Summer Reading Assignment


Grade 9: English 140, 141 & 144

Theme: Growing Up

Select ONE book from the following options:

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
  • When I Was Puerto Rican (Esmeralda Santiago)
  • The Sun is Also a Star (Nicola Yoon)
  • Turtles All the Way Down (John Green)

Essential Questions:

  • What does the main character learn about his/her world?
  • What does the main character learn about himself/herself?
  • What significant experiences help shape the main character?
  • Who influences (hurts or helps) the character?

Assignment:

Take notes on the questions regarding the main character's journey throughout the novel, and be prepared to discuss and write about the idea of growing up with support from the novel.


Grade 10: English 130, 131 & 134

Theme: Sources and Abuses of Power

Select ONE book from the following options:

  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky (Mark T. Sullivan)
  • Chinese Cinderella (Adeline Yen Mah)
  • Born a Crime (Trevor Noah)

Essential Questions:

  • What types of power are present in the novel?
  • What human rights are violated by the abuse of power?
  • How does the narrator (or protagonist) respond to the abuses of power?

Assignment:

Identify 3 passages that best exemplify the injustices presented in the novel. Be prepared to discuss and write about these topics, supporting your answers with examples from the novel.


Grade 11: English 120Theme: american Identity

Read the following book:

  • The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek (Kim Michele Richardson)

Essential Questions:

  • According to the novel, what does it mean to be an American?
  • What picture of America does the author paint?
  • What are some positive and negative aspects of American society.
  • How does the author use his/her characters to explore the need/desire to fit in to a group, community, or a family?

Annotations:

Identify at least one passage in the text that:  

  • relate to being a dreamer or a rebel.
  • relate to being an outsider or characters’ desire to belong to a group, family, etc.
  • relate to the American experience for a character or characters.  What is his, her, or their America?
  • relate to one of the Mercy Critical Concerns (Poverty, Racial Equality, Immigration, Nonviolence, Women, Earth).
  • address the idea of storytelling.  What stories are told and how are these stories important?

You will be asked to discuss and write in response to the text when school resumes.


Grade 11: English 121

Theme: American Identity

Read the following book:

  • The Distance Between Us: A Memoir (Reyna Grande)

Essential Questions:

  • What does it mean to be an American?
  • What picture of America does the author paint? What are some positive and negative aspects of American society?
  • How does the author use his/her characters to explore the need/desire to fit into a group, community, or a family?

Consider the essential questions before you read and think about them as you read. Annotate by highlighting, underlining or otherwise notating specific passages.

Assignment:

Identity 3 passages 1/2 page to 1 page in length  that best address one or more of the essential questions. Annotate these passages by highlighting/underlining, and write reactions and connections you notice in the margins. You will be asked to write about an discuss the book when school resumes.


Grade 11: A.P. Language 125

Theme: Foundations of Argument

Read the following book:

  • The Social Dilemma (2020, Netflix original documentary)

Essential Questions:

  • What is the author's central argument, and how does the author support their position?
  • How does this work reflect the values of American culture?

Grade 11: A.P. Language 125

Theme: American Identity

Read the following book:

  • Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

Assignment:

Take careful notes as you read. Consider what is the main argument of Gladwell's book. How does Gladwell create an argument in each chapter? How does he support his claims?

Then, choose 3 passages and respond to the following questions for each of the passages:

  • What is the claim made in the passage? About whom and what, specifically?
  • How is this claim related to and in support of his overall argument in the book?
  • What specific appeals, techniques and evidence does he use to support his claim?
  • How is this support effective?

Have your assignments completed for the first day of class. Be prepared to participate in discussion and writing assignments upon return. 

Link to Assignment HERE.


Grade 12: English 110

Theme: Good Vs. Evil

Read the following book:

  • Grendel (John Gardner)

Essential Questions:

  • What is a monster/hero?
  • How does a society define its norms and values?
  • How does the past influence our decisions, desires and expectations?
  • How do we manage personal freedom when it is in conflict with our responsibility to our community?

Assignment:

Link to Assignment HERE.


Grade 12: English 111

Theme: Appearance vs. Reality

Select ONE book from the following options:

  • The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
  • Thirteen Blue Little Envelopes (Maureen Johnson)

Essential Questions:

  • How does environment impact our value system?
  • What is it about environment that makes us behave in ways that can often be destructive?
  • How is personal identity impacted by the environment around us?
  • Is morality personal or environmental?
  • How does the past influence our decisions, desires and expectations?
  • How do we manage personal freedom when it is in conflict with our responsibility to our community?

These questions will be explored in depth through discussion and writing.


Grade 12: A.P. English

Theme: The impact of environment on our value system

Select ONE book from the following options:

  • Blindness (Jose Saramago)
  • The Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)
  • The Vanishing Half (Brit Bennett)