Novel and Summer Reading Essay

Submitted By WontonWatermelon
Words: 2075
Pages: 9

Honors and Advanced Placement
Summer Reading Project

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

In preparing our students for the advanced language, literature, and composition curriculum, we believe that improving reading ability and maintaining gains made during the school year are important goals. In order to be certain students maintain their reading and critical thinking skills, we are requiring that students participate in a summer reading project. Summer reading will extend the honors/AP English curriculum and provide students with better preparation for advanced level work. This is an opportunity for students to explore areas of school board-approved reading not necessarily taught in the classroom. This will also provide a more comprehensive literary background for those who choose to seek college credit through successful completion of the Advanced Placement examinations.

Our philosophy is that summer reading should be pleasurable and thought-provoking, and should cover a wide range of literary genres. As a result, we have selected a list of board-approved, grade-level appropriate texts for students to read. Although our school library will be closed for the summer, students may avail themselves of the public library, local bookstores, or online retailers in order to obtain copies of their selected texts. Should you have any concerns about the texts your student will read, please contact our main office at 327 –4000.

As they read, students must write a series of double-entry journals demonstrating ability to excerpt text and think critically. The grading rubric, instructions, and a sample journal entry are included for your edification. While we do not oppose student use of the internet and other sources for help in understanding their summer novels, we strongly caution students against substituting others’ ideas for their own. We are interested in the questions and ideas individual students have as they read, not in the standard ideas found in resources such as We encourage students to read carefully and think deeply and independently.

Thank you for supporting rigorous educational standards at our school. We are pleased that your student has accepted the challenge of working in our AP program next year, and we look forward to working with him or her.


Honors / AP Teachers
Clovis East High School


The Assignment:

“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.”

“Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.”
E.M. Forster

The philosophy that is reflected in these quotes serve as both an invitation to those ready to explore great literature, as well as a caution to those who wish to play it safe: I know that you are aware of the fundamentals of good writing and perceptive reading. The challenge for me, then, is to provide you with an experience that will push you even more as a thinker and a writer, building on those skills that you already have begun to refine. The summer reading assignment will help prepare you for success in the course.

Our class motto: Fluency—Insight—Evidence

Summer Assignment Get a copy of both 1984 by George Orwell and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and read them carefully, making many notes in the margins as you read – in other words, annotate the text with copious commentary. It is preferable to have your own copy, but if you must use a library book, use Post-It notes for your commentary, as opposed to writing in the margins. One of your first grades will be based on the amount of commentary in your books. In this course you will always be encouraged to annotate your texts. Attached you will find the journal writing assignment associated with these novels, as well as the rubric. The journal