Tips for a Successful Summer Reading

Ms. Fitch
Ms. Grondolsky
12 AP English
Tips for a Successful Summer Reading
Below you will find our suggestions for your summer reading. Included is a tentative schedule for the
beginning of the year, tips on when and how to read, our expectations from you, etc. Have fun and we’ll
see you in August!
When To Read What
You can read the books in any order at any point during the summer, but the bottom line is that we will
cover The Poisonwood Bible exclusively on the web forum, The Namesake in the first week of school,
and then Jane Eyre (at which time you will begin reading a companion piece to Jane Eyre). Given the
complexity of the books (certainly Jane Eyre), it would benefit you to read the novels twice or at least to
read them once and then thoroughly review your notes and/ or reread key passages close to the start of
Our Expectations Regarding Reading
We certainly expect all three books to be read, which sounds like a “well, duh, Ms. G and Ms. Fitch!”
comment, but what we really mean here is do not substitute with Cliff’s Notes/Spark Notes/Pink
Monkey/ or the film versions of the novels – these sites are not acceptable.
Welcome to A.P.! We expect you to have a thorough working knowledge of all of the novels, which
includes knowing the all characters’ names (not referring to “that depressed guy” or “the dippy sister
whose name starts with G”), the details of the works, and your insight regarding the handouts for both
How to Read
Whenever we read, whether it be novels, short stories, or poems, we expect you to “work” the text
(Work it!). You must underline or notate important information, literary devices (symbols, irony, motifs,
etc), thematic connections, key scenes, etc. While philosophically you may disagree with “marginalia,”
for this course it is a requirement. Come to class prepared.
Other Tips for a Successful Year
Biblical and mythological allusions play a big part in our studies for 12 AP Literature. Most of you
should have a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology from freshman year. Find it a review the
following gods/stories:
The Gorgons
Castor & Pollux
Odysseus (the Odyssey)
Helen of Troy
Poetry analysis is central to our work in preparation for the test. Our poetry anthology, Sound and
Sense, is expensive ($95-ish) and we will require you to purchase a new or extremely gently used copy of
the fourteenth edition); that means a clean copy – no notes. New copies will be available in our