Summer Reading - Required Classes

Summer reading is required for students in Grade 9 Honors English, Grade 10 Honors English, AP Literature and AP Language. Learn more about the required summer readings for these specific classes:

Grade 9 Honors English

Download a copy of the English 9H Summer 2022 Reading Assignment (PDF) 

Students who take Honors English in Grade 9 are encouraged to prepare for a rigorous course in literary analysis through reading, writing, and discussion.  In concordance with these objectives, students must read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

During the second week of school, each honors student should be prepared to engage in critical analysis. 

The essential question for the English 9 curriculum is: How are stories about other people stories about me?  The human experience will be examined. 

Your commitment to the summer reading assignments is an integral part of the 9H curriculum.  It reflects your work ethic and motivation. Acceptance into the program is extremely competitive. Students are expected to stay enrolled in the course. Withdrawal from 9H will bring into question a student’s willingness to go above and beyond which may impact acceptance into 10H.


  1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    While reading The Good Earth, the terrors, the passions, the ambitions, and the rewards of life should be examined.  It is a universal tale of the destiny of man.  At the heart of the story is the corrupting power of wealth.
    1. Assignment: In an essay of approximately 500 words, discuss how Wang Lung’s moral judgments are blurred by his riches. The essay should be a five paragraph construction. This should include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should address a different aspect of Wang’s blurred judgment. Be sure to use blended textual evidence; all quotes should be properly documented.
    2. Due Date: This assignment is due September 19.

  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
    Great Expectations traces the life of Pip from childhood to adulthood. As he aspires to become a gentleman, he experiences guilt and shame. His adversity reminds him of his life before he had such “great expectations.” Students should consider setting, character development, conflict, and theme. 
    1. Assignment: Students are expected to annotate the text using post-it notes which will be used for an in-class discussion.
    2. Due Date: Reading should be completed by September 26.


Please email Mrs. D’Arco at if you have any questions!

Grade 10 Honors English

Download a copy of the English 10H Summer 2022 Reading Assigment (PDF) 

You will have a total of 3 assignments to complete over the summer. All work must be uploaded to Teams by the specified due dates.

Reading List

  1. They Say/I Say 2E (with readings): You will find a PDF of They Say/I Say on Teams. 
  2. Independent Reading Choice: You may select any book of your choice.


All work must be typed, Times New Roman, 12 pt., 1.5 or 2 spacing. Heading must be MLA standard All work must be proofread, edited, and must follow the conventions of standard written English. These assignments will count in your first quarter grades. Failure to complete these assignments could result in your removal from English Honors.


Assignments 1 & 2

We will be working with They Say/I Say. Please read pages 1-51, and complete assignments 1 and 2. (We have the attached PDF of chapters to teams, so you do not have to purchase book!)

Read the following:

  • Introduction: Entering the Conversation
  • Part 1: “They Say"
    • Chapter One, “THEY SAY," page 19 – Starting with What Others Are Saying
    • Chapter Two, “HER POINT IS," page 30 – The Art of Summarizing
    • Chapter Three, “AS HE HIMSELF PUTS IT,” page 42 – The Art of Quoting

Assignment 1

  1. Due: Friday, July 22:  Write a one-page summary on Chapter Two: “Her Point Is” – The Art of Summarizing. You are summarizing the chapter on summarizing using the techniques within the chapter. Clever, right?!

Assignment 2

  1. Due: Friday, August 12: On page 50, exercise #1 asks you to find a published piece of writing that quotes somethings that “they say,". How has the writer integrated the quotations into his or her own text? See full explanation on the page.

Assignment 3 (Independent Reading)

  • Your second reading is a free choice.  It can be either fiction or non-fiction.  You will prepare a 2-3 minute book-talk that will include a one slide PowerPoint presentation. Please upload your slide to Teams by August 30. Presentations will begin the first or second week of school. Your teacher will provide you with an exact date.
  • Prepare your discussion using these questions as a guide only:
    • What is the title of the book?
    • Who is the author? What other books has this author written?
    • What is the general plot of the story (without giving away too much information)?
    • Who is the main character of the story? Who is the most interesting character of the story? Explain both.
    • Choose two short passages from the story to read to the class. Why did you choose these passages? What makes them important to the overall story?
    • Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?
    • What was your overall impression / critique of the book?
    • What age / gender do you think would be the most interested in this type of story?
    • What lesson can we learn from this story? How can reading this book make us a better person / society?
    • Is there anything else you would like us to know about this author / book?


