• 11th Grade CP English & CP American Studies Summer Reading Assignments 

    1. REQUIRED: Read ONE book from the list below. As you read, you must annotate with sticky notes.  Bring your book WITH sticky notes to class on the first day of school. It's ok to put sticky notes in the school library books. See details below:

     CLICK HERE for details on what the sticky notes should contain. 
     CLICK HERE for Sticky Note Model. 
    • Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
    • Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
    • The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
    • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
    • Feed  by M.T. Anderson
    • Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins 
    • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
    • The People's History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin
    • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
    2.  REQUIRED: Read one other book by an AMERICAN author that you have not read for a previous class. Consider authors such as Louise Erdrich, Cormac McCarthy, Erik Larson, Octavia E. Butler, James Baldwin, John Irving, Carson McCullers, or Alison Bechdel. 
  •  
     1. REQUIRED: Read ONE book from the ten listed below.
     
    Goodbye, Columbus  
     

    Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth

    Roth's award-winning first book--about Neil Klugman, Brenda Patimkin, and their relationship which tests the boundaries of suspicion, social class, and love--instantly established its author's reputation as a writer of explosive wit, merciless insight, and a fierce compassion for even the most self-deluding of characters.

    Reviews

    "Superior, startling, incandescently alive."
           - The New Yorker
    "A masterpiece."
           - Newsweek
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

    In this darkly comic short story collection, Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spoke Indian Reservation. These 22 interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. There is Victor, who as a nine-year-old crawled between his unconscious parents hoping that the alcohol seeping through their skins might help him sleep. Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who tells his stories long after people stop listening, and Jimmy Many Horses, dying of cancer, who writes letters on stationary that reads "From the Death Bed of James Many Horses III," even though he actually writes them on his kitchen table. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and most poetically, between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.

    Reviews
     “Alexie’s prose startles and dazzles with unexpected, impossible-to-anticipate moves. These are cultural love stories, and we laugh on every page with a fist tight around our hearts.”
           -The Boston Globe
    "Alexie blends an almost despairing social realism with jolting flashes of visionary fantasy and a quirky sense of gallows humor." 
           -Bloomsbury Review 
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

    In the hopeful 1950s, Frank and April Wheeler appear to be a model couple: bright, beautiful, talented, with two young children and a starter home in the suburbs. Perhaps they married too young and started a family too early. Maybe Frank's job is dull. And April never saw herself as a housewife. Yet they have always lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. But now that certainty is about to crumble. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.

    Reviews

    "A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic."
           - William Styron 
    "The Great Gatsby of my time...one of the best books by a member of my generation."
           - Kurt Vonnegut
    "Beautifully crafted...a remarkable and deeply troubling book."
           - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

     

  • Little Fires Everywhere

    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

    In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

    Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

    When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. 

    Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

    Reviews

    “Delectable and engrossing…A complex and compulsively readable suburban saga that is deeply invested in mothers and daughters…What Ng has written, in this thoroughly entertaining novel, is a pointed and persuasive social critique, teasing out the myriad forms of privilege and predation that stand between so many people and their achievement of the American dream. But there is a heartening optimism, too. This is a book that believes in the transformative powers of art and genuine kindness — and in the promise of new growth, even after devastation, even after everything has turned to ash.” Boston Globe  

  •  Ishmael  

     

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

    The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man's destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him-- one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?

     Reviews
    “It is as suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year.”
           - The Austin Chronicle
    “Deserves high marks as a serious—and all too rare—effort that is unflinchingly engaged with fundamental life-and-death concerns.”
           - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    “Captivating . . . promise that you will read this explosive little book cover to cover and pass it on to all your friends and relatives.”
           -  The New York Times
    Valuable and illuminating . . . Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.
           - The New York Times Book Review

  •  a peoples history of sports

    A People's History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin

    In this long-waited book from the rising superstar of sportswriting, whose blog Edge of Sports is read each week by thousands of people across the country, Dave Zirin offers a riotously entertaining chronicle of larger-than-life sporting characters and dramatic contests and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. Through Zirin’s eyes, sports are never mere games, but a reflection of—and spur toward—the political conflicts that shape American society.

    Half a century before Jackie Robinson was born, the black ballplayer Moses Fleetwood Walker brandished a revolver to keep racist fans at bay, then took his regular place in the lineup. In the midst of the Depression, when almost no black athletes were allowed on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes held a Counter Olympics where a third of the participants were African American.

    A People’s History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”

    Review
    ..."this sprawling, insightful and contrarian book is worth reading for its portrayal of the rebel athletes to whom it is dedicated, and to whom we are all indebted."
           - Time 


  • Feed by M.T. Anderson

    For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

    Reviews

    “This satire offers a thought-provoking and scathing indictment that may prod readers to examine the more sinister possibilities of corporate-and media-dominated culture.”
           - Publishers Weekly
    What really puts the teeth in the bite...is Anderson's brillinat satiric vision in the semaless creation of this imagined but believable world. The writing is relentlessly funny, clever in its observations and characters....
          - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

  • The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

    Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.

    Reviews

    "Moore writes with subtlety and insight about the plight of ghetto youth, viewing it from inside and out; he probes beneath the pathologies to reveal the pressures—poverty, a lack of prospects, the need to respond to violence with greater violence—that propelled the other Wes to his doom. The  result is a moving exploration of roads not taken."
            - Publishers Weekly

     " With its unique spin on the memoir genre, this engaging and insightful book ultimately asks the reader to consider the ways in which we as a nation alternately support and fail American children. The  charismatic author and the  publisher's nationwide publicity plans should make this a popular book for general readers interested in memoir, African American studies, or social issues."
            - Library Journal

  •  

    Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins

    These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. They may begin in curiosity and end in grief; they may start with irony and end with lyric transformation; they may, and often do, begin with the every day and end in the infinite. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience.

     Reviews

     “Clean, suburban, antiseptic, humorous poems by the new poet laureate of the United States. Death, longing and regret figure in his work, but only at the margins; the heart remains funny.”
           - The New York Times

    “It is difficult not to be charmed by Collins, and that in itself is a remarkable literary accomplishment.”
           - The New York Review of Books

     “A brilliant comic sally...a wonderful, sly, and moving collection.”
           - San Francisco Chronicle

  • 2.  REQUIRED: Read one other book by an AMERICAN author that you have not read for a previous class. Consider authors such as Louise Erdrich, Cormac McCarthy, Erik Larson, Octavia E. Butler, James Baldwin, John Irving, Carson McCullers, or Alison Bechdel