Long Branch High School

English Department

Grade 12 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.


Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe’s first novel portrays the collision ofAfrican and European cultures in people’s lives.  Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditionalsociety, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought about by British colonialrule.  Yet, as in classic tragedy,Okonkwo’s downfall results from his own character as well as from externalforces.


Tuesday with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague.Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when  you were young and searching, helped you seethe world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make yourway through it.  For Mitch Albom, thatperson was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.


Wuthering Heights by EmilyBronte

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte’s only novel, is one ofthe pinnacles of the 19th Century English literature.  It’s the story of Heathcliff, an orphan whofalls in love with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest ofhis life to wreaking revenge on her family.


The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

While in Parison business, Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-nightphone call; the elderly curator of the Lourve has been murdered inside themuseum.  Near the body, police have founda baffling cipher.  While working tosolve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trailof clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci-clues visible for all to see-yetingeniously disguised by the painter.


The Stranger by Albert Camus

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn intoa senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed“nakedness of man faced with the absurd”.


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

In Conrad’s haunting tale, Marlow a seaman and wanderer,recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the enigmaticKurtz.  Traveling to the heart of theAfrican continent, he discovers how Kurtz has gained his position of power andinfluence over the local people. Marlow’s struggle to fathom his experience involves him in a radicalquestioning of not only his own nature and values but of his society.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

In The Hours,Michael Cunningham is widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of hisgeneration, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tellthe story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflictingclaims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.  The narrative of Woolf’s last days before hersuicide in World War II counterpoints the fictional stories of Richard, afamous poet whose life has been shadowed by his talented and troubled mother,and his lifelong friend Clarissa, who strives to forge a balanced and rewardinglife in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.


Serpent by Clive Cussler

When Kurt Austin, the leader of a courageous NationalUnderwater & Marine Agency exploration team, rescues beautiful marinearchaeologist Nina Kirov off the coast of Morocco,he becomes the next target of Texasindustrialist Don Halcon. A madman bent on carving a new nation out of thesouthwester United Statesand Mexico,Halcon’s scheme hinges on Nina’s recent discovery involving treasure buried inthe battered remains of the sunken Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria.


Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of familylife in the turn-of-the-century Mexicobecame a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance andbittersweet wit.


The Rainmaker by John Grisham

In this courtroom thriller, a young man barely out of lawschool finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthlesscompanies in America—and exposing a complex, multibillion-dollar insurancescam.


Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

In 1954 a fisherman from San Piedro Island in Puget Sound is found suspiciously drowned, and aJapanese-American is charged with his murder. The trial is haunted by memoriesof what happened to the Japanese residents during World War II when the entirecommunity was sent into exile.


For Whom the BellTolls by Ernest Hemingway

This masterpiece of time and place tells a profound andtimeless story of courage and commitment, love and loss, that takes place overa fleeting 72 hours. Drawing on Hemingway’s own involvement in the SpanishCivil War, For Whom Bell Tollsreflects his passionate feelings about the nature of war and the meaning ofloyalty.


Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha is apowerful book. It is focused on one individual’s spiritual journey throughlife. It is a book about illumination of self-discovery, learning the lessonsand meaning of life through our individual experiences. It is a journey thatteaches us the importance of finding, as contrary to simply seeking.


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World isa novel in which capitalist civilization has been reconstituted through themost efficient scientific and psychological engineering, where people aregenetically designed to be passive, consistently useful to the ruling class.


The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

It was the storm of the century—a tempest created by so rarea combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it “the perfect storm.” The Perfect Storm is a real-lifethriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature thatleaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caughthelpless in the grip of a force beyond understanding and control.


 The Bean Treesby Barbara Kingslover

Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goalsof avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads was with high hopesand a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. Hers is astory about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discoveryof surprising resources in apparently empty places.


The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped byher father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, andcontinuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man whoterrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has beenkeeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with anexample of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes herfinally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.


Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Heralded as Virginia Woolf’s greatest novel, this is a vividportrait of a single day in a woman’s life. When we meet her, Mrs. ClarissaDalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation whilein her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As shereadies her house, she is flooded with remembrances of faraway times. And, metwith the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that broughther there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.