Summer Reading Lists

Located (below) on this page are the summer reading  lists for the English Classes , UCONN , AP English summer reading, and Various AP History classes.  

English Department Summer Reading 

   Enfield High School

  2017 Summer Reading

This summer, you will be asked to read one of three titles.  The three titles are:

 Animal Farm by George Orwell

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

 You can find these titles at the Enfield Public Library Central and Pearl Street locations, the Barnes and Noble on Hazard Avenue, or at any other bookseller.  As always, you will be assessed on your completion of one of the selected summer reading books.   There are three ways you can choose to be assessed, all of which will count as a first quarter quiz grade.


1.     Attend a summer book chat (we will hold one for each book), and participate in the discussion.  You can register for the session you would like to attend by clicking on the link below and making note of which book chat you’ll be attending.  The book chat schedule is as follows:

·        Wednesday, August 2: Animal Farm

·        Wednesday, August 9: I Am Malala

·        Wednesday, August 16: Into the Wild

Each book chat will be held in the library at Enfield High School from 12-1 PM.  You may register for the book chat of your choice until the day before the book chat. Click here to register: Book ChatRegistration (This link can also be accessed at


2.     Post on a summer reading book blog (there will be one for each book).  Participate in an online discussion by submitting at least three blog posts, and responding to at least three other people’s blog posts.  Please refer to the attached questions as a starting point for your ideas, but do not feel restricted by them.  All blog posts must be submitted by Friday, September 15th.


To join a Summer Reading Blog:

·        Go to

·        If you have a Schoology account, Log In.  If not, you’ll have to create one.

·        Enter one of the following access codes:

o  For Animal Farm enter SCJXW-68KMJ

o  For I Am Malala enter G42KQ-SSGVG

o  For Into the Wild enter BJG6K-7DZX5

·        Go to the Discussions tab on the left-hand side of the page to begin posting!

3.     Answer 8 of the 10 questions attached for your selected book, and hand in to your English teacher by Friday, September 15th.  Responses must be typed!


Classic Fiction:  Animal Farm by George Orwell

 George Orwell's timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
A farm is taken over by its overworked,mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible. 

Discussionquestions for Animal Farm 

1.     Throughout the animals' reign on the farm, Napoleon and Squealer dangle the possibility of Jones' return as a constant danger, keeping most of the other animals in fear, and thus, submission. Do you think that this was a legitimate threat? Do you feel that, overall, the animals were better or worse off once they were in control of the farm? 

2.     Repeatedly, the animals sacrifice themselves in order to complete the windmill, only to see it destroyed time and again. What symbolic role does the windmill play? How do you account for the pigs' insistence that it be built and re-built? 

3.     On pages 3 - 10 of the novel, Old Major expresses his vision of a society free of human influence and control. Compare and contrast this against what eventually plays out on Manor Farm once the animals have taken over. What concepts or goals remain the same?

4.     Initially, the seven commandments issued by the animals were deemed unalterable, and symbolized a code by which the animals could live peacefully and equally among themselves. Choose and discuss two individual commandments. Who benefited in each instance and how?

5.     How do the pigs ascended so quickly to power and dominion over all other animals? What key steps did they take, and which elements did they make certain to control? 

6.     Although Napoleon is considered the absolute Leader of Animal Farm, it is Squealer who is most adept at conveying the "party line"to the animals, often convincing them to disbelieve their own eyes. What methods does Squealer employ to deceive and/or placate the other animals? How does the concept of memory (or lack thereof) figure in Squealer's pronouncements and dealings with them? 

7.     Discuss Napoleon's interaction with the humans after the animal shave taken control of the farm. What do Napoleon's dealings with Whymper say about the self-sufficiency of the animals? 

8.     In reading AnimalFarm, Lord Acton's famous pronouncement "Power tends to corrupt, and absolutepower corrupts absolutely" may come to mind. How and why is this statementapplicable to the course of events in the novel?

9.     Among the various characters in the novel, which do you feel isthe noblest or most worthy? 

10. Why do Napoleon and Squealer consistently emphasize ceremony,tradition and rank? Do you feel that titles such as "Animal hero, secondclass," or the "Order of the Green Banner" mean as much to therest of the animals as they do the pigs?


Classic Non-fiction:  Into the Wild byJohn Krakauer

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt.McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. 

Discussion questions for Into the Wild 

1.     Each chapter opens with 1-2 epigraphs (quotes/excerpts from other sources,interviews, or Chris’ writing). What do these epigraphs do to focus our reading? 

2.     Jon Krakauer admits to being the opposite of “an impartial biographer.”  How does his presence in the text affect the telling of Chris’ story? 

