Maynard Jackson High School Fine Arts and Communications Academy Summer Required Reading List Each grade level is required to read two or more books and complete the assignments that follow. Books may be obtained at any local bookstore, the

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Maynard Jackson High School

Fine Arts and Communications Academy

Summer Required Reading List

Each grade level is required to read two or more books and complete the assignments that follow. Books may be obtained at any local bookstore, the internet, or public library. All assignments are due the first week of school. Assignments will count as test/project grades for all core classes. Failure to complete assignments will result in failing grades.

Assignments are for your upcoming grade level!


  1. Golding, William. The Lord of the Flies.

A plane of young boys is shot down on a deserted island. With no adults, they must create their own society and survive.

  • Pick one of the following projects to create:

    • Create a topographical map of the island based on the details present. Write a one-page paper explaining the significance of the island to the action in story.

    • Create a mask for Ralph, Jack, Piggy, and Simon. For each mask, write a brief explanation of how the mask reflects the character.

    • Pretend that you are interviewing one of the characters after their rescue. Write a three-page interview.

2. McCormick, Patricia. Sold

A touching story of a young girl sold into sexual slavery in India.

  • Choose one of the following options to complete:

  • Create a piece of art inspired by the book. The form—sculpture, painting, musical performance, etc. is entirely up to you. Chronicle your experience in a brief journal.

  • Imagine that you are going to leave home for a year to support your family. What would you pack? What items would be indispensable? Work those items into somekind of art form—collage, sculpture, poem, song. How does your list compare with what Lakshmi carried?

  • Draw a map of Lakshmi’s travel.


  1. Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

A young boy becomes a boy soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone and murders hundreds of people. When rescued at the age of fifteen, he attempts redemption.

  • Choose one of the following and write a 300-word paper.

        • A Long Way Gone is a book with much to say on the subject of family: family life, family relationships, and family environment. Write a paper that catalogs and characterizes the many different families that Ishmael has belonged to over the course of his young life.

        • Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is an important reference point in A Long Way Gone. Which individual, other than Ishmael, is familiar with it, and why do you think that person is always reading it? Read this play on your own, or at least study itskey speeches and monologues (namely, those mentioned throughout this book),and then explain how the themes and events of Shakespeare’s play might echo Ishmael’s memoir.

        • Early in his account, Ishmael laments how “the war had destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people” (p. 48). Where else does he express this fact, or else suffer from its consequences? Discuss the book’s ongoing struggle between trust and survival. Can these two phenomena coexist?

  1. Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate

A young woman in love is forced to remain single and take care of her family while her sister is ordered to marry her suitor. Can she win him back with her cooking?

  • Choose one of the following assignments:

        • Write a narrative using sensory details about a family tradition that involves food. This assignment requires that you do some research. You need to talk with family members to determine the origin of the family tradition (Where did it start? Why did it start? Who started it? How was it started?). Then, compare and contrast your traditions to the ones in the novel. Be specific.

        • Create a cookbook of literary terms. For each recipe, write the literary device, the sentence or passage where you found it, and then tell why it is important to understanding the story. Also include a picture that depicts the term or passage. You must include the following literary devices: plot, protagonist, antagonist, internal conflict, external conflict, setting, round character, flat character, symbol, theme, metaphor, personification, and three more of your choosing.

Rising 11TH gRADE summer Reading List & Assignments
1. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter.

A woman is cast out of puritan society for having an affair. The identity of the father remains a mystery.

  • Research the Puritans and present your finding via PowerPoint

    • When and why did they come to America? Describe their struggles upon landing in America.

    • Describe their primary beliefs.

    • Describe the gender roles present in the Puritan world.

    • Why is it important to study their society?

    • How does the novel specifically reflect the Puritan society and its hypocrisy?

  • Write an essay comparing Hester to a more contemporary figure/celebrity who has been a focus of scandal.

    • Refer to the handout for directions. Follow your essay rubric.

  • Determine one of the central themes of the novel. On a poster board, write this theme in the center. Around each theme you should place illustrations of four symbols present in the novel and explanations of how each relates to this central theme.

  1. Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage.

The story of a young man’s journey into the civil war.

  • Research the Civil War and present your findings via Brochure

    • When did the Civil War take place?

    • Why did the Civil War take place?

    • Describe the major battles of the war.

    • Describe the public’s reaction to the war.

    • How was the war won and how did it change America?

    • How does the novel accurately reflect a soldier’s experience during the war?

  • Research accounts of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. Create a poster that compares and contrasts the experiences of the soldiers.

  • Research literary realism. Create a chart that gives at least 10 examples of literary realism in the novel. Defend each example in one to two sentences.

  1. Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men.

A man and his mentally challenged cousin wander the countryside to find a job. Once they find one, complications arise.

