2015 12th Grade AP Literature and Composition Summer Reading

AP Literature and Composition summer reading 2015
Welcome to AP English literature and composition. You have chosen a challenging but
rewarding path. This is a class for students with intellectual curiosity, a love of reading and
discussing literature, and a strong work ethic. We view the summer reading as a starting point
and foundation for the entire year and hope you will enjoy and learn from it.
-----Ms. Crewdson and Mr. Ertman
You will read and annotate two novels: Great Expectations, a classic nineteenth century novel by
Charles Dickens, and another novel chosen from the list below. You will discuss and write
about both books throughout the year. We expect you to have read and annotated both books
by the time school starts in August.
If you are able to purchase your own copies, you can annotate the texts and will have them to
refer to throughout the year. If not, you can find any of the novels in a local library. Some may
be online as well. If you do not buy your own books, annotate on sticky notes or notebook paper.
Read the suggestions for annotating at the end of this assignment.
Great Expectations
Published serially in 1860 and 1861, this is one of Dickens' last – and many critics believe
greatest – novels. It tells the story of the childhood and growth to adulthood of Pip, a poor
orphan boy who hopes to achieve greatness. IMPORTANT NOTE about Great Expectations:
this novel has two endings. Be sure the edition you read contains both; some editions omit the
original ending. We will be discussing the differences.
as you read, consider
In many nineteenth-century novels, the characters easily can be pegged as either good or
bad. Is that the case here? Try listing all of the novel’s many and varied characters in two
columns, good and bad. Any complications?
This novel, like many others of its time, came out serially in a magazine. Every week
from December of 1860 to August of 1861, readers eagerly awaited the next installment.
Figure out where each installment ends and think about why and how you can tell. What
features of the novel might have been designed to keep readers interested in the intervals
between installments?
This novel is often referred to as a bildungsroman. Look up the term and then think about
what you learn by applying it.
An older, wiser Pip narrates the story of his growth from childhood to young adulthood.
Notice when he interrupts his story to comment on its meaning.
Dickens was known for his moral outrage at social injustice. Note examples.
What kind of place is London? The other settings?
choice novels
From this list, pick a novel that you will enjoy reading in summer, as well as re-reading and
using as a basis for an analysis paper during the first semester. Take some time to learn about the
novels and sample them before you settle on one. Making a careful, informed selection is an
important part of this assignment.
Emma Jane Austen
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
Middlemarch George Eliot
Tess of the d’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
East of Eden John Steinbeck
The Plague Albert Camus
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
A Passage to India E.M. Forster
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Ghost Writer Philip Roth
Beloved Toni Morrison
Blindness Jose Saramago
Atonement Ian McEwan
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
A Thousand Acres Jane Smiley
ideas for annotating novels
Think of annotation as part of active reading—something you do for yourself to stay
engaged and to create a record that will help you think and write about the novel later.
Learn to do this in a way that leaves a useful record of your reading but that does not
interfere with the experience. Achieving that balance takes practice.
Mark passages that jump out at you because they suggest an important idea or theme.
Mark passages that puzzle, intrigue, please, or even displease you. Note patterns such as
repeated images or phrases. Ask questions, make comments – talk back to the text.
At the ends of chapters or sections, quickly write a bulleted list of key plot events. This
practice forces you to think about what happened and identify patterns. You end up with
a convenient record of the whole plot.
Circle words you want to learn or words that jump out at you for some reason. If you
don’t want to stop reading, just guess at the meaning of such words. Later, look the words
up and jot down relevant meanings for each. You need not write out a full dictionary
definition; it is often helpful to put the relevant meaning in your own words.
P.S. This class represents a big step toward the independence you will experience as a
college student. We will not collect or grade your annotations. But we believe learning to
annotate effectively and efficiently is crucial. We strongly urge you to do it.