• 12th Grade Global Literature Summer Reading Assignment

    HONORS 

    1. REQUIRED: 

        A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
     

    2. REQUIRED:  Read ONE from the three listed below:

    • Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
    • White Tiger  by Aravind Adiga
    • Things Fall Apart  by Chinua Achebe
     
     **Be prepared for an assessment on these books during the first week of school.**

    3. REQUIRED: College Personal Essay Brainstorming: Due the first week of school

    One of the best methods of brainstorming for your college essay is to begin with a grand list of potential topics and slowly let the best rise to the top. In order to generate a laundry list of important people, events, accomplishments and activities in your life, fill in the worksheet below. 

    Click here to access the Brainstorming Worksheet

    CP

    1. REQUIRED: 

         A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalad Hosseini

     

    2. REQUIRED: 

    Read any one book by a non-American author. You will see suggestions at the bottom of the page, but you can read any age appropriate book from a non-American author.

     

    Be prepared for an assessment on these books during the first week of school.

     

     3. REQUIRED: College Personal Essay Brainstorming: Due the first week of school

    One of the best methods of brainstorming for your college essay is to begin with a grand list of potential topics and slowly let the best rise to the top. In order to generate a laundry list of important people, events, accomplishments and activities in your life, fill in the worksheet below. 

    Click here to access the Brainstorming Worksheet

     
  • REQUIRED HONORS AND CP
       

     

    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

    Written by the same author as the Kite Runner. Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

    A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

     

    Reviews:

    “Despite all the pain and heartbreak, the novel is never depressing; Hosseini barrels through each grim development unflinchingly, seeking illumination. Another artistic triumph, and surefire bestseller, for this fearless writer.” 
    —Kirkus Reviews
     

    "Inspiring and heart-wrenching, the story delves into love, sacrifice and survival."
    —Family Circle

     

    Reading Level Rating: 

    Least to most challenging 

     
  • HONORS REQUIRED CHOICE

     

    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

    The White Tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

    The White Tiger recalls The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, and narrative genius, with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut. 

     

    Reviews:

    "Compelling, angry, and darkly humorous, The White Tiger is an unexpected journey into a new India. Aravind Adiga is a talent to watch."
    —Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

     

    "An exhilarating, side-splitting account of India today, as well as an eloquent howl at her many injustices. Adiga enters the literary scene resplendent in battle dress and ready to conquer. Let us bow to him."
    —Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook

     

    "The perfect antidote to lyrical India."
    Publishers Weekly

     

    Reading Level Rating: 

    Least to most challenging 

     
  • CP REQUIRED CHOICE Suggestions
     
    Here Comes the Sun  
     Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
     
    Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman―fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves―must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise. 
  •  

     

    CP REQUIRED CHOICE Suggestions
     

    Sold

    SOLD by Patricia McCormick 

    Sold is a young adult novel by Patricia McCormick and details 13-year-old Lakshmi's experiences after being sold into sexual slavery by her stepfather. A quick read written in verse.

  • Tattoist  
    Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
     
    It was while tattooing 18-year-old Gita that he looked into her eyes and fell hopelessly in love. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is their story, a story of beauty, hope, courage and survival against the odds. A story about the love between two young people destined to be together for more than 60 years.
  • In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez 

    It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas—“The Butterflies.”

    In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters—Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé—speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez’s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression.  
  •  

    The Life if Pi by Yann Martel 

    The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?
  • streets  
    Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah
     
    Critically acclaimed author Randa Abdel-Fattah's middle-grade debut about the journey -- and risks -- a Palestinian girl will take to save her family.

    Thirteen year old Hayaat is on a mission. She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab's life. The only problem is that Hayaat and her family live behind the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, and they're on the wrong side of check points, curfews, and the travel permit system. Plus, Hayaat's best friend Samy always manages to attract trouble. But luck is on the pair's side as they undertake the journey to Jerusalem from the Palestinian Territories when Hayaat and Samy have a curfew-free day to travel. 
  • A Step from Heaven by An Na 

    A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America.
  • heaven and earth  
    When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip
     
    It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down. The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old when U.S. helicopters langed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children.
    Before the age of sixteen, Le Ly had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape, and the deaths of beloved family members—but miraculously held fast to her faith in humanity. And almost twenty years after her escape to Ameica, she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind. Scenes of this joyous reunion are interwoven with the brutal war years, offering a poignant picture of vietnam, then and now, and of a courageous woman who experienced the true horror of the Vietnam War—and survived to tell her unforgettable story. 
  • Jellicoe   
    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
     

    In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.

    At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.

     
  • house  
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
     
    The unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world’s most gifted and imaginative storytellers.

    The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future.

    One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate.
     
