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Recommended Reading Lists for English and Required reading for Honors and AP
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Saturday, March 10, 2018


Reading lists for summer and required prerequisites for honors and AP English. 



If you plan to attend GHS, you REALLY should read some of these works. 


If you are scheduled or decide to take honors English or an AP English course, you are REQUIRED to read two texts, one from each column, PRIOR to your class starting, and you will test on one selection and complete a writing assignment of a typed dialectical journal or typed essay. The writing assignment must be typed and submitted to TurnItIn due BEFORE your class starts; the tests should be taken in the summer, but they may be taken with your teacher after school on 8/14 for the students who have English first or second semester or 1/15 for students who have English second semester.  Dates to take tests prior to the first week of school will be posted on the website in May.  If those conflict with travel plans, email ; Mrs. House is at GHS often during the summer.  All instructions are in this packet and on the GHS website.




Honors English I






Aeneid, Virgil

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

The Old Man and the Sea , Ernest Hemingway

The House on Mango Street,  Sandra Cisneros

The Iliad, Homer


Secret Life of Bees,  Sue Monk Kidd

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family,  Condoleezza Rice

Ellen Foster,  Kaye Gibbons

The Art of Racing in the Rain,  Garth Stein

Shades of Simon Gray, Joyce McDonald


Honors English II






Silas Marner, George Eliot

A Tale of Two Cities,  Charles Dickens

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton


The Book Thief,  Markus Zusak

The Things They Carried,  Tim O'Brien

Unbroken,  Lauren Hillenbrand

A Prayer for Own Meany, John Irving  

A Thousand Splendid Suns,  Khaled Hosseini


Advanced Placement Language and Composition English III




The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald                    The Crucible Arthur Miller




Advanced Placement Literature English IV






Pride and Prejudice,  Jane Austen

1984,  George Orwell

Things Fall Apart,  Chinua Achebe

Heart of Darkness,  Joseph Conrad

Required:  How To Read Literature Like a Professor,  Thomas C. Foster



Note to parents and students:  You are encouraged to research the content of these books before you choose.  Several contain mature themes and controversial issues.  Please make a decision based on family discussion.  The English teachers strongly suggest that students purchase the books if possible so they can annotate and have their books and notes for class discussion.


Typed writing assignments:  Dialectical Journal or Essay


Choose ONE of your two summer reading selections and complete either the dialectical journal writing assignment or the essay writing assignment that follows.


Dialectical Entry Journals


Overview:  While you read, you will keep a double entry (dialectical) journal.  A double entry journal is a way to closely read passages from a text, to discover what individual words and sentences reveal about characters, conflicts, themes, etc., and to make text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.  The journal serves as an ongoing record of your responses to the readings, and it gives everyone a chance to bring a variety of perspectives and insights about the text to our class


Due Date:  All entries are due before the first day of class and must be submitted to TurnItIn. 


Point Value:   You will receive a major writing grade for this assignment.


Directions:  You will be required to complete journal entries (five per chapter and a reaction/observation/ or thoughtful question for each entry) for each chapter. You must type these entries and save your files so you can submit them to


·              To set up the journal, divide each page vertically into two columns, so you have one column available for citing CONCRETE DETAILS and another side available for responding to the textual evidence.


·              In the left-hand column write down CONCRETE DETAILS from the text.  You decide what these CONCRETE DETAILS are to be–quotations, events, descriptions, character names or traits, something a character said, symbols, etc.  After each CONCRETE DETAIL, be sure to include the chapter number and the page number.  For longer passages, cite the beginning and the end of the passage, using an ellipsis (…) to indicate that words were removed. The passages should contain significant phrases or lines.  Choose the passages for the meaning, the pictures they create for you, the connections they make for you, or the feelings they stimulate in you.  Do not be afraid to choose a passage you find difficult or confusing – part of the purpose of a DEJ is to help you work through the tough parts of a text.