Please email Mrs. Murphy at or Mrs. McKenna at over the summer if you have any questions.

AP Language

Download a copy of the AP Language Summer 2022 Reading Assignment (PDF) 

These assessments will be the first major grades of the year.  Please understand that failure to complete all aspects of the summer reading project by the required date will result in your immediate removal from the program.  If you have any questions during the summer, you may e-mail us, and we will be glad to help you. We look forward to working with you in the fall.


  1. The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar
    1. Please purchase Erica Meltzer’s The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar (ISBN-10: 1733589538). We will work through this entire book in preparation for your spring SAT.
    2. Assignment:
      1. In a 5-subject spiral notebook that you will need for class, label the 2nd section “SAT Writing.”
      2. Read, annotate, answer all questions, and take notes into the grammar section of your notebook on chapters 1-4.
    3. Due Date: Notes will be due on July 15.
  2. Thank You for Arguing, Third Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

    1. Please purchase Jay Hutchinson’s Thank You for Arguing, Third Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion (ISBN-13: 9780804189934).

    2. Assignment: Read and take notes on the big ideas in the first section of the text called Offense (Chapter 1-13) in the 3rd section of your notebook to be labeled “Argument.” Focus notes on the process of argumentation and rhetoric.

    3. Due Date: This must be completed by August 15.


Please email Mr. Schwark at or Mr. Scuccimarra at if you have any questions!

AP Literature

Download a copy of the AP Literature Summer 2022 Reading Assignment (PDF)

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” — Anais Nin

Your summer assignment is a chance for you to read a variety of literature, explore ideas, and write in response to what you are reading. All summer work is due the first Friday of school.

AP Literature is college; it is not preparation for college. If you are looking for ways around these summer assignments, you should not enroll in this class.

Students who do not complete the summer reading—all of it, as spelled out by these guidelines—will not be eligible to take the course.


  1. Part 1: Organization
    1. Watch “How I Take Notes” on YouTube by StudyTee; I want you to think about how you can benefit from this organization method that you will use this summer and throughout the school year. You may also watch any video on sketch notes or bullet notes that you prefer.
    2. Assignment: Get a notebook of your choice with the type of paper you prefer (lined, graph, blank, bullet point, etc. NO SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS!) We will use this notebook to create notes for the major works that we study and for poetry journals, so choose something that you not only like but that will also be sturdy enough for the year. Make it your own. Decorate it if you like, or keep it clean and clear.
    3. Why This is Important: The process of learning something often starts out feeling disorganized and unwieldy; the most important aspects are not always salient. Consolidation helps organize and solidify learning. This notebook will serve as a means to consolidate what you have learned throughout the year, allowing you to retrieve the significant progress we make.

  2. Part II: Novels
    1.  You will read two novels:
      1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
      2. Your choice from the following (you will need to sign up for the choice novel by the end of this school year):
        • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
        • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
        • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
        • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Aditchie
        • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
        • There, There by Tommy Orange
        • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
        • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
        • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
        • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    2. Assignment: Read both assigned novels. These two pieces are substantial in length and merit, and we save a great deal of time during the school year reading these over the summer. Create three (3) pages of notes about each book. How you organize these notes is up to you. You have the freedom to organize your ideas, questions, record of reading, annotations any way you like. Your pages must include text detail.
    3. Why This is Important: A mature thinker chooses and develops his or her own criteria in order to evaluate texts. I respect your ability to make connections to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras and personal experiences, so expand your thinking.
    4. Due Dates: Novel 1 - The Handmaid's Tale and notes are due July 15; Novel 2 and notes are due August 15.

  3. Part III: Please choose two of the following:
    • Visit a quiet spot on a beach, by a stream, or by a lake. Spend an hour in thought and record your thoughts in a journal or notebook.
    • Spend an evening playing board games or cards with your family or friends.
    • Repair or build something or do some kind of maintenance (changing oil, rotating tires).
    • Prepare a meal for your family and then enjoy it with them.
    • Work at a shelter, food pantry, or other organization preparing or delivering food.
    • Attend the theatre (not the movie theater) to see a live production.
    • Talk with a grandparent or older adult about life in their younger years. Count this as two activities if you record it on StoryCorps.
    • Go for a hike.
    • Spend a day without electronics (no cell phones, iPods, TVs, etc.). I would love for everyone to try this.
    • Attend a summer festival.
    • Do something you don’t normally do; the point is to try new things in order to experience the world through a different lens.


Please email Denise Trach at if you have any questions!