• Summer Reading for Rising Sophomores -- Advanced (2020-21)

    COMMUNITY BOOK. You must read the following community book. The community book is one which is read by every member of the class. Parents are also invited to read the community book. During the first week of school, your English teachers will review, conduct, or oversee projects, presentations, and group seminars -- all in an effort to generate a sharing of ideas as a community.



    Mark Haddon

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. A murder mystery of sorts, a young boy’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

     ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHOICE: You must also read two books from the following list.



    Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins the famous love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, two people hampered by both pride and prejudice, who manage to figure things out in the end.

    Charlotte Brontë

    Jane Eyre. An orphan girl grows up in Victorian-era England and eventually becomes a governess in a mysterious mansion on the wind-swept moors. Classic romance tale.

    Charles Dickens

    Great Expectations Pip receives a mysterious inheritance which enables him to live like a gentleman -- but at what cost?

    E. M. Forster

    A Room With a View. The story of Lucy Honeychurch and the conflict she feels between the desires of her heart and the requirements of society, this book is both a social comedy and a discussion of class structure.

    Athol Fugard

    “Master Harold” and the Boys. . . Set in South Africa during apartheid, this brief play explores the consequences of racism and our shared potential for empathy.

    Neil Gaiman

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane. After returning home for a family funeral, a middle-age man relives a magically fantastical, yet frightening, childhood memory with a young girl named Lettie and her unusual mother and grandmother who lived on the farm at end of the lane.

    Neil Gaiman

    The Graveyard Book. Afraid of the supernatural or graveyards? After reading Neil Gaiman's fantastical and captivating novel, you won't be afraid anymore. When the protagonists Nobody Owens finds himself in a graveyard being chased by a ruthless killer, he discovers that the mausoleums and headstones in the graveyard are homes to guardians who no longer belong to the mortal world, nor the realm of the dead. They protect him and, in their own way, teach him about what it's like to be alive.

    Kazuo Ishiguro

    The Remains of the Day. An English butler unwittingly witnesses some of the defining moments of British history, all the while missing out on his chance at love. For history buffs and fans of compelling characters.

    Jon McGregor

    Reservoir 13. In this novel, published in 2017, a young girl’s disappearance from a sleepy English village gives us insight to the rhythms, loves, lives, and deaths of a wide variety of people. Strange yet comforting at the same time.

    Nevil Shute

    On the Beach. What would it be like to know you were doomed to die within a few months, and the rest of the planet with you? This book is the story of the aftermath of nuclear war, as Australian survivors wait for the fallout to arrive.  

    Oscar Wilde

    The Picture of Dorian Gray. A young man remains mysteriously youthful over the years while his portrait grows old and shows the corruption of his dissolute life.

    P.G. Wodehouse

    Right Ho, Jeeves! A house part in the country, mixed-up romances, plans that backfire, and a wise butler who knows all the answers – these ingredients come together to create Wodehouse’s comic style. The life and loves of the English aristocracy are satirized in this novel.

    I recommend that you read as much as possible this summer. Please do not limit yourself to three books. There is a list below of other recommended books. Feel free to read any of these in addition the community book and the English Department choice.

    You will be reading George Orwell’s novel 1984 second semester; you are welcome to read that over the summer, but take notes, for you will need them for a review.

    A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    Alice Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

    A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

    Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Mallory's King Arthur and His Knights: Selected Tales by Sir Thomas Malory

    The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

    Northanger Abbey or Emma by Jane Austen

    Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Ivanhoe  or Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

    Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

    Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli

    A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (introduction of Holmes and Watson)