The Pope Francis High School English Department has selected the summer reading books for 2017.
Students will complete a Summer Reading Journal for each book they read. The template can be found here when finalized.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Honors English 1
Honors English 2
Honors English 3
AP Language and Composition
IB Language & Literature HL 1
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
IB Language & Literature HL 2
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Choose two of the following books and read them. Be prepared to discuss the plot, characters, conflicts, and major themes of each. (Descriptions are from Amazon.com.) Be prepared to have a quiz on the books when you get back to school.
All of these books are available at Amazon.com as well as other online booksellers. I would encourage you to use the “Look Inside” feature at Amazon to read a few pages before buying. Check to see that the English level is not too hard and that the subject is interesting for you. The book is at the right level if there are some words that you don’t know, but you can understand the story without needing to use your dictionary.
Easier English Level
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt – Eleven-year old Winnie Foster lives under the watchful eye of her grandmother. One day she gets lost in the woods and meets Jesse Tuck, a boy unlike any she has met before. He is kind and generous, but he holds a powerful secret, and ultimately Winnie must decide whether to return to her life or stay forever with the Tucks.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord – Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams.Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English, so it’s hard to make friends. Then a miracle-baseball-happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone’s hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans – This science fiction story is the first of a series. To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.
Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles (Dover Graphic Novel) by Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by John Green – This is a Sherlock Holmes story in a comic-book style. Holmes and Watson investigate a family curse and search for a giant ghost dog that haunts the fog-shrouded moors. (Be sure to order the right version; the original language is very difficult.)
Maus by Art Spiegelman – This is a serious book in a comic-book style. It tells the true story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe and the Holocaust. It is written by his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself.
Moderate English Level
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth – Pretty as a peacock, twelve-year-old Leela has been spoiled all her life. She doesn’t care for school and barely marks the growing unrest between the British colonists and her own countrymen. Why should she? Her future has been planned since her engagement at two and marriage at nine. Leela’s whole life changes, though, when her husband dies. She’s now expected to behave like a proper widow: shaving her head and trading her jewel-toned saris for rough, earth-colored ones. Leela is considered unlucky now, and will have to stay confined to her house for a year—keep corner—in preparation for a life of mourning a boy she barely knew.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There’s little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.
The Wave by Todd Strasser – This novel dramatizes an incident that took place in a California school in 1969. A teacher creates an experimental movement in his class to help students understand how people could have followed Hitler. The results are astounding. The highly disciplined group, modeled on the principles of the Hitler Youth, has its own salute, chants, and special ways of acting as a unit and sweeps beyond the class and throughout the school, evolving into a society willing to give up freedom for regimentation and blind obedience to their leader. All will learn a lesson that will never be forgotten.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt – This a coming of age story about a young man, Holling Hoodhood, who learns over the course of his seventh grade year that there is more to life than what he sees in his own world. With the help of a strict but caring teacher, Mrs. Baker, his flower child sister, Heather, a host of friends and heroes, and even Shakespeare, Hoodhood learns lessons about discrimination, becoming an adult, war, and determining one’s own destiny.
Outcasts United by Warren St. John – This true story is about the Fugees, a youth soccer team made up of diverse refugees from around the world, and their formidable female coach, Luma Mufleh. Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical southern town until it became a refugee resettlement center. The author explores how the community changed with the influx of refugees and how the dedication of Lumah Mufleh and the entire Fugees soccer team inspired an entire community.
Keeper by Mal Peet – When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in the South American rainforest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach a poor, gawky boy the most thrilling secrets of the game.
Holes by Louis Sachar – Stanley Yelnats has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention camp where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake?
Romeo and Juliet (The Graphic Novel: Plain Text) by William Shakespeare, adapted by John McDonald – This is the classic play in a comic-book style. A bitter feud between the Montagues and the Capulets keeps the city of Verona, Italy, in a state of constant unrest. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love. Enlisting the help of Friar Laurence, the young lovers wed in secret, hoping that their marriage will finally unite the two families. But things go terribly, tragically wrong. (Be sure to order the right version; the original language is very difficult.)
More Challenging English Level
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the town’s most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love.
Behind the Mountain by Edwidge Danticat – Celiane Esperance and her family escape a politically unstable and impoverished Haiti, where street shootings and pipe bombs are becoming more and more frequent. After years of separation, Celiane, her brother, Moy, and their mother all join Papa in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh concrete landscape of New York is a shock to Celiane, whose story is a passionate journey into a new land, sometimes tender, sometimes painful.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin – When sixteen people are called together for the reading of wealthy Sam Westing’s will, they are surprised to learn that the will is actually a murder mystery in which they are all to participate. Working with partners, the potential heirs take their clues to try to find the elusive answer to the Westing game and thus take their shares of the two hundred million dollar prize.
When I was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago – The true story of Esmeralda Santiago. The story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty. Growing up, she learned the proper way to eat a guava, the sound of tree frogs in the mango groves at night, the taste of the delectable sausage called morcilla, and the formula for ushering a dead baby’s soul to heaven. As she enters school we see the clash, both hilarious and fierce, of Puerto Rican and Yankee culture. When her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven, soon to be eleven children, Esmeralda, the oldest, must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually take on a new identity.