  • Research The Great Depression. Create a comic book that details at least 10 major aspects of this time. Be sure to include the causes, ramifications, and how it ended.

  • The American Dream may be defined as “Work Hard + Get Rich = Happiness.” Write a 500-word essay defending whether or not George attains the American Dream.

  • Write a 20-line+ poem based on the novel while maintaining its tone and theme.


  1. Tolkein, JRR. The Hobbit.

Bilbo Baggins is called on an adventure by Gandalf, the wizard, to retrieve the precious ring stolen by Smaug, an evil dragon. If he doesn’t, civilization may fail.

  • Research the Monomyth. In PowerPoint, for each of the seventeen stages, create a slide and summarize how the novel meets or does not meet the definition of this stage. (Information on the monomyth may be researched on Wikipedia.)

  1. Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go.

The students of Halisham are special—so special that they must always look back and never forward. Set in a dystopian England, this novel questions science and the cruelty of human beings.

  • Research cloning. Create a publication (any type) that does the following:

    • Defines cloning

    • Describes the types of cloning

    • Defends the purposes of cloning

    • Describes the ethical problems of cloning

    • Gives four real examples of cloning

    • Defends your position of whether or not humans should be cloned

  • In a recent interview, Ishiguro talked about Never Let Me Go: “There are things I am more interested in than the clone thing. How are they trying to find their place in the world and make sense of their lives? To what extent can they transcend their fate? As time starts to run out, what are the things that really matter? Most of the things that concern them concern us all, but with them it is concertinaed into this relatively short period of time” (Wroe). Write a 400-word essay in which you explore how the novel teaches the reader about the human experience.  

  1. Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.

The hauntingly brutal love story of Heathcliff and Catherine. A classic.

  • Complete a 500-word comprehensive essay on the following topic:

    1. Wuthering Heights is said to be novel without a hero or heroine. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? (DO NOT USE “I” IN THIS ESSAY!)

Rising Senior AP-Literature Required Reading

  1. Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

In Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Red-Headed League," Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson both observe Jabez Wilson carefully, yet their differing interpretations of the same details reveal the difference between a "Good Reader" and a "Bad Reader." Watson can only describe what he sees; Holmes has the knowledge to interpret what he sees, to draw conclusions, and to solve the mystery.

Understanding literature need no longer be a mystery -- Thomas Foster's book will help transform you from a naive, sometimes confused Watson to an insightful, literary Holmes. Professors and other informed readers see symbols, archetypes, and patterns because those things are there -- if you have learned to look for them. As Foster says, you learn to recognize the literary conventions the "same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice." (xiv).

Note to students: These short writing assignments will let you practice your literary analysis and they will help me get to know you and your literary tastes. Whenever I ask for an example from literature, you may use short stories, novels, plays, or films (Yes, film is a literary genre). If your literary repertoire is thin and undeveloped, use the Appendix to jog your memory or to select additional works to explore. At the very least, watch some of the "Movies to Read" that are listed on pages 293-294. Please note that your responses should be paragraphs -- not pages!

Even though this is analytical writing, you may use "I" if you deem it important to do so; remember, however, that most uses of "I" are just padding. For example, "I think the wolf is the most important character in 'Little Red Ridinghood'" is padded. As you compose each written response, re-phrase the prompt as part of your answer. In other words, I should be able to tell which question you are answering without referring back to the prompts.

Concerning mechanics, pay special attention to pronouns. Make antecedents clear. Say Foster first; not "he." Remember to capitalize and punctuate titles properly for each genre.

Introduction: How'd He Do That?
How do memory, symbol, and pattern affect the reading of literature? How does the recognition of patterns make it easier to read complicated literature? Discuss a time when your appreciation of a literary work was enhanced by understanding symbol or pattern.

Chapter 1 -- Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It's Not)
List the five aspects of the QUEST and then apply them to something you have read (or viewed) in the form used on pages 3-5.

Chapter 2 -- Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion
Choose a meal from a literary work and apply the ideas of Chapter 2 to this literary depiction.

Chapter 3: --Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires
What are the essentials of the Vampire story? Apply this to a literary work you have read or viewed.

Chapter 4 -- If It's Square, It's a Sonnet
Select three sonnets and show which form they are. Discuss how their content reflects the form. (Submit copies of the sonnets, marked to show your analysis).

Chapter 5 --Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?
Define intertextuality. Discuss three examples that have helped you in reading specific works.

Chapter 6 -- When in Doubt, It's from Shakespeare...
Discuss a work that you are familiar with that alludes to or reflects Shakespeare. Show how the author uses this connection thematically. Read pages 44-46 carefully. In these pages, Foster shows how Fugard reflects Shakespeare through both plot and theme. In your discussion, focus on theme.

Chapter 7 -- ...Or the Bible
Read "Araby" (available here). Discuss Biblical allusions that Foster does not mention. Look at the example of the "two great jars." Be creative and imaginative in these connections.