·        The right-hand side of your entry should document your interaction with the text in writing, showing the process you went through to understand the text. In the right hand column, record your thoughts and ideas about the passage you have chosen.  Make meaning, draw inferences, hypothesize, speculate, and probe the implications of the prompt.  Go beyond the obvious!  Address the “So What?”  Each entry should contain the following: 


o   an explanation of what the passage you selected means and how it is significant to the work as a whole - why is this quote important? (Keep in mind that quotations rarely tell you why they are important; you must analyze and interpret to get at the deeper meaning.)  Do not respond using “plot summary”, that is, simply retelling the story in your own words.  I am looking for analysis, not paraphrasing!


o   Connections to your own experience, to society, and/or to other texts.


o   One thought-provoking question for further discussion, either in a future entry or in class.


o   Although entries may be longer, 150 words is the minimum required length for each entry.






v  Ask QUESTIONS while you read.  What puzzles you about some passage or some point that the writer is making?  Try beginning, I wonder why….? or I’m having trouble understanding how….or It puzzles me that….


v  Make CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES:  What does the reading make you think of?  Does it remind you of anything or anyone?  Try agreeing with the writer.  Write all the things you can say in support of his or her ideas.  Try arguing with the writer.  What does he or she seem to propose that you disagree with?  Why?


v  Make CONNECTIONS WITH THE TEXT, CONCEPTS, EVENTS, MOVIES, ETC., Do you see any similarities between this reading and other things you’ve read?  Does it bring to mind events you’ve witnessed, movies you’ve seen, philosophies you’ve thought about?


v  Try PREDICTING what is going to happen later in the story or essay or how it will end.


v  CLARIFYelements of plot, character, or theme.  Get a clear idea of what you’ve read so far or answer questions you had earlier.


v  EVALUATEthe actions of characters, the value of their insights, or the quality of the writing itself.  Jot down ideas, images, themes, and/or details that strike you.  Why are they there?  What do they add?  Why are they memorable?  Identify the author’s point of view, his or her attitude toward what he or she is saying.  Ask yourself how this perspective or attribute shapes the way the writer presents material or develops a particular theme.


A Cautionary Note:  Some students might look at dialectical notebooks as “just more busy work” and learn to play the “fill up the page game,” recording significant details and surface level observations.  Such hasty, superficial entries do not build genuine awareness of the techniques, word choices, etc. a writer has brought to the page nor provide a forum for thinking critically about themStudents who resort to this approach go through the motions of education without really educating themselves.  As such, they are poorly prepared for discussions and writing assignments.  A dialectical notebook will only help you if you use it as a place to genuinely reflect.  This is your learning opportunity.


Double Entry Journal Rubric


9-8 Points (Superior 97-93)


!  Responses to passages consistently reflect insight.


!  You consistently demonstrate your understanding of the text when answering the following questions:  What is the author saying between the lines?  How does the text connect to your own life?  How does the text connect to the society as a whole?


!  You constantly challenge the text.  You dialogue with the writer.  You consistently question, argue, criticize, and appreciate providing an explanation for your view.


!  Each entry contains a thought-provoking discussion question.


!  Each entry contains the required elements.


!  Chapter and page numbers are always provided.


7/6 Points (Strong 89- 85):


!  Responses to passages usually reflect insight.


!  You frequently demonstrate your understanding of the text when answering the following questions:  What is the author saying between the lines?  How does the text connect to your own life?  How does the text connect to the society as a whole?


!  You frequently challenge the text.  You dialogue with the writer.  You often question, argue, criticize, and appreciate providing an explanation for your view.


!  Thought-provoking discussion questions are frequently included.


!  Entries usually contain all of the required elements.


!  Chapter and page numbers are almost always present.


5 Points (Competent)


!  Responses to passages sometimes reflect insight.


!  You sometimes demonstrate your understanding of the text when answering the following questions:  What is the author saying between the lines?  How does the text connect to your own life?  How does the text connect to the society as a whole?


!  You occasionally challenge the text.  You occasionally dialogue with the writer.  You sometimes question, argue, criticize, and appreciate, but they neglect to provide an explanation for your view.


!  Discussion questions are often included, but frequently focus only on factual details.


!  Entries contain some but not all of the required elements.


!  Chapter and page numbers are almost always present.


4/3 Points (Emerging 77/73)


!  Responses to passages rarely reflect insight.  Text is usually paraphrased.


