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Summer Reading 2018

Home Page for Summer Reading 2018, including book selection guide, topic support materials, and more!

Additional Reading Information

Students in Honors and AP English (as a sub-set of "All Students") get to choose one book from the All School Summer Reading List.

ADDITIONALLY, students in Honors or AP English will have a second REQUIRED, ASSIGNED READING, that is not necessarily tied to the yearly theme.  This assigned summer reading has been chosen by the teachers by grade level. 

Click on the tab below that corresponds to your grade/course to find brief information on the required additional reading..


Honors/AP Assigned Reading

9th Grade Honors students read The White Tiger.  

They will also choose one book from the All School Reading List, for a total of two books.


Beginning Discussion Questions

While you read The White Tiger,  consider these questions. You do not have to write answers, and they are not 'homework', but they will be useful to you during your discussion of the book at the beginning of the year.

The White Tiger

1. What makes the narrator’s point of view so provocative, yet charming, despite the fact he is admitting he committed a murder? How does Balram justify his actions and do you, as a reader, feel he convinces you that what he did was right?

2. What does “half-baked” mean in this novel and how does Balram educate himself?

3. Describe his life as a servant and his rise to the “top”. Does Balram have to sacrifice his morals – why or why not?

4. What is the difference between the Light and Darkness in India? How do these two areas play a part in the story, geographically and morally?

5. This novel offers a vivid, yet sometimes sobering image of India. What do you think the author is trying to convey to his readers about the Indian people and their place in society, their government, and how they treat each other (as family, as master/servant, as friends)?

6. What are Balram’s five names and how do they play a part in the story?

7. Despite the fact that this novel is graphic at times and describes a murder, Balram offers humor and a seemingly upbeat attitude toward the reader – where do you see this?

10th Grade Honors students read A Long Way Gone.  

They will also choose one  book from the All School Reading List, for a total of two books.

While not on our Thematic List, A Long Way Gone relates to the theme very well, and has similarities with How Dare the Sun Rise. Honors II students are encouraged to find connections between their required book and their chosen one.

11th Grade Honors students read Snow Falling on Cedars.  

They will also choose one other  book from the All School Reading List, for a total of two books.


12th Grade AP students read The Things They Carried.  

They will also choose one other  book from the All School Reading List, for a total of two books

Get More out of What you Read

5 Ways to Make Summer Reading Less Painful (or More Effective)



1. Pick a the Right Book for You.  (and actually read it).

There are 10 books to choose from this year, and the committee tried hard to get a variety of different kinds of books, in hopes that by letting you pick your book, you'll be more likely to enjoy it.  Ask around (Librarians are a good choice) if you want a recommendation. If you like what you pick, you won't need the rest of this list.

Of course, for some of you, even a book entitled Book that is About Your Exact Favorite Thing in the Entire World is going to seem like homework (or a chore, or a punishment). In that case, read on...

2. Think of it as an opportunity, rather than homework. 

I mean, yes, we are asking you to read a book, and that may not be a choice you'd normally make for vacation, but simply having a positive mindset about doing it will make it less painful.  


If you have any questions at all as to WHY we want people to read over the summer, just ask.


3. Pick a pace that works for you. Pick a place that works for you

If reading's not your favorite, try to spread it out over time;  read a little bit each day instead of putting it off and having to do it all at once.  5 pages (or 15 minutes) per day will get you through any book on the list. 


If reading isn't a normal activity for you, find a comfortable "reading spot" and associate that place with the activity of reading.


If you can overcome Phone Separation Anxiety, set your mobile devices aside (unless you're reading on one, in which case, do your best to prioritize reading and minimize other features that may be distractions).  If you really want to involve your device, there are lots of links on this site to help you with your book.



4. Talk with people about what you are reading.   

Reading doesn't have to be a solitary activity.  Even if you aren't reading the same books, you might be able to share ideas about the themes, or someone may be able to help you understand what you are reading. You, and your friend, will get more value out of a discussion than you would if you just Schmoop. Another option engage via GoodReads.


5. Remember what you've read, so you are ready to discuss it in the fall. 

On that note (ha ha... puns), here's some suggestions about  annotating (the additional act of taking notes on your text as you read...


WHO annotates?

  • You do, whenever you mark your thoughts about what you have read onto a text.

WHERE do you annotate?

  • Directly on to your text.
    • If you don't own your book, use sticky notes, bookmarks, or note cards, or keep a notebook.
    • If it's an audiobook, maybe notecards/journal
    • eReaders usually have great annotation features

WHAT should you annotate?

  • Quotations or passages related to themes and/or details you might need later
  • Words that are unfamiliar to you might need to look up to understand a sentence
  • Questions  that you have about the text, or that you might want to discuss with other people
  • Literary Techniques  similes, metaphors, analogies, etc.

HOW do you annotate?

  • Underline or highlight significant passages, .
  • Circle important words
  • Doodle in the margins
  • Use "?"s to mark stuff you don't understand
  • Whatever works for you

WHEN should you annotate?

  • Any time something really stands out to you as being significant.
  • Any time that it helps you answer a guiding question about the book or our theme.
  • NOT all the time -- the more notes you make, the less useful they eventually become.