“We read to know we are not alone.” ~ C. S. Lewis
Why Summer Reading?
There are few negatives associated with summer. No alarms. No bells. No 7th hour lunch, or 1st hour P.E.. No quizzes. No report cards. But there is one negative aspect to summer—what experts call the “summer slide.” This refers to the loss of learning that occurs over the course of a summer, and it is more dramatic than you might think. Studies show that choosing to read in the summer may be the difference between the college-bound student and the non-college bound student. Reading just one book over the course of the summer can minimize the “summer slide,” and keep you on track to reach your potential.
Check out the Abraham Lincoln Award Illinois High School Readers’ Choice Awards, or even the New York Times Best-Sellers List. The New York Times even has a Young Adult Best Sellers List. The important thing is to find a book that appeals to you, and spend some time this summer reading. As Oscar Wilde observed, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
Pick a book and enjoy your summer!
2017 Required Summer Reading – Honors/AP Students
Students who are taking E108 Honors Freshmen English will be reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Please scroll below to see the E108 Summer Reading Assignment.
Students who are taking E208 Honors Sophomore English will be reading 1984 by George Orwell.
Students enrolled in E319 AP Language and Composition will read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Please scroll below to see the E319 Summer Reading Assignments/Expectations.
Students taking E419 AP Literature and Composition will be reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Please scroll below for the E419 Summer Reading Assignment.
For those students enrolled in E429 – AP Language and Composition for Seniors, there will be no summer reading this year.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
1984 by George Orwell
“Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life–the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language–and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.” – Amazon.com Review
How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes—and the literary codes-of the ultimate professional reader, the college professor.
What does it mean when a literary hero is traveling along a dusty road? When he hands a drink to his companion? When he’s drenched in a sudden rain shower?
Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices and form, Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature—a world where a road leads to a quest, a shared meal may signify a communion, and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just a shower-and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned.
Suggested Titles for Summer Reading
For this summer, SHS is encouraging all students to pick a book and read. For most students, there will not be a required reading book. We’ve included some titles that students have enjoyed in the past, but the best book for summer reading is the book that is interesting to you.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.
Esperanza Rising By Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.
The Glass Castle By Jeanette Walls
The Glass Castle is a memoir written by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls, which details he unconventional childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill. Walls begins the book by explaining what has prompted her to write about her family: after she has “made it” and become a successful writer living in New York, she comes across her mother picking trash out of a dumpster and, in shame, slinks down in her taxi seat and pretends not to see or know her. Later, Walls con-fronts her mother, asking what she is supposed to tell people about her parents, and her mother replies, “Just tell the truth. That’s simple enough.”
Lockdown: Escape from Furnace By Alexander Gordon Smith
Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. Together with a bunch of inmates–some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers–Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.
Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand
The inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. From his delinquent childhood to the Berlin Olympics to World War 2, Louis Zamperini embarked on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
Blink By Malcolm Gladwell
Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of “thin slices” of behavior. The key is to rely on our “adaptive unconscious”–a 24/7 mental valet–that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or re-act to a new idea.
City of Bones By Cassandra Clare
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teen-agers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. With-in twenty-four hours, Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
The Enemy By Charlie Higson
In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone sixteen and older is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. Teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food. When a mysterious traveler arrives and offers them safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across Lon-don. But their fight is far from over—the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it. Full of unexpected twists and quick-thinking heroes, The Enemy is a fast-paced, white-knuckle tale of survival in the face of unimaginable horror.
The Selection By Kiera Cass
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of a prince. But for America Singer, being selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself – and realizes that the life she had always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Escape from Camp 14 By Blaine Harden
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk. In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother. Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, looking for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bed-rooms and hallways, it be-comes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Leif Enger’s novel about a father raising his three children in 1960s Minnesota is a breathtaking celebration of family and faith. Through the voice of eleven-year-old Reuben, Peace Like a River tells of the Land family’s cross-country search for Reuben’s older brother, an outlaw charged with murder. Reuben’s dad, Jeremiah, leads the family in an unforgettable journey marked by tragedy, romance, and the unique magic that can be seen in everyday life.
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. Cia Vale is eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies’ chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first trust no one. But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.