Summer Reading 2022-23

Camila Chaves ‘23


     With the end of the school year just around the corner, many of us are anticipating the sweet relief from homework– no more quizzes, tests, discussion questions, or packets! But, summer means we have to start getting ready for the coming school year, meaning, summer reading.

     Many changes have been made to summer reading assignments this year, some not as drastic as others. In past years, reading lists and assignments have been chosen by a committee of students, Ms. Wismar, and Ms. Troetti, which would pick the year’s theme and create the reading lists and assignments. This year, the English department is “reclaiming” summer reading, contributing to the selection and working with the committee. Together, they are choosing assignments based on English grade levels and classes. 

     This year’s summer reading theme is “fan favorites”. The goal of giving students this freedom is to encourage them to read, so it doesn’t feel like a chore and more like something we do for fun!

     Assignments are different for each grade level and for the level of English students are enrolled.

     Incoming  English 11 freshmen are required to read Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. They must take mandatory notes and write responses for each book. Submission dates for writing the prompts differ, but all notes are expected to be turned in on Google Classroom and on the first day of school.  Freshmen entering English 12 will be given a list of suggested books and are encouraged to take notes on what they find important, such as types of literary devices, themes, characters, etc. They will write about their summer reading book for their first essay. Grade 9 teachers already went to speak to the eighth graders about summer reading expectations. 

     Sophomores entering Honors English will be given a similar assignment. They must read and take notes on “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel and “With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo.  College Prep English sophomores will be required to read “Night” by Elie Weisel and track Wiesel’s use of literary devices. 

     Honors English 31 students are assigned one book, “This Tender Land” by William Kent Kreuger. They are required to complete a series of questions and prompts, preparing them for their junior year of English. English 31 students are also responsible for reading a contemporary American Voice novel of their choice. 

     Juniors enrolled in American  Studies and College Prep English share the same assignment, which includes reading at least five short stories from the anthology “Hope Nation”. Students are encouraged to take detailed notes. 

     Seniors going into English 41 are required to read two assigned books, “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. Students are also responsible for notes and responses, which will be submitted on

     Those taking Advanced Writing with Ms. Rotherham can choose a novel from a selected list and must take notes. 

     Since there are a plethora of Senior English electives, summer reading assignments vary greatly depending on what students are signed up for.  For seniors taking any other English electives, more information and links to summer assignments can be found on the BHS reads website, which is on the BHS Library Learning Commons site. 

     Last and definitely not least, are the assignments for students taking AP English during the  2022-23 school year. AP Language and Composition students are assigned Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” and Tara Westover’s “Educated”. They are also required to select a book from the #BHSReads “fan favorite” list. Students are responsible for notes and written responses. 

     AP Literature and Composition students are assigned a similar task, just with different books. Students must read “Atonement” by Ian McEwan, “Purple Hibiscus” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and select a book from the “fan favorite” list. No digital copies will be accepted; Ms. Burke requires print/handwritten only. 

Materials read during these classes will prepare students for their respective AP exams. 

     For specific notes focus and essay questions for each class, please visit the  #BHSReads website, which can be found on the BHS Library Learning Commons site under the Books & E-Books tab.  On this page, classes are listed in order with links to Google Docs where all specific information is provided, including some Google Classroom codes. 

     The English Department hopes that these assignments will prepare all students for the upcoming school year and that the new design will encourage students to read. 

     “Reading is a great way to travel, it gives students opportunities for new experiences,” said Ms. Burke, the English Department Chairperson. 

     She, as well as the rest of the English department, hopes students enjoy the books they are about to read and look forwards to talking about these timeless works with students in the fall!