Junior Honors American Literature

Honors American Literature Summer Reading – Mrs. Hicks

NOTE: You will earn up to 200 points for your Summer Reading.  In this class, that is a LOT of points.  If you don’t do your Summer Reading, you will start the year with a large 0 and have a failing grade in the class for quite a while.  You will NOT be able to change your schedule to compensate for not doing Summer Reading.  You may also jeopardize your chances of earning an A for the semester. THE LAST DAY I WILL ACCEPT ANY SUMMER READING FOR A GRADE WILL BE AUGUST 19, 2016. A late work deduction will be applied at the rate of 10% per day for each part that is late every day after August 12 (the first day of school). After that date, your Summer Reading grade will stay a 0.

In order to be in an honors class for the junior year, you must complete the following:

1. Choose one of the books below to read sometime this summer. It might be helpful to read it early, and get the assignment finished before the summer sets in.

2. Once you’ve thoroughly read the book, share your original, complete summary of the book as a Google doc with me at ahicks@mths.us. Your summary should be a MINIMUM of 2.5-3 pages, DOUBLE SPACED! Be sure to include enough detail that she can tell you read the entire book—beginning, middle, and end! If your grammar is poor, your grade will suffer (see my grammar rules below).  If you haven’t provided enough detail/length, your grade will suffer.  If you have plagiarized (copied the summary from a website) you will receive a 0 for the assignment. This portion is worth 100 points.

3. Once I have read and graded your summary, I will share with you some questions to answer based on the book you chose to read. The more thorough and complete your effort at summarizing what you read, the fewer questions you’ll have to answer. Overly simplistic answers to these questions are not going to cut it for a juniors-level honors course! The answers to your questions will be graded the same way as your paper was.  This portion is worth 100 points.

4. Share your answers to the questions with me, and I will email you your grade for the Summer Reading. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU COMPLETE THIS WHOLE PROCESS BEFORE SCHOOL BEGINS!

If you have any questions, stop by room 207 or email me at ahicks@mths.us.

Grammar rules:

Run ons, comma splices, and fragments are worth – 2 per error for now; by the end of the year, they will be worth 1 letter grade apiece.

Subject/verb, pronoun agreement, use of contractions, personal pronouns (I, me, mine, you, yours), their/there, to/two/too, etc errors are worth –1 per error for now; by the end of the year, they will be worth – 5 apiece.

Puncutation, capitalization, spelling, mechanics errors are worth ¼ of a point per error for now; by the end of the year, they will be worth –1 apiece.



The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson. Fiction.

“Identity. Where does it lie? In a face? A voice? A bundled string of events we call a lifetime? Is it in our DNA, bone, flesh, ancestry? How do we define our identity, and is it a once and for all definition?…We all search for our place in this world, and how we fit in, but for Jenna Fox that search reaches dark new dimensions when she wakes from a coma and can’t remember who she is.  Worse, she doesn’t remember the people who claim to be her parents.  There is something curious about them, about the house they all live in – in fact, curious describes her whole life, as she attempts to unlock the secrets of who she was, and who she has become.  The Adoration of Jenna Fox is about Jenna’s search for identity, a quest as old as history, but as startling as the future.”  – Mary E.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Non-fiction.

Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, a stable, capable college graduate from a good family who, after graduating from Emory University, gave all his remaining money to Oxfam and dropped off the grid to live a life romanticized by Henry David Thoreau and Jack London.  The book tells the story from the point of view of the strangers he met, the family and friends he left behind, as well as including passages from McCandless’ diary.  Krakauer recreates McCandless’ adventures and failures along his journey, culminating in his demise in the wilds of Alaska.