Chapter 8 -- Hanseldee and Greteldum
Think of a work of literature that reflects a fairy tale. Discuss the parallels. Does it create irony or deepen appreciation?

Chapter 9 -- It's Greek to Me
Write a free verse poem derived or inspired by characters or situations from Greek mythology. Be prepared to share your poem with the class. Note that there are extensive links to classical mythology on my Classics page.

Chapter 10 -- It's More Than Just Rain or Snow
Discuss the importance of weather in a specific literary work, not in terms of plot.

Interlude -- Does He Mean That

Chapter 11 --...More Than It's Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence
Present examples of the two kinds of violence found in literature. Show how the effects are different.

Chapter 12 -- Is That a Symbol?
Use the process described on page 106 and investigate the symbolism of the fence in "Araby." (Mangan's sister stands behind it.)

Chapter 13 -- It's All Political
Assume that Foster is right and "it is all political." Use his criteria to show that one of the major works assigned to you as a freshman is political.

Chapter 14 -- Yes, She's a Christ Figure, Too
Apply the criteria on page 119 to a major character in a significant literary work. Try to choose a character that will have many matches. This is a particularly apt tool for analyzing film -- for example, Star Wars, Cool Hand Luke, Excalibur, Malcolm X, Braveheart, Spartacus, Gladiator and Ben-Hur.

Chapter 15 -- Flights of Fancy
Select a literary work in which flight signifies escape or freedom. Explain in detail.

Chapter 16 -- It's All About Sex...
Chapter 17 -- ...Except the Sex

OK ..the sex chapters. The key idea from this chapter is that "scenes in which sex is coded rather than explicit can work at multiple levels and sometimes be more intense that literal depictions" (141). In other words, sex is often suggested with much more art and effort than it is described, and, if the author is doing his job, it reflects and creates theme or character. Choose a novel or movie in which sex is suggested, but not described, and discuss how the relationship is suggested and how this implication affects the theme or develops characterization.

Chapter 18 -- If She Comes Up, It's Baptism
Think of a "baptism scene" from a significant literary work. How was the character different after the experience? Discuss.

Chapter 19 -- Geography Matters...
Discuss at least four different aspects of a specific literary work that Foster would classify under "geography."

Chapter 20 -- ...So Does Season
Find a poem that mentions a specific season. Then discuss how the poet uses the season in a meaningful, traditional, or unusual way. (Submit a copy of the poem with your analysis.)

Interlude -- One Story
Write your own definition for archetype. Then identify an archetypal story and apply it to a literary work with which you are familiar.

Chapter 21 -- Marked for Greatness
Figure out Harry Potter's scar. If you aren't familiar with Harry Potter, select another character with a physical imperfection and analyze its implications for characterization.

Chapter 22 -- He's Blind for a Reason, You Know
Chapter 23 -- It's Never Just Heart Disease...
Chapter 24 -- ...And Rarely Just Illness

Recall two characters who died of a disease in a literary work. Consider how these deaths reflect the "principles governing the use of disease in literature" (215-217). Discuss the effectiveness of the death as related to plot, theme, or symbolism.

Chapter 25 -- Don't Read with Your Eyes
After reading Chapter 25, choose a scene or episode from a novel, play or epic written before the twentieth century. Contrast how it could be viewed by a reader from the twenty-first century with how it might be viewed by a contemporary reader. Focus on specific assumptions that the author makes, assumptions that would not make it in this century.

Chapter 26 -- Is He Serious? And Other Ironies
Select an ironic literary work and explain the multivocal nature of the irony in the work.

Chapter 27 -- A Test Case
Read "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield, the short story starting on page 245. Complete the exercise on pages 265-266, following the directions exactly. Then compare your writing with the three examples. How did you do? What does the essay that follows comparing Laura with Persephone add to your appreciation of Mansfield's story?

Choose a motif not discussed in this book (as the horse reference on page 280) and note its appearance in three or four different works. What does this idea seem to signify?

  1. Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man.

  • Choose one of the following assignments and complete a well-supported essay. Each body paragraph should be between twelve to sixteen sentences! You must cite at least three secondary sources as well as your primary source.

    • How is the novel an example of bildungsroman?

    • How does the novel follow the tenets of existential philosophy?

    • How does the novel challenge the workings of democracy?

  1. Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.

  • Complete a brochure, PowerPoint, or booklet with the following information:

    • How is the novel an example of Romantic or Gothic literature?

    • A brief and non-plagiarized biography of the author.

    • What is the comment Bronte wanted to make about love?

    • The Role of Social Class

      • Describe the social class of the Earnshaws, the Lintons, and Heathcliff. Which are of a higher social class? Why is this significant?