3.     What do you think Krakauer’s purpose was in writing this text?  Is this purely an informational piece?  A tragedy we should feel badly about?  A cautionary tale?  

4.     How does Krakauer demonstrate that risk-taking is a rite of passage?  Do you agree or disagree with this idea? 

5.     Think about Chris’ relationship with his family. Does the inclusion of this back story make us more or less sympathetic to him?  Do you sympathize with his parents, or his sister Carine?  

6.     In the epigraph to Chapter 6, we read a passage from Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, which speaks about “a life in conformity to higher principles.”  What do you think Thoreau meant by this?  How does it relate to Chris’ life story? 

7.     Jack London was not the adventurer he proposed to be in his books and Walt McCandless was not the ideal father he purported to be.  Why do you think Chris judged both men so differently for their shortcomings?  What would you do if you learned what Chris did about his father? 

8.     In a letter to Ronald Franz, Chris wrote, “nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.  The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure” (56).  How does Chris demonstrate this in his life?  Do you believe he would have turned out differently if his family was less well-to-do?

9.     What are your impressions of Chris?  Was he noble?  Reckless?  Selfish? Courageous? 

10. Chris set out to “kill the false being within” (163). What do you think he meant by that? How can we do this, without going to the extreme measures that Chris took?   


Contemporary Non-fiction: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Discussion Questions for I Am Malala 

1.      Malalais known for her passion for education and women’s rights. How does her passion for education shape her life? What is one cause that you care about deeply?  How can Malala’s life help you pursue your passion further?    

2.      Malala became an activist when she was very young. Discuss how you felt while reading about her experience. Where did Malala find her courage and inspiration?

3.      Malalaand her father have a very unique and close relationship. How has Malala's father inspired her?  How has he helped to shape the type of person she has become?   

4.      Discuss Malala’s relationship with her mother. What influence does she have on Malala?In what ways does Malala’s relationship with her mother compare/contrast with her relationship with her father?

5.      What are some of the best ways Malala deals with her traumatic experience?  If you could offer Malala some advice, what would it be?  

6.      Malala witnesses her immediate surroundings change dramatically within a short time period. Describe the changes to both Pakistan and Swat throughout I Am Malala. How does Malala experience and respond to these changes? How is Malala’s character influenced and shaped by her surroundings? 

7.      Throughout the book, Malala describes her desire to return home to Swat valley. Discuss how Malala’s relationship with Swat is complicated even further by her role as an activist. Do you think Malala will return to Pakistan and Swat? 

8.      Malala demonstrates an overwhelming sense of courage in the face of adversity. Discuss how Malala reacts to the challenges she faces, as well as the challenges to Swat and Pakistan. How do her peers react? What gives them strength?

9.      Malala’s family now lives in Birmingham, England. How might this experience of being uprooted affect Malala, positively or negatively, as her life goes on?  

10.  Malala's mother, Tor Pekai Yousafzai, cannot read or write.How do you think this has impacted Malala's life and her view of education forfemales? 

Additional Option

 In addition to choosing one of these 3 titles, you may choose any book off the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge for enrichment.  Should you wish to read an extra book from the Governor’s List, please visit for the list of Grades 9-12 titles. You may then write a one-page paper on a theme presented in the book, or create an artistic representation of one of those themes, for extra credit in your English class.  Please see your English teacher for details!


Summer 2017


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future-of a world utterly transformed. through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class.

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

FRANKENSTEIN is widely regarded as a landmark work of romantic and gothic literature.  Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's FrankensteinMary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who through a strangely unorthodox experiment creates a grotesque yet sentient being. Victor, repulsed by the thing that he has created, abandons the monster. The creature in turn saddened by this rejection, departs as well. What follows is a series of tragic events. There is no greater novel in the monster genre than “Frankenstein” and no more well known monster than the one that is at the center of this novel. However, the monster of “Frankenstein” is more than the common lumbering moronic giant that is most often represented. Frankenstein’s monster is in reality a thinking intelligent being who is tormented by a world in which he does not belong. In this depiction Shelley draws upon the universal human themes of creation, the nature of existence, and the need for acceptance. For it is without this acceptance that the true monster, the violent nature of humanity, emerges. 

How to Read Literature Like a Professor  by Thomas C. Foster
While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes—and the literary codes-of the ultimate professional reader, the college professor.

What does it mean when a literary hero is traveling along a dusty road? When he hands a drink to his companion? When he’s drenched in a sudden rain shower?

Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices and form, Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature—a world where a road leads to a quest, a shared meal may signify a communion, and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just a shower-and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

AP Language and Composition 

English Summer Reading 2017

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

 (Mr. Sullivan/Mr. McMahon)

Summer Reading Assignment

Rationale: The purpose of this summer reading program is to provide a foundation of close reading and analysis that will enable a student to be successful in Advanced Placement classes and beyond. The AP English Language and Composition course primarily focuses on non-fiction prose that discusses politics, history, social sciences, and current events. We will study and analyze stylistic and rhetorical strategies used in various literary texts throughout the year in preparation for the AP examination in May.         

Assignment: Over the summer, you will be required to read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  In the first weeks of school you will be given assessments that will evaluate your reading comprehension and writing ability. The two written assignments (Parts I and II) detailed below are due on the first day of school and are designed to prepare you both for these assessments and the course itself.


Book Synopsis: On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

Part I – Rhetorical Analysis

As you read, choose one meaningful, memorable passage from each section (section I “The Last to See Them Alive,” section II “Persons Unknown,” section III “Answer,” section IV “The Corner”). Each passage should be one to two pages long in the original work and clearly demonstrate careful selection. The passages, when viewed together, must represent one of each of the four divisions of participants within the literary work: the victims, the townspeople, the investigators, and the criminals. You may focus on these groups in any order, but consider that Capote will likely focus on “the victims” in the earlier sections. For each passage, you will photo-copy the text (or type it up) to create a clean, attractive copy; include Part, Chapter and Page(s) on your copy. Then, you will annotate all four excerpts using the notation directions.


Notation Directions (for each passage): On each passage, complete (and clearly label) the following:

1) In the space at the top of your passage (or on the back), clearly answer the following: What is happening at this point in the text? (Provide the context. Make sure to include the 5 Ws [who, what, where, when, why].)

2) Mark the following elements on the excerpts:

a. Meaningful diction (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) in the passage. Comment marginally (read: in the margin) on at least five of these words, considering: (1) What connotations/emotions/tone do the word choices create? (2) Are the word choices similar throughout the passage or is there a shift? What do the words suggest about the characters, setting, conflict, etc.? What is the author’s purpose in selecting these particular words? [Hint: In general, marginal comments will take the form of a phrase such as: conveys ________, shows _________, suggests _________, fitting because _________ , or significant because _________.] Example: In the opening passage of the non-fiction piece, Capote describes the “village” of Holcomb as “a lonesome area” in order to _____________.

b. Meaningful punctuation choices (dashes, parentheses, ellipses, etc.). Comment marginally on one aspect of the syntax that seems meaningful to you. See above.

c. Narrative strategies and one rhetorical device. (I have listed ideas in the boxes below; the list is not comprehensive.) Label the strategy or device marginally and briefly comment on its effect.

d. Bracket around two 5-10 line blocks of text within the passage; for each, choose an appropriate tone. Be as precise as possible in choosing tone words; consider using adjectives. Again, notate the author’s purpose in creating the tone.

Part II – “Free” Response

After reading you must respond to ONE of the following Free Response Question options. This 500-600 word essay (the first three paragraphs of this document are, taken together, 241 words long) must be typed in MLA format (12-point font, double spaced, Times New Roman). You will need to print and attach the essays to the back of your Rhetorical Analysis work (see Part I) and again, submit on the first day of class.

Free Response Question #1

The theme of American middle-class is central to Capotes text. Read the passage from the section “The Last to See Them Alive” from Capotes In Cold Blood, starting from “the master of River Valley Farm, Herbert William Clutter,” and ends several pages later with “had small reason to complain.” Then, write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how Capote uses the Clutter family to represent the rising middle-class in 1950s America. Be certain to ground all of your assertions firmly in the text. Do not merely summarize the passage.


Free Response Question #2

 Carefully read the passage from “The Corner” section of the book, beginning with “But had Mr. Jones been permitted to discourse,” and ending with “the amateur analyst reached conclusions not dissimilar.” Then, write a well-organized essay in which you evaluate the effectiveness of Capotes inclusion of the report. Be certain to justify your stance with evidence from the text. Do not merely summarize the plot. 

Terms for use with Notation Directions, #2, a-d

This first list, list A, are some strategies and devices for narrative writing you may be familiar with from English 9 and English 10:

LIST A – Narrative Strategies

point of view                                                               flash forward and flashback

events/actions/thoughts                                               pacing

conflicts / tension / suspense                                       figurative language

imagery                                                                       voice (of narrator)

verb tense                                                                    sentence length (rhythm, pacing)

irony                                                                            language (colloquial, informal, jargon, etc.)

humor                                                                          repetitions

focus (of a chapter, of a paragraph, etc.)


This second list, list B, are rhetorical devices and terms that may be unfamiliar to you.  Look up the most challenging words and do the best you can to use them.  This will give you a head start on the new, challenging concepts will wrestle with during this coming year.