!  You rarely demonstrate your understanding of the text when answering the following questions:  What is the author saying between the lines?  How does the text connect to your own life?  How does the text connect to the society as a whole?


!  You rarely challenge the text.  You rarely dialogue with the writer.  You rarely question, argue, criticize, and appreciate neglecting to provide an explanation for your view.


!  Discussion questions are rarely included.


!  Entries rarely contain all of the required elements.


!  Chapter and page numbers are frequently missing.


2-1 Points (Inadequate 69/65)


!  The minimal requirements have not been met.










Essay Prompts and Rubric.


Please note that essays MUST have parenthetically cited quotes and paraphrases. If these are missing, your essay will not be scored.  Chose one of the prompts below and turn it in before your class starts for the semester.


·        In great literature and nonfiction, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Choose a work of merit that confronts the reader or audience with a scene or scenes of violence. In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work. Avoid plot summary.


·        In his essay “Walking,” Henry David Thoreau offers the following assessment of literature:


In writing, it is only the wild that attracts us. Dullness is but another name for tameness. It is the uncivilized free and wild thinking…not learned in schools, that delights us.


From the works that you have studied in this summer, choose one that you may initially have thought was conventional and tame but that you now value for its “uncivilized free and wild thinking.” Write an essay in which you explain what constitutes its “uncivilized free and wild thinking” and how that thinking is central to the value of the work as a whole. Support your ideas with specific references to the work you choose.


·        Texts often depict characters caught between colliding cultures -- national, regional, ethnic, religious, institutional. Such collisions can call a character’s sense of identity into question. Select a summer reading text in which a character responds to such a cultural collision. Then write a well-organized essay in which you describe the character’s response and explain its relevance to the work as a whole.


·        Many works of literature and nonfiction deal with political or social issues. Choose a summer reading text that focuses on a political or social issue. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author uses literary elements to explore this issue and explain how the issue contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.


·        In a novel by William Styron, a father tells his son that life “is a search for justice.”


Choose a character from a summer reading text who responds in some significant way to justice or injustice. Then write a well-developed essay in which you analyze the character’s understanding of justice, the degree to which the character’s search for justice is successful, and the significance of this search for the work as a whole.


·        Some novels and nonfiction texts seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes or in traditions. Choose such a text from your summer reading and note briefly the particular attitudes or traditions that the author apparently wishes to modify. Then analyze the techniques the author uses to influence the reader’s or audience’s views. Avoid plot summary.


·        And, after all, our surroundings influence our lives and characters as much as fate, destiny or any supernatural agency. Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces Choose a summer reading text in which cultural, physical, or geographical surroundings shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how surroundings affect this character and illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole.


·        It has often been said that what we value can be determined only by what we sacrifice. Consider how this statement applies to a character from a novel or play. Select a character that has deliberately sacrificed, surrendered, or forfeited something in a way that highlights that character’s values. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the particular sacrifice illuminates the character’s values and provides a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole.


·        In literary and nonfiction works, cruelty often functions as a crucial motivation or a major social or political factor. Select a summer reading text in which acts of cruelty are important to the theme. Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how cruelty functions in the work as a whole and what the cruelty reveals about the perpetrator and/or victim






Top Scores


These are well-written papers, which respond fully to the question asked. The best papers show a full understanding of the issues and support their points with appropriate textual evidence and examples. Writers of these essays demonstrate stylistic maturity by an effective command of sentence structure, diction, and organization. The writing need not be without flaws, but it should reveal the writer’s ability to choose from and control a wide range of elements of effective writing.

The writer has told the reader something new and has used the text as support efficiently and effectively.


9 (97):

exceptional understanding of topic

high analytical thinking

creative topic sentence

ample and specific support of thesis sentence

transition used throughout the paper

unity within the paper

skillfully constructed sentences

wide variety of sentence structure, complex vocabulary

minor, if any, mechanical errors

consistent tone throughout the paper

8 (93):

obvious grasp of topic and strong thesis sentence

adequate and specific support of the thesis sentence

some transition throughout the paper

variety of sentence structure throughout the paper

no major mechanical errors (RS, frag, CS, you)

effective vocabulary and few errors in word choice

consistent in tone and unity throughout paper

Upper Scores  7-6

These essays also respond correctly to the questions asked but do so less fully or less effectively than the essays in the top range. Their discussion may be less thorough and less specific with the elaboration and textual support. These essays are well written in an appropriate style but reveal less maturity than the top papers. They do make use of textual evidence to support their points. Some lapses in diction or syntax may appear, but the writing demonstrates sufficient control over the elements of composition to present the writer’s ideas clearly.

