Stevenson asks that all Grade 9-12 students set aside time during the summer to read. The book lists change each year, and the following lists are for the summer of 2019. Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring the books to their history or English class for reference during the beginning of the school year. Students' engagement in the reading is evaluated during the first few weeks of the school year in the form of class discussions, writing, quizzes, and/or tests.
Summer is a wonderful time to read. We ask that Stevenson students put aside social media and spend time with books that open their minds to new ideas and communities. Some courses designate specific titles that will introduce foundational themes, settings and eras for the course, and others simply ask students to select books that captivate them. In combination with their history titles, students are asked to read three total books in the summer—of course, they may choose to read more.
We see the life of the mind as an element of everyday life. During the summer students read a variety of books to explore their interests and to begin to develop a common fund of knowledge as well as skills in historical thinking. This term sounds forbidding but really means exploring the evidence that demonstrates the way the world really works. We ask that students commit to a lively reading itinerary during the summer; some courses specify a particular book while others allow students to choose from a list of titles.
- Entering Grade 9 English 1 (two books)
- Entering Grade 10 English 2 (one or two books)
- Entering Grade 10 English 2 Honors (one or two books)
- Entering Grade 11 English 3 (one or two books)
- Entering Grade 11 English 3 Honors (one or two books)
- Entering Grade 12 English 4 (one or two books)
- Entering Grade 12 AP English (two books)
1. Take Notes While You Read
List the names and identities of each character on the front or back pages of the book or in a notebook. Write a short summary (2-3 sentences) of each chapter on the final page of each chapter or in your notebook. This little bit of extra work will provide you with material for a quick review before writing an essay or taking a test on the book.
2. Study New Vocabulary
Underline new words as you read or keep a small notebook handy to list unfamiliar words while you read. Create a personal vocabulary list and look up these words in a dictionary.
3. Prepare for the Class Discussion, Essay, Quiz, or Test
All students will be evaluated on the summer reading during the first few weeks of classes. If you completed your reading early in the summer, be sure to review the notes and vocabulary lists before the start of school so that they are fresh in your mind.