LIST B - Rhetorical Devices

allusion                                                                        analogy

illustration                                                                   juxtaposition

parallelism                                                                   tone

rhetorical question                                                       contrasts

diction                                                                         comparison

AP European History Summer Reading 2017

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

In this classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power, Machiavelli used a rational approach to advise prospective rulers, developing logical arguments and alternatives for a number of potential problems, among them governing hereditary monarchies, dealing with colonies and the treatment of conquered peoples. Refreshing in its directness, yet often disturbing in its cold practicality, The Prince sets down a frighteningly pragmatic formula for political fortune. Starkly relevant to the political upheavals of the 20th century, this calculating prescription for power remains today, nearly 500 years after it was written, a timely and startling lesson in the practice of autocratic rule that continues to be much read and studied by students, scholars and general readers as well.

AP U.S. History
Summer Reading List 2017


Dear friend, the following is  a list of recommended titles for your summer reading.  It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you read at least TWO titles from the list or of your choosing outside of this list.  Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list of American History titles.  It is a sampling of recommended titles for your summer reading.  Many, many, many more could be listed.  You get the picture.  The idea is to READ, READ, READ!!!!

Matthew Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold Story of the National Security Agency (New York:     Bloomsbury Press, 2009)

 Glen Alschuler and Stuart Blumin, The GI Bill: The New Deal for Veterans (Pivotal Moments in American History) (Boston: Penguin [Non-Classics], 2009)

 Russell S. Bonds, Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor . 1st Edition (Westholme Publishing, 2008)

 Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer, The American Presidency (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004)

 Bryan Burrough, Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 133-34 (Boston: Penguin [Non-Classics], 2009)

 Richard Cheney, Kings of the Hill: How Nine Powerful Men Changed the Course of American History (New York: Touchstone, 1997)

 Robert Dallek and Terry Golway, John F. Kennedy in His Own Words: Let Every Nation Know (Sourcebooks MediaFusion, 2006)

 David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

 Timothy M.  Gay, Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010)

 Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013)

 Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (New York: Vintage Books, 2008)

 Winston Groom, Patriotic Fire: Andrew Jackson and Jean Laffite at the Battle of New Orleans (Vintage) (New York: Vintage, 2007)

 Eric Foner, Who Owns History: Rethinking the Past in a Changing World (New York: Hill and Wang, 2002)

 John Garraty, Historical Viewpoints (New York: Longman, 2002)

 Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Pailn, and the Race of a Lifetime (New York: Harper, 2010)

 Thomas C. Holt, Children of Fire: A History of African Americans (New York: Hill and Wang, 2010)

 Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic (New York: Vintage Books, 1998)

 Carol Hymowitz and Michaele Weissman, A History of American Women (New York: Bantam Books, 1978)

 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York, Boston: Warner Books, 2001)

 Walter LaFaber, America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-1992 (New York, NY.: McGraw-Hill, Inc.)

 James Loewen, Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong (New York: Touchstone – Simon and Schuster, 2000)

 Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (New York: Touchstone – Simon and Schuster, 1995, 2007)

 Candice Millard, Destiny Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President (New York: Random house, Inc., 2011)

 Gary B. Nash and Ronald Schultz, Retracing the Past, Volumes 1 and 2 (New York: Longman, 2002)

 James Nelson, George Washington’s Secret Navy: How the American Revolution Went to Sea, 1st Edition (Camden, Maine: International Marine/ Ragged Mountain Press, 2009)

 Lynne Olson, Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour (New York: Random House, 2010)

 M. William Phelps, The Devil’s Rooming House: The True Story of America’s Deadliest Female Serial Killer (New York: The Lyons Press, 2010)

 Kevin O’Reilly, Evaluating Historical Viewpoints: Critical Thinking in United States History Series (Pacific Grove, CA.: Midwest Publications, 1990)

 Jackie Robinson, I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography (HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1995)

 Alexander Rose, Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring (United States and Canada: Bantam, 2007)

 Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The Age of Jackson (Boston: Back Bay, 1945)

 Jeff Shaara, The Steel Wave: A Novel of World War II, Chicago: Ballantine Books, 2009)

 Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (New York: Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003)

 Storing, What  the Anti-Federalists Were For (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981)

 The Federalist Papers

 B.M. Touhill, Readings in American History (River Forest, IL.: Laidlaw Brothers, 1970)

 Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told to Alex Haley) (New York: Random House, 1973, 1992)

 Lawrence Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima to Watergate (Expanded Edition) (Fort Worth, TX.: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1978)

 Gordon S. Wood, Myths of the Revolutionary Era (New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1993)

 Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (New York: Harper Perennial, 2005)