7/6 (89/85):

Clear thesis sentence

adequate support

some transition

few mechanical errors

unity within paper

adequate vocabulary

use of contractions

good organization and conclusion

Middle Score  5

These essays respond to the question, but the comments may be simplistic or imprecise; they may be overly generalized, vague, or inadequately supported with evidence or textual support. These essays are adequately written, but may demonstrate inconsistent control over the elements of composition. Organization is attempted, but it may not be fully realized or particularly effective.

5 (82):

adequate thesis sentence

some general support as opposed to specific support

no transition

little variety in sentence structure

slip in unity

use of contractions

several mechanical errors, including at least one major mistake (RS ,CS, frag, you)

Lower Scores  4-3

These essays attempt to deal with the question, but do so either inaccurately or without support or specific evidence. They may show some misunderstanding or omit pertinent analysis. The writing can convey the writer’s ideas, but it reveals weak control over diction, syntax, organization. These essays may contain excessive and distracting spelling and grammatical errors. Statements are seldom supported with specific, textual, or persuasive evidence, or inappropriately lengthy quotations may replace discussion and analysis.

4/3 (77-73):

weak thesis sentence

lack of support

no transition

lack of unity

very little sentence variety

several major mechanical errors

inexact wording

lack of organization


Lowest Scores  2-1

These essays fail to respond adequately to the question. They may reveal misunderstanding or may distort the interpretation. They compound the problems of the Lower Score papers. Generally, these essays are unacceptably brief or poorly written. Although some attempts to answer the question may be indicated, the writer’s view has little clarity and only slight, if any, evidence in its support.

2-1 (69/65)

Awkward/unclear thesis sentence- or no thesis sentence

lack of support

elementary sentence structure or rambling sentences

awkward wording or inappropriate word choices

lack of unity

numerous major mechanical errors


TurnItIn Instructions


Go to and Create Account if you do not already have one. 




If you already have an account, log in and select Enroll in a Class.  Class ID 14152667.  Enrollment Key is summer.




Select Student BEFORE filling out any information.   


          Enter the Class ID and the Enrollment Key.                          If you already have an account, log in an select Enroll in a Class.  Class ID 14152667.  Enrollment Key is summer.


You may use your GCSchools email or your home email, but you MUST remember your password.  We have no way to reset it or see it. 






Your class portfolio shows the assignments your instructor has created and your submissions to the class. To submit a paper, click the Submit button next to the paper assignment










The paper submission page will open. Enter a title for your paper. To select a paper for submission, click the browse button and locate the paper on your computer. We accept submissions in these formats:


• MS Word, WordPerfect, RTF, PDF, PostScript, HTML, and plain text (.txt)


After entering a title for your paper and selecting a file, click upload to upload your paper


 Once you have located your paper and entered a title, click upload


If your paper is in a format that we do not accept, you can submit it by cut and paste. To submit a paper this way, select cut & paste using the pull-down at the top of the form.


To submit a paper by cut and paste, copy the text of your paper from a word processing program and then paste it into the text box in the submission form. If you submit your paper using the cut and paste method, you can skip the next step.




Select cut & paste with the pull-down to submit a paper in a file format we do not accept.


The paper you chose to submit will be shown on the next page. Look over all the information and make sure that it is correct. To confirm the submission, click the submit button.


Make sure you selected the correct paper; click “submit” to finalize your submission


After you confirm your submission, a digital receipt will be shown. This receipt will be e-mailed to you. To return to your portfolio and view your submission, click the portfolio button




 Click the portfolio icon to return to your portfolio and view your submission.




Remember, the tests must be taken by the first week of the start of your class.


The writing must be turned by the day your class starts.


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