      • How does social class motivate Catherine's actions? How does she try to change her class?

      • How does Heathcliff's social class influence the way he is treated and his own actions? How does Heathcliff's class change?

      • What is the role of class in the novel? How do tensions in the book result from class struggles?

      • What role do the servants Nelly, Joseph, and Zillah play in the novel?

    • The Significance of Setting

      • Describe the setting of the Yorkshire moors.

      • Describe the houses Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Include descriptions of architecture and the surrounding landscape. Why are they across from one another?

      • How do the houses reflect their inhabitants?

      • Do the houses symbolize their inhabitants? Give examples.

      • How do the settings influence the novel's characters?

    • Nature v. Nurture

      • How does Heathcliff’s past influence his character?

      • How the patriarch’s obvious favoritism influence each character’s personality and actions in childhood and adulthood?

      • How does the cycle of abuse continue with other generations?

      • How does the narrator interpret the behavior of the others?

      • Are the characters capable of changing their behavior?

      • Does the reader pity or abhor the characters? Why?

  • Complete a comprehensive essay on the following topic:

    • Wuthering Heights is said to be novel without a hero or heroine. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? (DO NOT USE “I” IN THIS ESSAY!)

Directions for Writing Your Papers
  1. Thesis:

You must have a specific thesis when writing a paper. Your thesis must be opinion-based and provable.

  1. Heading

Your paper should have a heading in the upper left-hand corner. Please include the following:




  1. Title

Please title your paper. Be creative when giving your paper a title. Hint: “Character Analysis” is not an original title! Title should be centered. DO NOT capitalize, underline, or use quotation marks on your paper’s title. If you use the title of the novel in the title of your paper underline only the title of the novel.

  1. Introductory Paragraph: Start out broad and narrow to thesis.

Definition or general statement of topic.

Background of topic

Narrow down to topic

Specific Thesis Statement

  1. Body Paragraphs

Each paragraph should have strong topic sentence.

Each paragraph should contain three quotes or quote bits to illustrate a quality or characteristic. Quotes are like pictures in a book. They do not tell the story; they illustrate it. You are the storyteller. Do not depend on your quotes to prove your point. What you say about your quote (how you logically tie your quotes into your argument) should prove your point. You should be able to take your quotes out of your paper and the logic and sense of your point should still be there. You need to discuss each quote and show how it illustrates the point you are making. Never expect the reader to do this for himself. You must show the reader why the particular quote you chose is relevant to the point you are making. This means you will always discuss each quote you use to show how it illustrates you point.

The three steps in proving a point are:

  1. Make a statement and give context to your quote.

  2. Use a quote or quote bit to illustrate your point

  3. Analysis: logically show the reader how the particular quote or example proves your point

  1. Conclusion Paragraph

Restate Thesis

Broaden out to discuss the character.

Paragraph should have at least 3 sentences.

Remember this is the last thing your reader reads, so

make it memorable.

  1. Helpful Hints

  1. Always write in present tense (says not said, does not did, etc.)

  2. Always use lead-ins before each quote (ex. In Chapter Three, Dimmesdale says to Chillingworth,”...” (p. 67).

  3. Topic sentences should refer back to your thesis statement. Usually a thesis statement will mention your topic sentence subjects in the order in which they occur in the body of your paper.

  4. Don’t use “I” or “I believe” or “you”

  5. Always discuss each quote and its significance.

  6. Be careful of telling too much of the story, but some clarification is necessary. Tell the reader what was going on when the quote was said. Think of the reader as someone who has not read the story, but is intelligent. The reader is a friend of yours, not the teacher. So don’t assume anything.

  7. Use of the semi-colon.

Use a semicolon to join parts of a compound sentence if no coordinating conjunction is used.

Example: Secret Service agents scanned the area; everything seemed in order.

Use a semi-colon before a conjunctive adverb that joins clauses of a compound sentence.

Example: Three local factories have closed; consequently, many people have been laid off.

  1. Did you really prove your thesis?

Read your paper over, or better yet, have someone else read your paper. Does it make sense?
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domain -> Grady Brag Sheet 2014-2015 As of April 22nd, 2015 Academics and Scholarships
domain -> April 16, 2012 It's that time of year: nahs has tons of activities under way and we are fortunate to have tons of great news about our students. So get ready to read! Please scroll through to the end so that you know all things nahs
domain -> Grady Brag Sheet 2014-2015 As of April 17th, 2015 Academics and Scholarships
domain -> Burgess-Peterson Academy 2016-2017 procedural guide
domain -> Target 2021 Student Data: Fall 2015
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domain -> Course Syllabus Health Education 8th Grade
domain -> We do, however, strongly encourage all students enrolled in the ap program take at least one ap exam
domain -> Henry W. Grady High School Advanced Placement Biology Syllabus 2011-2012
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