English 10 Honors Summer Work

English 10 Honors Summer Reading Assignment


Welcome to Honors English 10!  Reading is essential to your development as a student.  You develop vocabulary, grammar, thinking and analytical skills as you read.  You also develop important human values such as empathy, compassion, and understanding as you enter the world of the characters and confront the challenges and choices they face. At the very least, you need to complete your summer reading assignment, but do yourself a favor and read a few extra books this summer! The books below may be obtained at a bookstore or the Calumet City library (check with the librarian.) They can also be ordered online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

Students enrolled in this course will be required to read TWO (2) selections:

  1. Everyone will read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  This is a classic American novel by one of our most famous authors.  The story is set during the Great Depression and tells the tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. Remember that the story takes place in the 1930s on a ranch, and that the characters act, speak and think the way people would have during that time.  Your job is to enter into their world and try to understand how they experience what happens to them in the story.  You must complete the assignment for Of Mice and Men that is attached to this handout (p. 5 )  THIS WILL BE DUE TO TURNITIN.com prior to the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! In addition, there will be a test over the book during the first week of school.
  2. Each of you will pick a second book from the list that follows.  These are current books, and many were written specifically for young adults.  The summaries/reviews provided for each book are from www.amazon.com or www.goodreads.com.   You will write an in-class essay for your book the first week of school.  I will give you the prompt the first day of class, and you must be prepared to write an essay for your book the following day.  Keep in mind that you will need QUOTES to support the arguments in your essays, so PLEASE be sure to keep a list of quotes (and page numbers) about the topics listed on the top of the next page (p. 2.) If you are reading an ebook, be sure to look up how to cite a quote (generally by chapter).

You will need to create a turnitin.com account to submit your Of Mice and Men papers before school begins.

  1. Go to turnitin.com
  • If you don’t already have an account from freshman year- select CREATE ACCOUNT – follow all required steps to create an account. Write your Email and Password somewhere you won’t forget it.

  • If you already have an account from freshman year, log in as usual and start with #2.

   2. Choose to Enroll in a Class – you will be asked for CLASS ID and ENROLLMENT KEY to enroll in the course.

CLASS ID – 18141008                                     Enrollment Key – summer2018

   3. When you are ready to submit your paper, log in, follow directions to submit a paper – you will receive a confirmation Email that will let you know it has been successfully uploaded.

Please email your teacher (Ms. Isberg or Ms. Hood) with any questions that may arise as you write and submit this paper.


Consider the following topics as you read, and take notes and collect quotes for each category.  You will be able to use these notes to assist you in writing your in-class essay:

  • Choose at least three themes. What is the author trying to say about life? What did the author want you to understand about life after reading his/her book? How is the theme evident in the book? How does the author use character development or conflict to illustrate this message?
  • Consider the genre or category of the novel. Is it a mystery? Realistic fiction? Historical fiction? Dystopian (a book that shows an imaginary world that is a terrible place such as The Hunger Games)? Once you have decided on the genre of your novel (you can look on www.amazon.com to find this out), you may want to look up the features of the genre to help you focus on certain characteristics while reading. For example, in a historical novel, how well is the era conveyed?  In a mystery, how effective are clues and use of suspense?  In a dystopian novel, who is punished in the society and why?
  • Consider the characters. How did they change? Why? Focus in particular on relationships between characters. How do they affect each other? Is there redemption for any characters? When you consider character development, one of the best things to look at is the choices a character makes. Why did the character make that choice? What were the consequences (positive or negative)? What motivated the character to make that choice?
  • Consider structure. Is it chronological (in time order)? Does the narrator use flashbacks or multiple points of view? How is foreshadowing used? Perhaps the author uses an unusual format such as letters or use of primary historical documents, such as an actual newspaper article about the event.
  • Consider language and style. Was dialogue realistic? Was language poetic? How would you characterize the author’s style? How would you compare it to another author you have read?

Novels to Choose From:

1. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived. But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

2. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Rashad Butler and Quinn Collins are two young men, one black and one white, whose lives are forever changed by an act of extreme police brutality. Rashad wakes up in a hospital. Quinn saw how he got there. And so did the video camera that taped the cop beating Rashad senseless into the pavement.

