In Advanced Placement English Language and Composition students should read all of the following books
for summer reading:
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Returning to the U.S. after 20 years in England, Iowa native Bryson decided to reconnect with his mother
country by hiking the length of the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail. Awed by merely the camping section of
his local sporting goods store, he nevertheless plunges into the wilderness and emerges with a consistently
comical account of a neophyte woodsman learning hard lessons about self-reliance. Bryson carries himself
in an irresistibly bewildered manner, accepting each new calamity with wonder and hilarity. He reviews the
characters of the AT (as the trail is called), from a pack of incompetent Boy Scouts to a perpetually lost
man named Chicken John. Most amusing is his cranky, crude and inestimable companion, Katz. The
uneasy but always entertaining relationship between Bryson and Katz keeps their walk interesting, even
during the flat stretches. Bryson completes the trail as planned, and he records the misadventure with
insight and elegance. He is a popular author in Britain and his impeccably graceful and witty style deserves
a large American audience as well.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
No book except perhaps Uncle Tom’s Cabin had as powerful an impact on the abolitionist movement as
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. But while Stowe wrote about imaginary characters, Douglass’s
book is a record of his own remarkable life. Born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass
taught himself to read and write. In 1845, seven years after escaping to the North, he published Narrative,
the first of three autobiographies. This book calmly but dramatically recounts the horrors and the
accomplishments of his early years—the daily, casual brutality of the white masters; his painful efforts to
educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape. An
astonishing orator and a skillful writer, Douglass became a newspaper editor, a political activist, and an
eloquent spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans. He lived through the Civil War, the end of
slavery, and the beginning of segregation. He was celebrated internationally as the leading black
intellectual of his day, and his story still resonates in ours.
One Child by Torey Hayden
One Child is the story of a lost little girl and the extraordinary teacher who works to find her. Sheila has
been forgotten by the system, her family, and society itself. She has been shuffled between relatives and
institutions before landing in Torey Hayden's secluded annex classroom. Even the school does not pose the
potential for a "home", since Sheila is only waiting to be transferred to the state hospital. Over the course of
five months, Sheila transforms under Torey's care into a more self-assured and happy child, headed for the
second grade instead of the state hospital.
Students also need to complete a summer reading packet, which they should
have received in their English II or English II Honors class. *
A quiz and assignments on these books will be done the first week of class.
The summer reading packet will be due the first day of class.
Please contact Ms. Rosenbaum during the summer at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the summer
reading and the assignments.
*Replacement summer reading packets can be found in the guidance department of Sebring High School.