• 12th Grade Global Literature Summer Reading Assignment

    The English Department recommends that, if possible, students read the texts listed for each English class, as the texts provide a baseline for the coursework in that class. If that is not possible, read any book that is representative of the course. For example, read a book by an American author for Grade 11 or a graphic novel for Graphic Novels. Click on your class link for details. Check your local libraries for print books, eBooks and audiobooks. For some free ebooks, go to https://www.hoopladigital.com/

    HONORS/CP

      1. If possible, read one of the titles from the list below. If that is not possible, read any book(s) by a non-American author.

      Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

      Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

      White Tiger  by Aravind Adiga

      Things Fall Apart  by Chinua Achebe


      1. 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

     

    The Public Libraries in Topsfield and Boxford have some Masco owned books that you can keep for as long as you need them. Give them a call and support your local library! 

    Topsfield Public Library 978-887-1528

    Boxford Public Library 978-887-6352

     

     

     

     
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       Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by [Trevor Noah]

     

    Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

    Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

    Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

    The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.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.

    -Amazon

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    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: 

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    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 

     
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    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