  • Balzac  
    Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
     
     Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.
  • Shades  
    Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
     
    Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? 
  • HONORS REQUIRED CHOICE

     

    Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

    This stunning first novel, set in colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s, centers on the coming of age of a teenage girl, Tambu, and her relationship with her British-educated cousin Nyasha. Tambu, who yearns to be free of the constraints of her rural village, especially the circumscribed lives of the women, thinks her dreams have come true when her wealthy uncle offers to sponsor her education. But she soon learns that the education she receives at his mission school comes with a price. At the school she meets the worldly and rebellious Nyasha, who is chafing under her father's authority. Raised in England, Nyasha is so much a stranger among her own people that she can no longer speak her native language. Tambu can only watch as her cousin, caught between two cultures, pays the full cost of alienation.

     

    Reviews:

    “Nervous Conditions is an absorbing page-turner that will delight the reader.”
    Bloomsbury Review


    “Dangarembga's characters are fascinating, and the issue of freedom is examined dispassionately and firmly. A unique and valuable book.”
    Booklist

     

    Reading Level Rating: 

    Least to most challenging 

     
  • HONORS REQUIRED CHOICE

     

    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    Thing Fall Apart tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. 

    The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within. 

     

    Reviews:

    “Things Fall Apart may well be Africa's best loved novel. . . . For so many readers around the world, it is Chinua Achebe who opened up the magic casements of African fiction.” 
    —Kwame Anthony Appiah

     

    “Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.” 
    —Nadine Gordimer, The New York Times Book Review

     

    "A vivid imagination illuminates every page. . . . This novel genuinely succeeds in penetrating tribal life from the inside." 
    Times Literary Supplement 

     

    Reading Level Rating: 

    Least to most challenging 

     
  • CP REQUIRED CHOICE Suggestions
    Homegoing
    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.
                
    Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation. 
     
     

  • CP REQUIRED CHOICE Suggestions 

    And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

    Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb 

    I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

  • Any book in the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith

    The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.


  • A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

    This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.
    What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

  • My Father’s Keeper by Julie Gregory 

    My Father's Keeper is a uniquely illuminating addition to the dark literature of the Nazi era. In 1959 the German journalist Norbert Lebert conducted extensive interviews with the young sons and daughters of prominent Nazis: Rudolf Hess, Martin Bormann, Hermann Goring, Heinrich Himmler, et al. Forty years later, Lebert's son Stephan tracked down these same men and women to find out how they had lived their lives in the shadow of a horrifying heritage. Drawing on both sets of firsthand interviews, this revelatory work of history offers a fascinating, surprising, often disturbing view of modern Germany and Nazism's legacy.
  • Stolen Voices: Young People's War Diaries, from World War I to Iraq by Zlata Filipovic

    lata Filipovic’s diary of her harrowing war experiences in the Balkans, published in 1993, made her a globally recognized spokesperson for children affected by military conflict. In Stolen Voices, she and co-editor Melanie Challenger have gathered fifteen diaries of young people coping with war, from World War I to the struggle in Iraq that continues today. Profoundly affecting testimonies of shattered youth and the gritty particulars of war in the tradition of Anne Frank, this extraordinary collection— the first of its kind—is sure to leave a lasting impression on young and old readers alike.
  • half   
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
     
     With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.
  • shadow of the wind  
    The Shadow in the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
     
    Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.  
     
  • head  
    Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
     
    When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth...

    Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.
    Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs. 
  • breath  
    Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
     
    From the acclaimed author of Floating in My Mother’s Palm and Children and Fire, a stunning story about ordinary people living in extraordinary times—“epic, daring, magnificent, the product of a defining and mesmerizing vision” (Los Angeles Times).

    Trudi Montag is a Zwerg—a dwarf—short, undesirable, different, the voice of anyone who has ever tried to fit in. Eventually she learns that being different is a secret that all humans share—from her mother who flees into madness, to her friend Georg whose parents pretend he’s a girl, to the Jews Trudi harbors in her cellar.

    Ursula Hegi brings us a timeless and unforgettable story in Trudi and a small town, weaving together a profound tapestry of emotional power, humanity, and truth. 
  • stones  
    Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi
     
    From the acclaimed author of Floating in My Mother’s Palm and Children and Fire, a stunning story about ordinary people living in extraordinary times—“epic, daring, magnificent, the product of a defining and mesmerizing vision” (Los Angeles Times).

    Trudi Montag is a Zwerg—a dwarf—short, undesirable, different, the voice of anyone who has ever tried to fit in. Eventually she learns that being different is a secret that all humans share—from her mother who flees into madness, to her friend Georg whose parents pretend he’s a girl, to the Jews Trudi harbors in her cellar.

    Ursula Hegi brings us a timeless and unforgettable story in Trudi and a small town, weaving together a profound tapestry of emotional power, humanity, and truth.