind that their paths don’t cross until very late in the novel, this is not a book you read for plot (although there is a wonderful, mysterious subplot about a stolen gem). This is a book you read for the beauty of Doerr’s writing (…)” Amazon.com Editorial Review

Robert Sharenow

The Berlin Boxing Club

Berlin in the 1930s, during the rise of Nazism, is the dramatic setting for this novel told through the immediate first-person narrative of teenage Karl. Growing up in a secular middle-class home, he has always ignored his Jewish identity until he is expelled from school, the Hitler Youth harass him, and his father arranges for Karl to have lessons with the famous boxer Max Schmeling. After Max defeats Joe Louis, the Nazis trumpet his victory as Aryan superiority, but then Joe Louis wins the following match. At home, the situation becomes more desperate: Karl's little sister is beaten by Hitler Youth, his mother sinks into depression, and his uncle dies in Dachau. Karl is also a cartoonist, and his occasional sketches express the racist idiocy and the anguish he experiences. Booklist Review

Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Enzo narrates his life story, beginning with his impending death. Enzo's not afraid of dying, as he's seen a television documentary on the Mongolian belief that a good dog will reincarnate as a man. Yes, Enzo is a dog. And he belongs to Denny: husband, father, customer service technician. Denny's dream is to be a professional race-car driver, and Enzo recounts the triumphs and tragedies--medical, financial, and legal--they share in this quest, the dangers of the racetrack being the least of their obstacles. Enzo ultimately teaches Denny and the reader that persistence and joie de vivre will see them through to the checkered flag. Library Journal Review

Eric Blehm

Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown

An absorbing chronicle of heroism and humanity, Fearless presents an indelible portrait of a highly trained warrior who would enter a village with weapons in hand to hunt terrorists, only to come back the next day with an armload of shoes and meals for local children. It is a deeply personal, revealing glimpse inside the SEAL Team SIX brotherhood that also shows how these elite operators live out the rest of their lives, away from danger, as husbands, fathers, and friends. Barnes and Noble

Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Christopher Boone is the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this novel. When the neighbor’s poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents’ broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him. Publishers Weekly Synopsis

Malala Yousafzai

I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. Barnes and Noble.com Synopsis

 

Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic, frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out fires--they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad. Guy Montag meets a young girl who makes him question his profession and the values of the society in which he lives. Amazon.com Synopsis

Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Amazon. Com Synopsis

 


 Grade 10 PDF



For Students Entering Grade 11 

MHS English Department 2018 Summer Reading List

For Students Entering Grade 11

 

Students entering Grade 11 College Prep or Honors are encouraged to read one or more books for their enjoyment and for their continued skill development during the summer vacation.  The books suggested in the list below are related thematically to several of the unit topics that students will explore in these courses.

 

If a student wishes to receive extra credit for reading one of the selections, he/she must: (1) read a  from the suggested titles below, (2) complete a reading journal (see guidelines*), and (3)submit the journal to his/her English teacher during the first week that the class meets (teacher will announce due date).

*The reading journal guidelines can be found at the end of the list and on the MHS website under Summer Reading.

 

Students entering 11 AP are REQUIRED to read the ONE of the AP Selections** and may choose one of the selections from the list of suggested books for extra credit by completing and submitting a reading journal (see guidelines*). NOTE: AP students are encouraged to keep their own reading journal/notes on the AP selections to help them review for their assessments.

**AP Selections:

    [1] Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    [2] Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis  by J.D. Vance

 

Grade 11

 

 

Author

Title

Synopsis

Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembledby an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together--a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.

Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

Shaker Heights, a wealthy suburb of Cleveland, is home to the mostly content Richardson family of six. Mia, an artist, and her teenage daughter, Pearl, decide to settle down and rent an apartment from the family. Pearl bonds with the Richardson teens, and life seems idyllic until a custody battle erupts. Elena Richardson's friend is adopting a baby whose biological mother, a friend of Mia's, regrets her decision to abandon the child. Ng sensitively examines adoption, privilege, and race as the well-off white couple and the child's biological mother, a Chinese immigrant who initially gave up the child out of financial necessity, fight for parental rights. Through Mia, the author also explores the sacrifices that artists must make and the tension between passion and parenthood. School Library Journal Review

Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire

In 2009, Cahalan was in a serious relationship and her career as a reporter at the New York Post was taking off. But suddenly, as she tells it in this engaging memoir, she began suffering from a bizarre amalgam of debilitating symptoms including memory loss, paranoia, and severe psychosis that left her in a catatonic state that moved her close to death. Physicians remained baffled until one extraordinary doctor determined that Cahalan was "in the grip of some kind of autoimmune disease." Released from the hospital after 28 days, she had no memory of her stay there. DVDs recorded in the hospital were the only link she had to her startling condition. "Without this electronic evidence, I could never have imagined myself capable of such madness and misery," she writes. Focusing her journalistic toolbox on her story, Cahalan untangles the medical mystery surrounding her condition. She is dogged by one question: "How many other people throughout history suffered from my disease and others like it but went untreated? The question is made more pressing by the knowledge that even though the disease was discovered in 2007, some doctors I spoke to believe that it's been around at least as long as humanity has." Publisher's Weekly Review

