English Department

Grade 9 SummerReading List


All students are required to read two books duringthe summer. In addition to reading, students are responsible for completing areading response journal as they read throughout the summer. These readingresponse journals should be written in a notebook and will be collected andgraded the first week of school. In September each student will give an oralpresentation based on their journal entries and the books they read.


Directions for Reading Response Journals:

You will be required to complete areading response journal for the summer reading book(s) of your choice. Eachentry should have a heading which includes the date, the title of the workunder discussion, and the section/page numbers of the work. Topics forresponses can center on, but are not limited to: 


·        What parts of the book did you find interestingor confusing in the reading?

·        Explain a character’s thoughts or actions at keypoints in the story.

·        Describe any characters you can personallyrelate to.

·        Connect themes or characters to other books orstories you have read.

·        Describe any characters you can relate to a realworld context.

·        Write diary entries from a major character’spoint of view.

·        Discuss any social relevance you discover in thethemes or events of the play.

·        Respond to key developments of the plot.

·        Predict a conflict’s resolution.


Your responses should begin toreflect informed opinions about the book(s) being read and should use passagesfrom the text to support your opinions. It will be important to discuss in yourresponses various literary techniques and elements including, but not limitedto, structure, diction, syntax, tone, figurative language, and poetic andrhetorical devices.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The story of a British earthling plucked from his planet,and his subsequent adventures elsewhere in the universe.


Durango Street by Frank Bonham

When Rufus Henry gets out of work camp for stealing a car,he has only one place to go—back to Durango Street. Almost right away, he gets on the wrongside of the Gassers, has to join the rival Moors—and starts running for hislife.


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Ten strangers are gathered together on an isolated island bya mysterious host. They share the darkest secrets of their pasts, and then, oneby one, they die.


After the First Death by Robert Cormier

Events of the hijacking of a bus of children by terroristsseeking the return of their homeland are described from the perspectives of ahostage, a terrorist, an Army general involved in the rescue operation, and hisson, chosen as the go-between.


Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist,whose famous characters include Fagin, the cruel burglar Bill Sikes, and thewily and impudent pickpocket, the Artful Dodger (as well as the young orphanOliver himself), was conceived by Dickens as a criticism of the Poor Law of1824.


Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper

Romiette, an African-American girl, and Julio, a Hispanicboy, discover that they attend the same high school after falling in love onthe Internet, but are harassed by a gang whose members object to theirinterracial dating.


By George: Autobiography of George Foreman by GeorgeForeman, Joel Engel

The two-time world heavyweight champion’s autobiographytraces his rise from 60’s Houston street hoodlum to world champ, family man andadvertising star.


A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

A young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to teachvisits a black youth on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Together theycome to understand the heroism of resisting.


The Friends by Rosa Guy

Phyllisia eventually recognizes that her own selfish priderather than her mother’s death and her father’s tyrannical behavior created thegulf between her and her best friend.


My Love, My Love: The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy

Rosa Guy’s tropical retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’sfable “The Little Mermaid” is the tragic love story of Desiree, the beautifulpeasant girl who devotes herself, body and soul, to a handsome urban “prince”whose life she has saved from an accident near her village.


Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

In a future where the Population Police enforce the lawlimiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years inisolation and fear on his family’s farm, until another “third” convinces himthat government is wrong.


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal:a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.


Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

A spellbinding fantasy adventure brimming with dragons,wizards, and castles.


Slam by Walter Dean Myers

Sixteen-year-old “Slam” Harris is counting on his noteworthybasketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance tosucceed in life, but his coach sees things differently.


The Name of the Game Was Murder by Joan Lowery Nixon

Samantha’s mean-spirited great-uncle, famous novelistAugustus Trevor, has invited—or blackmailed—a group of celebrities to hisisland mansion to participate in a “game.” But when Augustus is found dead,Samantha must join the game.


A Tree Grows in Brooklynby Betty Smith

The Nolans live in the Williamsburgslums of Brooklyn. Their Daughter Francie andson Neelly know more than their fair share of the sufferings that are the lotof the poor. As Francie grows up, the beginnings of wisdom sprout in her.


The Cay by Theodore Taylor

After a shipwreck, a young boy is stranded on an island witha very interesting companion and learns life lessons on survival, prejudice andovercoming adversity.


Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins findshimself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts theOne Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journeyacross Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foilthe Dark Lord in his evil purpose.


The Two Towers by J.R.R.Tolkien

In this second volume of Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings, the intrepidhobbit Frodo Baggins moves toward Mordor, Sauron’s hellish stronghold, where hemust attempt to destroy the dangerous ring that could destroy the world.


Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

Having vanquished Sauron’s troops and killed the Lord of theDark Riders, heroic hobbit Frodo Baggins and his band of soldiers now faceanother, bloodier battle outside Mordor’s Black Gate. The concluding volume ofTolkien’s masterful trilogy.


The Bridge at San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder

This book opens in the aftermath of an inexplicabletragedy—a tiny foot-bridge in Perubreaks, and five people hurtle to their deaths. For Brother Juniper, a humble monkwho witnesses the catastrophe, the question is inescapable; why those five?Suddenly, Brother Juniper is committed to discover what manner of lives theyled—and whether it was divine intervention or a capricious fate that took theirlives.


Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez

A moving true story account of a 14-year-old and his familyforced to leave their home in California.Responding to the struggles of poverty and prejudice with hope, the familyendures and eventually perseveres.