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Required Summer Reading for Rising 9th - 12th


We love summer reading!

  • Reading helps each of us better understand our world and the people in it.
  • Reading can be an enjoyable pastime—we read for pleasure, not just to acquire information.
  • Reading is a skill that improves with practice.
  • Reading can be a family activity; parents who read inspire children to read.
  • Reading is fundamental in providing a solid basis for academic achievement.
  • Students who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often experience learning losses.
  • Students who read more perform better on standardized tests.

Upper school students will read two books over the summer: one student choice and one teacher choice.  Students are expected to come prepared on the first day of school with a completed, independent project and having completed the classroom read as well.  All assignments are due the first day of school—whether you have English or history first or second semester.  Spring semester students will have an opportunity to review projects prior to presentation.  All reports should be signed by a parent/guardian.

Please review the information below for specific details.

  1. Student Choice
    • Book must be age appropriate.
    • Parents must approve of the book selection and sign your project.
    • Books must be at least 150 pages in length.
    • The book must not have been read previously.
    • Students must turn in a project. Click here for project descriptions. This project is due the first day of school.
  2.  Teacher's Classroom Choice - These classroom choices will be used extensively throughout the curriculum for the grade in which they are assigned and there will be a reading comprehension quiz at the beginning of the semester on the teacher-assigned book.
Summer Reading for all rising 9th grade students - Mythology by Edith Hamilton.
Edith Hamilton's Mythology includes the most popular myths in Greek and Roman history (as well as many from Norse mythology). Choose ONE of the following prompts and write a well-developed essay (1-2 pages, Times New Roman--12 font, double spaced) expounding upon the topic of your choice. Be sure to include all required elements.
1. Compare and contrast the dynamics (behaviors & attitudes) between men and women in 3 separate myths. Be sure to include HOW women (or men, if applicable) are treated by the heroes and/or gods. Be sure to use quotes from the text to support your opinions.
2. Choose 3 myths that you found particularly interesting. Compare and contrast the heroes/heroines in each myth telling why you found them to be positive or negative characters. Be sure to use quotes from the text to support your opinions.
3. Choose 3 ancient heroes/heroines as well as 1 modern hero/heroine that you identify with. (This can be because you are similar to them, different from them, or because they remind you of someone.) Explain your choices. Be sure to use quotes from the text (as well as incorporate modern evidence) to support your opinions.

Summer reading for all rising 10th grade students - A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Directions: Choose one of the following prompts and provide your response in a well-developed 1 ½ to 2 page typed essay. Be sure to answer all questions asked, provide evidence from the memoir, and provide a personal connection.
1. Although most of the book’s events occur in Sierra Leone, American culture is a pervasive theme in the memoir and in the author’s life. What positive influences does American culture have on Beah? Negative? How would you have applied these same elements to yourself if you were in Beah’s situation? (Give three separate examples of American culture.)
2. What role do parables and storytelling play in the community? Identify any themes or messages from three of the parables the author included. What lessons did he learn from each of them? How did he apply each of them to his life and situation? Which parable from the memoir do you apply the most to your own life? How, and why?
3. Music saves Beah multiple times during his story. What types of music does Ishmael like, and why? What is it about music that matters to Ishmael, or that moves him so? At which particular point in his life does music become of utmost importance to Beah? Do you agree or disagree with his feelings on music? Why or why not? Provide a situational example of a time music played an important role in your life.

Summer reading for all rising 11th grade students - Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Respond to one of the following prompts with a well-written 1 ½ to 2-page essay (typed, double-spaced, 12 TNR font).
1. One critic has concluded that "Holden really doesn’t like women and girls at all." Respond to this statement based on your reading of the novel making sure to include evidence from the text.
2. As a reader, do you have more sympathy or scorn for Holden's character? Explain, making sure to include evidence from the text.
Summer reading for rising all rising 12th grade students - Animal Farm by George Orwell
Answer the following prompt with a well-written essay response based on the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell. Essay should be 1 ½ to 2 pages typed, double-spaced, size 12 TNR font.
There is an old saying, "History is written by the winners." Defend or refute this statement using evidence from the novel and real life to support your position.

Note: (The AP English reads are the same as last year, Macbeth by Shakespeare and Oedipus Rex and Antigone by Sophocles)

Summer Required Reading for AP English 12, AP US History, AP Government, Honors Psychology

These books are not optional, and must be completed before the class begins. They are not part of the FIRP Program.
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Additional Books You May Like To Read

Any of these books would be a great option for your student choice!
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