William Kent Krueger

Ordinary Grace

In 1961 New Bremen, MN, Frank Drum is a typical 13-year-old who likes baseball and getting into trouble. He has an 11-year-old brother, a Methodist minister father, a sister bound for Juilliard, and an artistically inclined mother. Narrating the story 40 years after the events unfold, Frank recalls the five deaths that occurred that summer that scarred many, especially his family. He and his brother grow up that summer as they see, hear, and experience tragedy and love that is part and parcel of the adult world. Library Journal Review

Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two very different worlds: one is her home in a poor black urban neighborhood; the other is the tony suburban prep school she attends and the white boy she dates there. Her bifurcated life changes dramatically when she is the only witness to the unprovoked police shooting of her unarmed friend Khalil and is challenged to speak out though with trepidation about the injustices being done in the event's wake. As the case becomes national news, violence erupts in her neighborhood, and Starr finds herself and her family caught in the middle. Difficulties are exacerbated by their encounters with the local drug lord for whom Khalil was dealing to earn money for his impoverished family. If there is to be hope for change, Starr comes to realize, it must be through the exercise of her voice, even if it puts her and her family in harm's way. Booklist ReviewShow More

Show Less

 

Kathryn Stockett

The Help

 

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. It is 1962, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, but Constantine has disappeared, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination forever changes a town and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t. Amazon.com Review

 

Luis Rodriguez

Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.

By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as drugs, murder, suicide, and senseless acts of street crime claimed his friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning Chicano poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more—until his son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running, a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claims its participants.

 

Kathleen Grissom

The Kitchen House: A Novel

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family. In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves. Amazon. Com Review


Emily St. John Mandel

Station 11

Onstage at a Toronto theater, an aging movie star drops dead while performing the title role in King Lear. As the other cast members share a drink at the lobby bar before heading into the snowy night, none can know what horrors await them: "Of all of them at the bar that night, the bartender was the one who survived the longest. He died three weeks later on the road out of the city." The Shakespearean tragedy unfolds into a real-life calamity just before the entire world is overtaken by a catastrophic flu pandemic that will kill off the vast majority of the population. The narrative is organized around several figures present at the theater that night, and the tale travels back and forth in time, from the years before the pandemic through the following 20 years in a world without government, electricity, telecommunications, modern medicine, or transportation.

 

Anita Diamant

Boston Girl

Addie is The Boston Girl, the spirited daughter of an immigrant Jewish family, born in 1900 to parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End of Boston, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, to finding the love of her life, eighty-five-year-old Addie recounts her adventures with humor and compassion for the naïve girl she once was. Barnes and Nobles

 

 

 

Extra Credit Reading Journal for Grades 11

In order to receive extra credit for completing your summer reading, you must answer all of the following prompts carefully and thoroughly. Be sure to include relevant textual evidence to support your ideas. Also, don’t forget to identify the novel’s title and author’s name!

 

Due:  First Week of English Class (Teacher will announce due date)

Length:  Approximately 3 pages, neatly handwritten

 

  1. Write a one-page reaction statement to the novel you read.Be specific in your thoughts about the points that you liked or didn’t like about the novel, ideas that intrigued you, etc.Be sure to include specific textual references (include page numbers) to support your reaction/thoughts.

     

  2. Cite a memorable passage of no more than thirty words or three sentences from the book (include page number(s)). Explain why you have chosen this passage from the book.

     

  3. Describe your first impression of one character or event that you find interesting.Give at least three examples of specific textual evidence(include page numbers) that support or generate this impression.

     

  4. ** Identify what causes a significant change in one character and describe the results of that change.This change may be the consequence of a choice, a conflict of some kind that has to be resolved, a display of some outstanding trait like courage, or even the result of an action/event that occurs during the story. Whenever possible, include specific textual references (include page numbers) to support your conclusions, especially those that help to illustrate or provide evidence of the character’s change.

 
Grade 11 PDF




for Students Entering Grade 12 

MHS English Department 2018

 Summer Reading List

for Students Entering Grade 12

 

Students entering Grade 12 College Prep or Honors are encouraged to read one or more books for their enjoyment and for their continued skill development during the summer vacation.  The books suggested in the list below are related thematically to several of the unit topics that students will explore in these courses.

