Bored: Irony and Grading Rubric Essay

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English 9 Summer Reading
June 2014

Dear Student:
Welcome to high school English! As you may already know, there is a required summer reading novel for all incoming ninth graders. The novel that you received at the end of eighth grade, Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald, and the accompanying summer reading packet are both due on September 8, 2014. Please make sure that you have read, understood and completed all of the necessary course work by this date. This assignment will be your first grade for English 9 and will help me gauge your skills as a reader and writer.
The following packet has various activities for you to complete as you read, and after you read Swallowing Stones. Parts 1, 2, 3, and 5 of the packet should be completed as you read the novel. Parts 4, 6, and 7 should be completed after you read the novel. Make sure to read the directions for each part of the packet as they change for different activities. Packets that do not follow directions will earn a lower grade or will need to be re-done.
If you accidentally lose your summer reading packet, you may check on the school website,, for an additional copy. As electronic copies of the summer reading assignment are available online, there is no excuse to not have this assignment done.
Also, if you have questions about this assignment, please email me at I will check my email over the summer, twice weekly, and will respond as soon as I can. I would be happy to help in any way I can.
Have a wonderful summer break and enjoy the novel. I am very excited to meet you and begin our work together in the fall!

Mrs. Lombardo
English 9

Name: ________________________________________
Due Date: September 8, 2014

Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald
English 9 Summer Reading Assignment

Part 1: Character Analysis
Directions: In the middle column, provide a bulleted description of each character listed in the left hand column. Provide the page numbers, in parenthesis at the end of your bullets, where you found this information. In the right hand column, write a couple of sentences to explain the importance of each character is in the novel. This section may also contain page numbers, for reference, if necessary. Refer to Grading Rubric A for grading information on this section.

Amy Ruggerio



Meredith Ward

Description of Character

Why is this character in the novel?

“The Hangman”

Dave Zelinski

Jason Freidman



Annie Rico


Swallowing Stones Summer Reading Assignment 2
English 9—Lombardo

Part 2: Additional Character Analysis
Directions: Following the directions for the chart in Part 1, identify at least three more supporting characters in Swallowing Stones. If you would like to identify more, the space is provided. Refer to Grading Rubric A for grading information on this section.


Description of Character

Why is this character in the novel?

Swallowing Stones Summer Reading Assignment 3
English 9—Lombardo

Part 3: Compare/ Contrast the Main Characters
Directions: Using the graphic organizer provided, compare and contrast the main characters of the novel, Michael and Jenna. You may bullet this section, but you also must provide page numbers, for your evidence, in parenthesis at the end of each bullet. Refer to Grading
Rubric A for grading information on this section.

Similarities/Differences between Michael and Jenna

Michael & Jenna


Swallowing Stones Summer Reading Assignment 4
English 9—Lombardo

Part 4: Significance of the Title
Directions: The title of the summer reading novel, Swallowing Stones, has multiple meanings based on context. Read the bolded prompt in each box. Using complete sentences, provide the meaning of the title for, each prompt, in its corresponding box. You must provide evidence from the text with page numbers in