Summer Experiences 2024

Introduction to the Summer Experience

The 2023-2024 school year is over, but the fun doesn’t have to end! This summer, the English Department is asking incoming sophomore, junior, and senior students to participate in meaningful and educational  experiences, rather than a traditional summer reading assignment. Use the resources provided below to broaden your knowledge, discover new interests, and actively participate in your community. Activities range from reading and listening to podcasts to visiting Chicago museums or the Indiana Dunes. 
The summer is a wonderful time to relax and rewind, but learning is a lifelong process that can be done in fun and interesting ways. You are challenged and encouraged to do something you’ve never done before, read about a topic you know nothing about, and/or support your local community in a new way. Explore each of the categories and create at least 2 experiences for yourself this summer!
Junior and Senior students, PLEASE NOTE: AP Language and Composition and AP Literature students have traditional summer reading assignments to complete; however, you are encouraged to participate in the experiences as well.
Note: The word “appropriate” is defined in different ways. Because of this, the English Department asks parents to be aware of what your child is reading and engaging in, so you may approve of the content. The books and activities range from middle school to college level, so your participation is essential in guiding your child to appropriate and challenging experiences.

Academic, Advanced, and Honors English Classes



AP Language and Composition 

Welcome to AP Language and Composition!  We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
This summer, we would like you to read from John Green’s New York Times Bestselling collection of nonfiction essays, The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on A Human Centered Planet. You may know and love John Green from his widely-acclaimed novels, Turtles All the Way Down and The Fault in Our Stars, or from his other popular writings, podcasts, and YouTube videos. Even if you are not familiar with him, we think you will enjoy these short, poignant essays on everything from Viral Meningitis to the World’s Largest Ball of Paint.
In this book, Green thoughtfully reviews more than 40 topics. We are asking that you choose 15 of the essays to read closely and annotate with margin notes showing your reactions, observations, and questions.
You are encouraged to choose a variety of topics. Some essays are light and funny, some deeply moving, but all are thought-provoking. Consider areas of interest, as well as topics about which you know virtually nothing.   
**We highly recommend listening to the author read his essays to you as an audio book while you read as well. Each essay is under 15 minutes.
**Please have a copy of the book that is your own, as we will be using it throughout the school year. 
Have a wonderful summer and see you in August!

AP Literature

Read one of the following novels and come to class prepared to write an essay that will be assigned in class about your book.
  • Blindness by Jose Saramago
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkein
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Incoming Freshman Summer Reading

The following books are recommended by The Evergreen Park Library in conjunction with out 9th grade English teachers:
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  • The Davenports by Krystal Marquis
  • The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros