Magnet Schools Required Summer Reading
Ruppel, Haynes, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Taylor
ENGLISH II (CHOOSE ANY 3)]\
Students will choose three books: one fiction, one non-fiction and one play
Hiroshima NF John Hersey
Tuesdays with Morrie NF Mitch Alborn
Night NF Elie Wiesel
The Piano Lesson Drama August Wilson
A Doll’s House Drama Henrik Ibsen
A Lesson Before Dying F Ernest Gaines
The Count of Monte Cristo F Alexandre Dumas
The Bean Trees F Barbara Kingsolver
The Book Thief F Markus Zusak
Billy Budd F Herman Melville
Remember, all work must be submitted during the first week of school. If you do not have English
until the second semester, you are still responsible for submitting your work to your English
teacher within the first week of school. Students new to the school or JPPSS or those students who
have recently been added to an Honors class who do not come to school with their response forms
have until October 13th , if necessary, to read the books and submit their work.
For the books you choose from the list, you will:
1. Complete the response form for each book. You will receive bonus credit in points to be
added to classroom assessments (tests or projects).
2. Participate in class discussions concerning the books read throughout the year via one of
A. literature circle discussion
B. student-led panel discussion
C. teacher-led Wiki or other web-based project
ENGLISH II SUMMER READING BOOK BLURBS
Hiroshima (Nonfiction) John Hersey
A non-fictional compilation of six separate interviews, the structure of this work is a
chronological narrative that follows the characters’ lives from the morning history’s first atomic
bomb fell to forty years later.
Tuesdays with Morrie (Nonfiction) Mitch Alborn
This work is a series of journal entries written by a former Brandeis student who is accidentally
reunited with his terminally ill college teacher twenty years after graduation.
Night (Nonfiction) Elie Wiesel
Told through the eyes of 14-year-old Eliezer living at the time of Hitler’s reign, we behold the
tragic fate of the Jews from the little town of Sighet.
The Piano Lesson (Drama) August Wilson
This dramatic work is set in Pittsburgh in 1936 and focuses upon the relationship between the
Charles siblings, Berniece and Boy Willie, who clash over whether or not their family’s piano
should be sold. This play explores African Americans’ relationship to family history, particularly
to the history of their slave ancestors.
A Doll’s House (Drama) Henrik Ibsen
This drama depicts a woman’s need to be her own person, rather than the property of her
A Lesson Before Dying (Fiction) Ernest Gaines
Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, this is the novel of one man condemned to die
for a crime he did not commit and a young man who visits him in his cell.
The Count of Monte Cristo (Fiction) Alexandre Dumas
This novel is the exciting adventure of a young sailor who is betrayed by two people he thought
were his friends. He is sentenced to life in an infamous dungeon and after fourteen hard years in
jail plotting his revenge, he escapes.
The Bean Trees (Fiction) Barbara Kingsolver
Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grows up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of
avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely
functional car, she meets the human condition head-on.
The Book Thief (Fiction) Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, this novel, narrated by Death, is the story of Liesel
Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for
herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her
accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors
during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
Billy Budd (Fiction) Herman Melville
This moving tale of good versus evil follows the life of winsome young sailor Billy Budd.
Aboard a 1700s British warship, virtuous Billy is unfairly accused of treason by the villainous
Master of Arms--a cold-blooded superior officer intent on Billy's destruction.