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Tier Two (Don't Delete)

Summer Reading

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. 

English
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. 

History
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. 

Summer Reading List for English (2019)

Entering Grade 9 English 1 (two books)

Required: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Plus, students should select a book that appeals to them. In making their choice they may find the following lists helpful.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Entering Grade 10 English 2 (one or two books)

Required: students should select two books that appeal to them, unless this requires them to read more than three summer reading books for their English and history classes in total, in which case they may choose one title. In making their choice they may find the following lists helpful.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Entering Grade 10 English 2 Honors (one or two books)

Required: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Plus, students should select a book that appeals to them, unless this requires them to read more than three summer reading books for their English and history classes in total, in which case they may read just Things Fall Apart. In making their choice they may find the following lists helpful.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Entering Grade 11 English 3 (one or two books)

Required: students should select two books that appeal to them, unless this requires them to read more than three summer reading books for their English and history classes in total, in which case they may choose one title. In making their choice they may find the following lists helpful.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Entering Grade 11 English 3 Honors (one or two books)

Required: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Plus, students should select a book that appeals to them, unless this requires them to read more than three summer reading books for their English and history classes in total, in which case they may read just The Handmaid’s Tale. In making their choice they may find the following lists helpful.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Entering Grade 12 English 4 (one or two books)

Required: students should select two books that appeal to them, unless this requires them to read more than three summer reading books for their English and history classes in total, in which case they may choose one title. In making their choice they may find the following lists helpful.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Entering Grade 12 AP English (two books)

Required: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Plus, students should select a book that appeals to them.

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Summer Reading List for History (2019)

Roots of the Modern World (one book)

Required: students should read one book from the following list:

  • Salt: A History by Mark Kurlansky
  • Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

Students should have their own copy of the book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

Modern World History (one book)

Required: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Optional: for additional reading, students should consider the following list:

  • Genghis Khan And The Making Of The Modern World (2004) by Jack Weatherford
  • The Last Duel by Eric Jager
  • The Warriors Of God by James Reston, Jr.
  • Michelangelo And The Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King
  • The Virgin Queen by Christopher Hibbert
  • Shakespeare’s Restless World by Neil MacGregor

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

AP World History (two books)

Required: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe AND A History Of The World In Six Glasses by Tom Standage

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

U.S. History (one book)

Required: students should read one book from the following list:

  • Confederates In The Attic by Tony Horwitz (A surprisingly light-hearted look at the echoes of the Civil War in the cultural differences of north and south in America.)
  • Voyage Long And Strange by Tony Horwitz (On the trail of the intrepid – and often crazed – explorers who wandered North America in search of gold, glory, and eternal youth in the century between Columbus and the Pilgrims.)
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (A riveting, detailed story that examines the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of its participants and brings the reader onto the field of battle.)
  • The Content Of Our Character by Shelby Steele (In his acclaimed book, Steele—a former Stevenson parent—makes the case that some policies designed to ameliorate racial differences have backfired.)
  • The Quiet American by Graham Green (The English novelist takes us back to Vietnam in 1953 to examine the perhaps-naïve ideology of Americans as we became involved in that conflict and attempted to change the politics of the country.)
  • Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck (The famed local writer travels the US in 1960, recording literary snapshots of the character of various regions of America.)

Students should have their own copy of the book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

AP US History (one book)

Required: students should read one book from the following list:

  • Confederates In The Attic by Tony Horwitz (A surprisingly light-hearted look at the echoes of the Civil War in the cultural differences of north and south in America.)
  • Voyage Long And Strange by Tony Horwitz (On the trail of the intrepid – and often crazed – explorers who wandered North America in search of gold, glory, and eternal youth in the century between Columbus and the Pilgrims.)
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (A riveting, detailed story that examines the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of its participants and brings the reader onto the field of battle.)
  • The Content Of Our Character by Shelby Steele (In his acclaimed book, Steele—a former Stevenson parent—makes the case that some policies designed to ameliorate racial differences have backfired.)
  • The Quiet American by Graham Green (The English novelist takes us back to Vietnam in 1953 to examine the perhaps-naïve ideology of Americans as we became involved in that conflict and attempted to change the politics of the country.)
  • Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck (The famed local writer travels the US in 1960, recording literary snapshots of the character of various regions of America.)

Students should have their own copy of the book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

AP Art History (two books)

Required: The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland and John Boswell

Plus students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • The Forbidden City by Geremie R. Barmé
  • A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield
  • Vermeer’s Hat: the 17th century and the Dawn of the Global World by Timothy Brook
  • Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King
  • Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store by Joseph Siry
  • Islamic Art (1992) by Barbara Bren

Students should have their own copy of each book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

AP Economics (one book)

Required: Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

Students should have their own copy of the book, and they should bring them to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

 

Summer Reading Tips

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.