English Department

Grade 11 Summer Reading 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.


Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

This book chronicles the history of a few generations of anAfro-American family and a young boy’s efforts to gain some approval from hisBible-thumping, disciplinarian father. The story is told in a series offlashbacks. It begins in 1935 with young Southerner Gabriel Grimes running awayfrom home.


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury’s novel details the eternal war between censorshipand freedom of thought and continues to be relevant today more than ever. InBradbury’s future, books are illegal and happily so—citizens are too busywatching their wall-sized televisions and listening to their in ear “seashell”radios to care about the loss of good literature.


My Antonia by Willa Cather

Willa Cather’s masterful portrait of prairie culture, basedon her own life. Against Nebraska’spanoramic landscape, Cather recreates the life of an immigrant girl whobecomes, in the memories of narrator Jim Burden, the epitome of strong anddignified womanhood.


The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Notorious when first published in 1899, The Awakening is a landmark novel of female emancipation andself-determination. This beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and thepublic that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired,The Awakening has been hailed as anearly version of woman’s emancipation.


Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane

In concerns Maggie Johnson, a tenement girl, who is treatedbrutally as a child by her alcoholic mother. She eventually escapes her brother’sfriend Pete, who seduces her. Because she has dishonored herself, the familydisowns her; when Pete leaves her, Maggie becomes a prostitute.


The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Ellison won the National Book Award for this searing storyof a black man’s fervent quest for personal identity and social visibility thattakes him on a journey through the Southern U.S. and later to New York City.


Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

In the fall of 1959, John Howard Griffin darkened the colorof his skin and then set out on an odyssey through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama,  and Georgia, a white man traveling as a blackman in order to find out first-hand what it was like “to be a Negro in the DeepSouth.”


A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettablestory of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his love for abeautiful English nurse. His description of the German attack on Caporetto—oflines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized—is oneof the greatest moments in literary history.


Hiroshimaby John R. Hersey

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshimawas destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, JohnHersey’s journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Toldthroughout the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionatedocument has become a classic “that stirs the conscience of humanity.”


Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis

Lewis’ portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises topower within his church—a saver of souls who lives a life of hypocrisy,sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence—is also the record of a period, areign of grotesque vulgarity, which but for Lewis would have left no record ofitself. Elmer Gantry has been calledthe greatest, most vital, and most penetrating study of hypocrisy that has beenwritten since Voltaire.


The Call of the Wild by Jack London

This book tells the gripping tale of a dog named Buck who iswrenched out of his life of ease and luxury to become a sled dog in Alaska. Drawing on hiswolf heritage, Buck must fight for survival in an alien environment.


The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The absorbing personal story of the man who rose from a lifeof poverty and disadvantage to become the most dynamic leader of the BlackRevolution, only to have his life cut short by an assassin’s bullets. When hisown conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammed, Malcolm founded theOrganization of Afro-American Unity, to reach African Americans across thecountry with an inspiring message of pride, power, and self-determination. The Autobiography of Malcolm X definesAmerican culture and the African-American struggle for social and economicequality that has now become a battle for survival.


The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Four lonely individuals, marginalized misfits in theirfamilies/communities, each obsessed with a vision of his or her place in theworld, collect about a single deaf-mute with whom they share their deepestsecrets. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies thehuman condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South,McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to therejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated—and, through Mick Kelly, givesvoice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.


The Chosen by ChaimPotok

This is the odyssey from boyhood to manhood for two Jewishboys amidst the conflict between generations and religious traditions. As theboys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother,and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. Ineffect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreatfrom again.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

One of the best selling books of all time, theheart-wrenching story of Eliza Harris and Uncle Tome, published in 1852,exposed the horrors of slavery and helped bring about the Civil War.


Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

Up from Slaverychronicles the life and times of Booker T. Washington. In this captivatingautobiography, Washingtonrecounts his personal voyage from the shackles of slavery to the pinnacle ofprominence. The Tuskegee Institute, later to become today’s Tuskegee University,plays a large role in the book, so much so that the latter half of Up From Slavery is as much about Tuskegee as it is about Washington.


The Natural by Bernard Malamud

The Natural iswidely considered to be the premier baseball novel of all time. It tells thestory of Roy Hobbs—an athlete born with rare and wondrous gifts—who is robbedof his prime playing years by a youthful indiscretion that nearly costs him hislife. But at an age when most players are considering retirement, Roy reenters the game,lifting the lowly New York Knights from last place into pennant contention andbecoming an instant hero in the process. Now all he has to worry about are thefixers, the boss, the slump, the jinx, the fans—and the dangerously seductiveMemo Paris, the one woman Roy can’t seem to get out of his mind.


The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

In 1949, four Chinese women begin meeting in San Francisco for fun.Nearly 40 years later, their daughters continue to meet as the Joy Luck Club.Their stories ultimately display the double happiness that can be found inbeing both Chinese and American.


The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Neither a novel nor a short story collection, it is an arcof fictional episodes, taking place in the childhoods of its characters, in thejungles of Vietnam and backhome in Americatwo decades later.


Beloved by Toni Morrison

Sethe, an escaped slave, kills her own daughter to preventher from being claimed as a slave in this stunningly rendered story. Belovedreturns to her mother as a ghost 20 years later. Any fans of Morrison’s earlywork, The Bluest Eye will surelyenjoy this book.


A Prayer for Own Meany by John Irving

In the summer of 1953, during a Little League baseball game,11-year-old Own Meany hits a foul ball that kills his best friend’s mother.What happens to him after that fateful day makes A Prayer for Owen Meany extraordinary, terrifying, andunforgettable.