Thankfully, after ten stressful months of hard work, it is finally summer vacation, and with summer break comes summer reading. Luckily, in this article the designated summer reading books are briefly discussed, along with useful links that will hopefully make the reading easier.
Incoming Freshmen: All ninth graders are required to read “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway, along with another book of choice from the Suggested Summer Reading List. In addition to those two books, the freshmen taking English 1 Honors or English 1 Pre-IB are also required to read “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury.
“The Old Man and the Sea” tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago, and his struggle with a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. Hemingway’s masterpiece has received widespread recognition and was even made into a film. For a more detailed summary on the book click here, and for more information on the movie click here.
“The Illustrated Man” is a scientific fiction that explores the nature of mankind through a total of 18 short stories. Like “The Old Man and the Sea”, this book was also made into a film and has received recognition for its perception on mankind. For more information on the book click here, and for information the movie click here.
“Illustrated Man is one of the more captivating books I’ve read. It compiles all of these crazy, yet well thought out stories that totally immerse the reader into the plot,” junior Olivia Field said.
Sophomores: 10th graders taking regular or honors English are required to read two of the following:
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carrol
“Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt
“Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom
“Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracey Chevalier
“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier
The sophomores taking Pre-IB/AP English are required to read “How to Read Literature like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster, “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, and “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. For more information on sophomore reading requirements click here.
Juniors: 11th graders not taking honors, AP, or IB English are required to read two of the following:
“1984” by George Orwell
“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison
“A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway
“Main Street” by Sinclair Lewis
“Hiroshima” by John Hersey
“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane
While Honor English students are required to read three of the following options:
“The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean
“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway
“Finding Manana” by Mirta Ojito
“Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut
“Amy and Isabelle” by Elizabeth Strout
“Kissing in Manhattan” by David Schickler
“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
“Kindred” by Octavia Cutler
“One True Thing” by Anna Quindlen
Juniors taking AP or IB English are required to read only “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. This book tells the story of a boy named Amir and his complicated and heartbreaking friendship with his father’s servant named Hassan. For a detailed summary click here, and for information on the film version of the story click here.
“The Kite Runner is Hosseini’s brilliant representation of human nature,” senior Erick Rivera said.
Seniors: Like every previous year, even the seniors have a summer reading requirement. The seniors taking regular English 4 are required to read 2 of the following options, while those taking Honors English 4 are required to read 3:
“Thinking in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia
“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane
“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
“Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“The Color of Water” by James McBride
“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch
“A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah
“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan
IB Seniors are required to read both “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin and “1984” by George Orwell. They are also required to complete an assignment based on the reading that is explained here.
“The Awakening” is a novel centered around Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile with her unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood. For a summary on the story click here.
“1948” is a dystopian novel set in a province of the superstate Oceania overcome by corrupt English Socialism. For a summary on the book click here.
Even though summer reading can be seen as an unnecessary burden the reading is not optional and should still be completed.