 

If a student wishes to receive extra credit for reading one of the selections, he/she must: (1) read a novel from the suggested titles below, (2) complete a reading journal (see guidelines*),and(3) submit the journal to his/her English teacher during the first week that the class meets (teacher will announce due date).

*The reading journal guidelines can be found on the MHS website under Summer Reading.

 

Students entering 12 AP are REQUIRED to read the TWO AP Selections** and may choose one of the selections from the list of suggested novels for extra credit by completing and submitting a reading journal (see guidelines*). NOTE: AP students are encouraged to keep their own reading journal/notes on the AP selections to help them review for their assessments.

 

**AP Selections: (1) Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

(2) How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster (students are encouraged to purchase this book because it will be used throughout their AP course)

 

Grade 12

 

 

Author

Title

Synopsis

Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle

Walls opens her memoir with a recollection of riding in a taxi and spotting her mother “rooting through a dumpster.” Wall’s parents were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn’t conventionalize either of them. Living with a mom who thought that “being homeless is an adventure,” the Walls children learned to support themselves in a variety of ways. Publishers Weekly Synopsis

Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis (Part 1)

Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Amazon.com Synopsis

Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

This absorbing account by a young man who, as a boy of 12, gets swept up in Sierra Leone’s civil war, reveals the life and mind of a child abducted into the horrors of warfare. Told in a clear, assessable language, this memoir is a gripping firsthand account of war and the ongoing plight of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide. Publishers Weekly Synopsis

Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic. Amazon.com SynopsisShow More

Show Less

 

Fredrik Backman

Beartown

Everyone knows Beartown is a hockey town. And everyone in Beartown knows someone who is connected to hockey, from the lonely owner of the local bar to the former athlete now managing the supermarket. In a town dying from economic decay and isolated by the surrounding wilderness, Beartown needs its junior hockey team to bring home the championship and bring in tourism and sponsorship dollars to keep the town alive. The son of a wealthy businessman and team patron, Kevin is the squad's superstar. Amat is an immigrant whose speed and skill on the ice may be his ticket to popularity. Maya is the daughter of the team's beloved general manager. When the paths of these three collide in the supercharged aftermath of a decisive game, the town's financial survival rests on the moral convictions of its most vulnerable citizens. Booklist Review

Kevin Powers

The Yellow Birds: a novel

This first novel by Powers traces the story of a young soldier named John Bartle and his friend Murph during fighting in northern Iraq in 2005. Sterling, the tough sergeant of their platoon, has informally assigned Bartle the job of watching over Murph, who is young, small, and not much of a soldier, and Bartle had also promised Murph's mother that he would take care of him. As the horrors of war escalate, all the soldiers seem to lose their grip, and Murph finally snaps, leaving the compound and forcing Bartle and Sterling to search for him through the nightmarish landscape of a ravaged city. Alternating with this plot is the story of Bartle's life after his return home, as he attempts to piece together his friend's fate and come to grips with it. Library Journal Review

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers

In Victorian times, the language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now 18, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what has been missing in her life.

Sue Monk Kidd

Invention of Wings

In the early 1830s, Sarah Grimké and her younger sister, Angelina, were the most infamous women in America. They had rebelled so vocally against their family, society, and their religion that they were reviled, pursued, and exiled from their home city of Charleston, South Carolina, under threat of death. Their crime was speaking out in favor of liberty and equality and for African American slaves and women, arguments too radically humanist even for the abolitionists of their time. Their lectures drew crowds of thousands, even (shockingly, then) men, and their most popular pamphlet directly inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom's Cabin--published 15 years later. These women took many of the first brutal backlashes against feminists and abolitionists, but even their names are barely known now. Sue Monk Kidd became fascinated by these sisters, and the question of what compelled them to risk certain fury and say with the full force of their convictions what others had not (or could not).Amazon.com Review

Cheryl Strayed

Wild

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.Amazon.com Review

 
Grade 12 PDF

Extra Credit Reading Journal for Grade 12

Answer the following questions carefully and thoroughly.  Please use relevant textual evidence to support your ideas. Be sure to identify the book’s title and author’s name.

Due:  first week of English class

Length:  approximately 3 pages, handwritten neatly

  1. Write a one-page reaction statement to the book that you read.Be specific in your thoughts about points that you liked or didn’t like about the book, ideas that intrigued you, etc.Be sure to include specific textual references. Include page numbers.

     

  2. Cite a memorable passage of no more than thirty words or three sentences from the book.Include page number(s). Explain why you have chosen this passage from the book.

     

  3. Describe your first impression of one character or event that you find interesting.Give at least three examples of textual evidence that supports or generates this impression. Be sure to include the page numbers.

     

  4. **Identify what causes a significant change in one character, and describe the results of that change.This change may be the consequence of a choice, a conflict of some kind that has to be resolved, a display of some outstanding trait like courage, or even the result of an action or event that occurs during the story.

 

 

 




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