Summer Reading and Assignments 2020
Updated June 25, 2020
Required Summer Reading List 2020 for English 9, Honors English 9, English 10, Honors English 10, English 11, Honors English 11, American Studies Literature, and AP English (Grade 12).
Reading & Composition
Read A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket and complete packet available here.
World History 9: From Chaos to Order
1. Read the first two chapters of The Human Web by McNeill and McNeill. Please highlight/underline/make notes about what you think are important facts or ideas as you read.
2. Then you will respond to the prompts #1 and #2 in one paragraph each (each paragraph = 5-8 sentences each) and bring to the first class.
a.) How did communication and cooperation affect early humans? Why?
b.) How did early human agricultural villages develop and why were they important?
World History 9
Textbook: Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (Concise Second Edition / Vol. 1) paperback edition with 360-day digital access ISBN: 978-0-393-69627-1 https://
World History 9 (Honors)
Read An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage (ISBN-13: 978-0802719911).
Ethics (Honors) (Grade 10)
Read the Introduction and C
United States History (Grade 11)
Read and take notes on Chapter 1, from the beginning of the chapter up to the section heading, "Indian Freedom, European Freedom," of our textbook, Give Me Liberty! (Brief 5th Edition) by Eric Foner.
Pay attention to the big ideas highlighted in the margins and consider the focus question on the top of the pages that says, "What were the major patterns of Native American life in North America before Europeans arrive?"
Answer the focus question in a few sentences, in your own words. It is also up to you to take notes either in your book, with highlighting and annotations, or in a separate notebook. I will check notes during the first weeks and our discussions will draw from these readings.
American Studies (Honors US History 11 and Honors English 11)
Read Benjamin Franklin Wealth and Wisdom: The Way to Wealth and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (ISBN-13: 978-1722502744) and 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup (ISBN-13: 978-1631680021).
AP US History
This coming fall we will begin our investigation of the dynamic, troubling, confusing, and inspiring history of this continent and nation. In preparation for our class, I am asking that you do three things that are listed below. (Have any questions? Please email Don Kaplan)
1) Read and mark up a copy of The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution by David O. Stewart (ISBN-10: 0743286936; ISBN-13: 978-0743286930). Feel free to skip Chapters 7, 15, 20, & 21.
Certainly the content and historical characters of this historical work are important for our class and what I have come to see as the central document of the American experience, but what I like most is the fact that Stewart refuses to simply tell the prepackaged story of American history; rather, he debunks the mythology that we often refer to as history. This method of “pulling aside the curtain” and peering into the raw evidence of the past is what we will be doing all year in AP U.S. History. I encourage you to avoid getting overwhelmed with the details but instead focus on the main issues that the delegates battle with, the alliances that are made and broken, and the compromises that are ultimately agreed upon throughout the text. I hope you’ll like this text!
2) Using The Summer of 1787, write a 3-4 page essay due first day of class. Possible prompts to choose from:
a.) Explore Stewart’s approach as an historian and how he interprets this era. In what way was the history we typically associate with the Constitutional Convention and the creation of its central document (the Constitution) different from that provided by Stewart? How does he explain this?
b.) Explain the failures of the Articles of Confederation and how the Constitution attempts or succeeds in addressing these same failures.
c.) According to Stewart, the Convention was contentious and laborious and seemed to draw from the best and worst aspects of each of the state delegates. Identify the key issues that the Convention had to address and describe in detail how these same key issues were finally resolved.
d.) Ben Franklin famously declared that “it was one thing to found a republic—and quite another to keep it.” How does Stewart bring to life Franklin’s assertion, and what would you conclude is Stewart’s overall thesis? How does he prove his point about the difficulty of creating and sustaining such bold political enterprises?
3) Finally, read the attached pdf (pages 3-49) from American Colonies: The Settling of North America by Alan Taylor. Scan the introduction if you like, and then take note of the various themes and groups as the various worlds are introduced at the beginning of their collision.
AP Government and Politics
Read Chapter 1 of Government in America, 2014 Elections and Updates Edition (16th Edition) by George C. Edwards III and Martin P. Wattenberg (ISBN-13: 978-0133905045).
Complete the Summer “Primer Packet” before the first day of class. The Primer Packet is the “entry ticket” into the course.
AP European History
Read The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis (ISBN-13: 978-0674766914)
Please check to see if you need to take a language placement test.
The required summer reading is Aya de Yopoungon, Tome 1 by Marguerite Abouet. This is a graphic novel which can be purchased in a few different formats, including e-book (just make sure you get the French version!), and students should come prepared to discuss it at the start of the year. Please reach out to Helen Matthews if you need help finding or getting a copy.