Sophomore Honors English Summer Reading
Sophomores in the Honors English program in District 215 are required to read two novels during the summer. Students will be tested on both novels during the first few weeks of school. Please note: Students who do not complete the summer reading assignments may find it difficult to pass the first grading period.
During the reading of the novel students are encouraged to take notes on each. Use the note-taking format that you are most comfortable doing - sticky notes, T-Charts, in-text annotation (if you own the book), etc. Students should focus on Characterization, Setting, Plot, Symbolism, and Theme when taking notes. These notes will be used during discussion and in preparation for the assessments during the first weeks of school.
Book I: Required Reading
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
A sensitive play about Willy Loman, the defeated salesman whose life is not what it seemed to be.
Book II: select one of the following texts
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Huck, in flight from his murderous father, and Jim, in flight from slavery, pilot their raft down the Mississippi River in search of freedom.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Edna Pontellier, a Victorian-era wife and mother, is awakened to the full force of her desire for love and freedom when she becomes enamored with Robert LeBrun, a young man she meets while on vacation.
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The autobiography of an African-American writer, recounting his early years and the harrowing experiences he encountered drifting from Natchez to Chicago to Brooklyn.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Teenaged Holden Caulfield, knowing he is about to be dropped by his school, spends three days and nights in New York City.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Contains the story of Ethan Frome, a New England farmer who is married to a hypochondriac, but in love with his wife's lively cousin, Mattie.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A book burning official in a future fascist state finds out that books are a vital part of a culture he never knew, and he decides to pursue reading, until he is betrayed.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
In 1949 four Chinese women began meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong. They called their gathering the Joy Luck Club. Forty years later they look back and remember
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Classic tale about Hester Prynne, her lover, their child, and Hester's husband, and the effect of sin on the mind and spirit of these characters.
White Fang by Jack London
Chronicles the adventures of a dog who is part wolf as he eventually makes his peace with man in the wilderness of northern Canada.