Grade 12 • Class of 2016

AP English Literature and Composition
Summer Reading Assignment (Mr. Essex
and Mr. Morgan)
Grade 12 • Class of 2016
Guiding Question: To what extent does a character outwardly conform while inwardly questioning
his/her situation in society?
Writing Prompt: Your assignment is to write a multi-paragraph essay that introduces the book and author,
explains the character and his/her personal situation and the society in which he/she lives, then answers the
question above. Use examples from the book to provide evidence for your answer. Read one of the books
listed below. The ones highlighted in red* are available in the school library to check out over the summer:
Classic Novels: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man* by James Joyce; Wuthering Heights* by Emily
Brontë; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Modern Novels: Kafka on
the Shore by Haruki Murakami; Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro; Atonement by Ian
McEwan; American Gods by Neil Gaiman; Ragtime* by E.L. Doctorow. Modern Memoirs: The Glass
Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls.
In addition to the LJHS 12th grade Summer Reading Assignment, all AP Literature students must
read Genesis, Exodus, Matthew and Luke by the second week of school, when we will have an ondemand writing prompt in class. This is not meant as an indoctrination into Judaism or Christianity,
but the Bible (especially the King James Version, or KJV) is the common literary reference point for
most major writers of English up until the 1950's. Biblical themes and content continue to exert a
powerful influence in many of the literary works written and read today. These four canonical books
contain about forty of the most common allusions we will encounter in this year's readings, especially
in Shakespeare and 17th century poetry. For the truly daring, read these books in the KJV
translation, but for those craving a more accessible reading experience, I can recommend the English
Standard Version (ESV) or the New International Version (NIV). Both are available online, in their
entirety, and for free.