Junior Honors English

Juniors - Summer Reading 2015
Class of 2016 -- St. Louis University dual credit
I am requiring three reading selections to be completed before returning to school in August 2014.
Take notes throughout your reading as the first few weeks of school will be in discussion of the three
novels. Also, have a copy of the novels to bring with you to class each day (digital is okay).
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Persepolis: Book 1 - The Story of a Childhood (graphic novel) by Marjane Satrapi
Assignment One: Due first full day of school
For this assignment, you will be writing an essay based on one of the topic choices below. Choose
only one topic. The essay must be typed and at least 1,000 words in length. Carefully read the
prompt in entirety and to answer all aspects of your prompt in your essay. You will be graded on
basic conventions of grammar and spelling as well as in-depth analysis of the texts. This is not
meant to be a summary of the novels and, doing such, will result in a loss of points.
Choice 1: In many works of literature, a main character has a mentor or mentor-like
acquaintance whose influence dramatically changes how the character views not only himself or
herself, but the world as well. Choose a character in each of these novels that has a mentor that
exhibits such a strong influence, either beneficial or harmful. Then discuss the nature of the
mentor's influence and its significance to the work as a whole.
Choice 2: Sonsyrea Tate wrote “You can leave home all you want, but home will never leave
you.” This statement suggests that “home” may be conceived of as a dwelling, a place, or a state
of mind. It may have positive or negative associations, but in either case, it may have a
considerable influence on an individual. Choose a character from each of these novels who
leaves home yet finds that their home remains significant. Then analyze the importance of
“home” to these characters and the reasons for its continuing influence on them. Explain how
the characters’ ideas of home illuminate the larger meaning of the novels.
Choice 3: In a novel by William Styron, a father tells his son that life "is a search for justice."
Choose a character from each of the novels who responds in some significant way to justice or
injustice. Then analyze these characters' understanding of justice, the degree to which the
characters’ search for justice is successful, and the significance of this search for the work as a
Assignment Two: Taken on day 2 or 3 of the school year
During the first week of school, you will receive a test over the three novels. This will be one
longer test covering all three books. The questions will range from basic knowledge questions to
in-depth analysis of the plot and characters in the novel.
Assignment Three: Completed during the first 2 or 3 weeks of school
We will complete an additional assignment during the first few weeks of school which will utilize
the three novels read for the summer. This assignment is yet to be decided and may require both
group and individual responsibilities.