Thus begins ALL AMERICAN BOYS, written in tandem by two of our great literary talents, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The story is told in Rashad and Quinn’s alternating perspectives, as they grapple with the complications that spin out of this violent moment and reverberate in their families, school, and town. Over the course of one week, Rashad tries to find the strength to accept his role as the symbolic figure of the community’s response to police brutality, and Quinn tries to decide where he belongs in a town bitterly divided by racial tension.  Ultimately, the two narratives weave back together, in the moment in which the two boys, now changed, can actually see each other—the first step for healing and understanding in a country still deeply sick with racial injustice. Reynolds pens the voice of Rashad, and Kiely has taken the voice of Quinn.

3. Dodger by Terry Pratchett

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl--not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger's encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy and humor intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

5. Legend by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles.  Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

6. Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda

In 2009, when Raquel Cepeda almost lost her estranged father to heart disease, she was terrified she’d never know the truth about her ancestry. Every time she looked in the mirror, Cepeda saw a mystery—a tapestry of races and ethnicities that came together in an ambiguous mix. With time running out, she decided to embark on an archaeological dig of sorts by using the science of ancestral DNA testing to excavate everything she could about her genetic history.

Digging through memories long buried, she embarks upon a journey not only into her ancestry but also into her own history. Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, she was sent to live with her maternal grandparents in the Paraíso (Paradise) district in Santo Domingo while still a baby. It proved to be an idyllic reprieve in her otherwise fraught childhood. Paraíso came to mean family, home, belonging. When Cepeda returned to the US, she discovered her family constellation had changed. Her mother had a new, abusive boyfriend, who relocated the family to San Francisco. When that relationship fell apart, Cepeda found herself back in New York City with her father and European stepmother: attending tennis lessons and Catholic schools; fighting vicious battles with her father, who discouraged her from expressing the Dominican part of her hyphenated identity; and immersed in the ’80s hip-hop culture of uptown Manhattan. It was in these streets, through the prism of hip-hop and the sometimes loving embrace of her community, that Cepeda constructed her own identity.

Years later, when Cepeda had become a successful journalist and documentary filmmaker, the strands of her DNA would take her further, across the globe and into history. Who were her ancestors? How did they—and she—become Latina? Her journey, as the most unforgettable ones often do, would lead her to places she hadn’t expected to go. With a vibrant lyrical prose and fierce honesty, Cepeda parses concepts of race, identity, and ancestral DNA among Latinos by using her own Dominican-American story as one example, and in the process arrives at some sort of peace with her father.

7. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay.

8. Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins) by Andrew Lane

It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.

9. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s still would be open. High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, like "one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintery in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in a year’s worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

10. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

English 10 Honors - Of Mice and Men Assignment

This assignment is due in August and must be submitted to turnitin.com before school begins;  late work will not be accepted!  Students should also be prepared for a test over the book during the first week of school.

Responses to the questions must be typed in Times New Roman using 12 point font, double-spaced, and proofread carefully.  Your work will be worth 40 points.  Paragraphs must be at least 8-10 sentences in length (not counting quotes.)

1. Discuss two different parts of the book that provoked an emotional response from you (anger, sympathy, sadness, surprise, frustration, fear, anxiety, etc.).  Explain what happened in the story and why it made you feel the way it did. Include specific examples from the book AND at least one quotation from the book followed by a properly formatted MLA parenthetical citation (Steinbeck and the page number) – ex. (Steinbeck 3) (You need 2 paragraphs each with a different emotional response)

2. Theme in a novel is the insight into life that the story helps the reader understand. What did you understand better about life after reading the book?  Theme is not a topic or subject.  (For example, “racism” is NOT a theme; it’s a subject. “Racism warps and destroys the lives of its victims” IS a theme.) Identify two different themes in Of Mice and Men. Explain how these themes are demonstrated in the story.  Include specific examples from the book AND at least one quotation from the book followed by a properly formatted MLA parenthetical citation.  (You need 2 paragraphs each with a different theme)

Rubric for Summer Reading Questions

  • Emotional response paragraph1 ____________________/10
  • Emotional response paragraph 2 ___________________/10
  • Theme and example paragraph 1___________________/10
  • Theme and example paragraph 2___________________/10

TOTAL (4 paragraphs) ______________/40