Upper School Summer Reading
As Mike Gannon says in his letter, the English Department has decided to make a big change in the summer reading assignment for this year. The English teachers would like for all students in grades 9-12 to read the same book, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (ISBN # 978-0-06-249853-3). This book replaces the previous summer reading books, and is not an addition to them. Each student should purchase a hard copy of the novel, read it over the summer, and bring it to school with them on the first day of class in August. We feel that this compelling story will be a good way to launch the school year and to facilitate a school-wide conversation about the dramatic events of the past few weeks as Americans have come out by the thousands to protest racial injustice. Students should read the book with pen in hand and practice active reading by marking the text in the way that works best for them in order to keep track of characters, plot, and themes.
The novel was made into a critically acclaimed 2018 movie, directed by George Tillman, Jr., and starring Amandla Sternberg as Starr Carter. Students will enjoy seeing the movie but should read the book first so they can picture the characters themselves before seeing Tillman’s treatment of the novel. Similarities and differences between the book and the movie are always an interesting talking point in class.
The reading questions on Hate U Give, posted below, are provided as a guide to get the most out of the novel and to begin to think about the complex ideas that it raises. We recommend that you write answers to the questions for two reasons: first, processing your thoughts on paper as you read helps to get you involved and to stay involved in the book; and second, thinking of ideas and writing them down helps them stick in your mind. These notes will not be graded, but writing responses will help you contribute to the class discussions and do well on the first assessment in your English class.
Students will be asked to sign the honor pledge that they have read the book, and then the assignment will be assessed in various ways, depending on grade level. For most students, the summer reading assessment will count as the first quiz grade of fall semester. Please see the Hate U Give assignment and reading questions posted for each grade level below (ie. the same required book, Hate U Give, for each grade level), followed by additional books that students can read for extra credit. These Parallel Reading books include Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, a good companion book to Hate U Give, as well as additional books that relate to the curriculum at that grade level.
If you have any questions about the summer reading assignment, please email Marsha Durlin, English Dept. Chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.