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Summer Reading 2017/2018 

Honors English 9 and Advanced Honors English 9
Summer Reading 2017/2018

Honors English 9 Summer Reading Assignment- handouts available under File Manager

Choose one (1) of the following books for summer reading:

Beautiful Country by J.R. Thornton

  • Chase Robertson arrives in Beijing as a fourteen-year-old boy still troubled by the recent death of his older brother. He discovers a country in transition; a society in which the dual systems of Communist Era state control and an emerging entrepreneurial culture exist in paradox. A top ranked junior tennis player in the U.S., Chase joins the practices of the Beijing National Junior Tennis Team and is immersed in the brutal, cut-throat world of Chinese sport. It is a world in which gifted children are selected at the ages of six or seven for specialized sport schools where they devote their entire youth to the pursuit of athletic excellence and are paid as professionals by the state. Athletes find themselves compelled to do anything possible to succeed—right or wrong. Those who fail to reach the pinnacle are cast aside and are left facing a desperate future without hope.  In China, Chase gains access to a culture rarely open to Westerners, and soon finds himself caught up in secrets. When his closest friend and teammate turns to him for help, Chase is faced with the dilemma of what to do when friendship, rules, and morals are in conflict.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

  • When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the town’s most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will continue to share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

DIRECTIONS: While reading your novel, you will focus on the characterization of the protagonist.  You will find direct and indirect characterization provided by the author, and you will chart evidence of each type in the attached T-Chart.  On the T-Chart, you will list 5 quotes that reveal direct characterization and 5 quotes that reveal indirect characterization.  An example of this assignment can be found in the file manager.

  • Direct characterization is when an author explicitly lists the traits of a character with specific adjectives and descriptions (i.e. humorous, friendly, tall, short, etc.)  

  • Indirect characterization consists of the author showing the audience what kind of person a character is through the character’s thoughts, words, and deeds. This requires the audience to make inferences about why a character would say or do those things.

On the T-Chart, you will list 5 quotes that reveal direct characterization and 5 quotes that reveal indirect characterization.  An example of this assignment can be found in the file manager.


Advanced Honors English 9 Summer Reading Assignment- handouts available under File Manager

Choose two (2) of the following titles for summer reading:

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  • At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.

 *The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossieni (deals with sensitive topics and more mature content)

  • Growing up in Kabul, Amir and Hassan are inseparable friends. As an adult living in California, Amir remains haunted by a childhood incident in which he betrayed Hassan's trust. When he learns that the Taliban has murdered Hassan and wife, Amir returns to his homeland to learn the fate of the couple's son.

 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  • Scout Finch, 6,and her older brother, Jem, live in sleepy Maycomb, Ala., spending much of their time with their friend Dill and spying on their reclusive and mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley. When Atticus, their widowed father and a respected lawyer, defends a black man named Tom Robinson against fabricated rape charges, the trial and tangent events expose the children to evils of racism and stereotyping.

 The Book Thief  by Marcus Zusak

  • In 1938, young orphan Liesel arrives at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa. When Hans, a kindly house painter, learns that Liesel cannot read, he teaches the child the wonders of the written language. Liesel grows to love books, even rescuing one from a Nazi bonfire. Though Liesel's new family barely scrape by, their situation becomes even more precarious when they secretly shelter a Jewish boy whose father once saved Hans' life.

DIRECTIONS:  The Advanced Honors English 9 summer reading assignment is focused around the topic of censorship and books that have been banned or challenged within the United States.  Students will complete the following tasks:

  1. Choose two online articles on the subject of banned or challenged books prior to reading the summer reading texts (,,,, etc.). This assignment will be submitted to Managebac

  • For each article, type a summary of the article which answers the 5 W’s:
    Who, What, When, Where, and Why.  

  • You will have three documents: a summary for the first article, a summary for the second article, and a works cited page that lists them both.

    • Your documents should be in MLA format

      • 1 inch margins, header, 12 point font, and double spaced

      • Hint: use the Google Docs MLA template

    • Visit the Purdue Writing Center website for reminders on how to create a works cited page for informational texts. (


  1. Read two of the four book required titles.

  • Log a total of 10-15 entries on the triple entry journal handout.  This will be 110-5 entries total for BOTH books, not a separate handout for each text.

  • Each entry includes a quote from the text, page number, and an explanation
    (See handout for directions)