Glen Ridge High School

					                                       Glen Ridge High School
                                       200 Ridgewood Avenue
                                       Glen Ridge, NJ 07028




June 2011

Dear English Nine Honors Student,

The English department at Glen Ridge High School believes that summer reading is the best way for a
student to continue the learning process, make transitions to new classes and improve standardized test
scores. Therefore, we are requiring that you read two novels this summer: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel and
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer.

While reading these novels, please keep in mind any patterns, symbols or themes that you notice. We will
discuss both novels in some depth and you are expected to enter class in September with a comfortable
understanding of each work. To that end, we are requiring that you annotate each of these books so you
have a way to process and recall your critical reading experience. See the handout for annotation
instructions. I will also attach them to my website.

Additionally, we encourage you to complete as much outside reading as possible, not only during the
summer, but also throughout the school year. We are attaching a list of recommended reading, and we
would like you to read and be responsible for at least one book from this list.

Enjoy your summer!

Sincerely,



The English Department
Glen Ridge High School
English 9 Honors—Recommended Summer Reading List

Cold Sassy Tree                                             Olive Ann Burns
        On July 5, 1906, scandal breaks in the small town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, when the proprietor of the
        general store, E. Rucker Blakeslee, elopes with Miss Love Simpson. He is barely three weeks a widower,
        and she is only half his age and a Yankee to boot. As their marriage inspires a whirlwind of local gossip,
        fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a family scandal, and that’s where his
        adventures begin.
Fast Food Nation                                                    Eric Schlosser
        On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant,
        without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. But the industry's drive for consolidation,
        homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce.
        (Nonfiction)
Little Women                                                        Louisa May Alcott
        The four March girls -- practical Meg, rambunctious Jo, sweet Beth and childish artist Amy -- live in
        genteel poverty with their mother Marmee; their father is away in the Civil War.
Lords of Discipline                                                 Pat Conroy
        Aspiring novelist and basketball player, Will McLean, finds himself a college student at the Carolina
        Military Institute. Will was not interested in the military, but he promises his dying father that he will
        attend his alma mater.
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian             Sherman Alexie
        When a teacher pleads with Arnold to want more, to escape the hopelessness of the rez, Arnold switches to
        a rich white school and immediately becomes as much an outcast in his own community as he is a curiosity
        in his new one.
The Age of Innocence                                                Edith Wharton
        Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire
        and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded
        scandal more than disease.”
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay                 Michael Chabon
        Like the comic books that animate and inspire it, this novel is both larger than life and of it too. Complete
        with golems and magic and miraculous escapes and evil nemeses and even hand-to-hand Antarctic battle, it
        pursues the most important questions of love and war, dreams and art, across pages brimming with longing
        and hope
The Bean Trees                                              Barbara Kingsolver
        Taylor leaves home in a beat-up '55 Volkswagen bug, on her way to nowhere in particular, savoring her
        freedom. But when a forlorn Cherokee woman drops a baby in Taylor's passenger seat and asks her to take
        it, she does.
The Color of Water                                                  James McBride
        The author, a man whose mother was white and his father black, tells two stories: that of his mother and his
        own. It is a wonderful story of a bi-racial family who succeeded and achieved the American dream, despite
        the societal obstacles placed in its way. (Nonfiction)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy                        Douglas Adams
        Join hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into
        horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a
        cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway.
The Joy Luck Club                                                   Amy Tan
        Four daughters know one side of their mothers, but they don't know about their earlier never-spoken of
        lives in China. The mothers want love and obedience from their daughters, but they don't know the gifts
        that the daughters keep to themselves.
The Mosquito Coast                                                  Paul Theroux
        Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Hating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern
        America, he abandons civilization and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle. There his tortured,
        messianic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden
        towards unimaginable darkness.
Summer Assignment: Reading and annotating
Life of Pi by Yann Martel & Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

As you read you will annotate each novel for four different elements (see below). In essence, annotations
are the critical or explanatory notes that you make as you read through a text. These notes will be
important to your overall understanding of the text and our class discussions.

       1. Yellow annotations will be questions that arise as you are reading. Highlight a sentence or
       passage you would love to ask the author if he were sitting down with you to talk about the book.
       These questions can include but are not limited to: areas that you find confusing or troubling about
       the plot or character interactions, symbolism or imagery that he chose to use throughout the novel,
       his writing style, etc. You should have at least one example of this type of annotation per chapter.
       Once you have done this, write your question at the top of each chapter and include the page
       number where you chose your example.
       2. Blue annotations will be connected to the language in the text. You can include a large
       variety of examples for this. Find words or phrases that you feel are important to the chapter,
       words that are unfamiliar to you or words that capture your interest for some other reason. You
       should have at least one example of this type of annotation per chapter.
       3. Pink annotations will show your personal connections to the text. As you read the novel, you
       may find that you have a personal connection with a character, a specific event that occurs, or a
       general comment in the text. Highlight several passages or sentences (5 or 10 throughout the
       book) related to your personal connections and then document why you selected these passages on
       the inside front cover of the text including the page numbers where you chose your examples. This
       documentation can be done with a one sentence description for each annotation or a longer
       response that covers all of the choices.
       4. Green annotations will show your understanding of major themes in the novel. Theme can be
       described as a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work. Understanding
       theme will be a critical component to our class. Highlight several passages or sentences (5 or 10
       throughout the book) related to what you consider to be the important theme or themes of the
       novel and then document why you selected these passages on the back cover of the text including
       the page numbers where you chose your examples. As with your personal connections, this
       documentation can be done with a one sentence description for each annotation or a longer
       response that covers all of the choices.
       *For number three and four you may want to type up your response and attach it to the text. If
       you use a library book instead of your own copy, you will need to note everything on separate
       sheets of paper, one for each highlighter color.

				
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posted:10/8/2011
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