Skip to Main Content

Summer Reading 2016

Course / Level / Grade

Students entering AP English Literature are required to read Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri and Atonement by Ian McEwan, and should be prepared to write in-class essays on the two works during the first week of school. Students should also read a 1S1Q choice.

Students entering AP English Language should read the 1S1Q choice and one set of TWO books from a list; the list is available on the English Department web site, and from Mr. Kaplan ( or Mr. Baron ( The writing assignment students will be asked to complete is also available from the instructors.

Students enrolled for honors in African American Literature should read Between the World and Me by Ta’Nehisi Coates, the 1S1Q choice, and a third option from a list that is available online ( or from Mr. Weintraub ( or Ms. Sumner (  

Students taking Honors Film Studies should read the 1S1Q choice and watch three films from the list provided on Mr. Weintraub's website, Consult Mr. Weintraub ( for more information.

In addition to a 1S1Q choice and one book of choice, students entering Sophomore Honors should read:

  • Any National Book Award-winning book that engages with one of the essential questions of sophomore year:

What makes a successful, functional society?

Why do societies change?

Who has power in a society and why? Who doesn’t and why?

What happens when societies or individuals with different values interact?

Why and how do individuals try to change society?

What makes successful leadership and what doesn’t?

You can read any award-winning text from any of the National Book Award’s categories (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young-adult).  Look at previous winners at (click on “awards” then “winners and finalists”).

At the start of the school year, you will be asked to present to the class how your book connects to one of the essential questions.

Students entering Honors Junior English should read one book of choice, Goodbye Columbus by Philip Roth, and the 1S1Q choice. Students will be asked to write an essay about the texts.

Students entering Honors Sophomore MGC (Modern Global Communities) should read one book of choice, the One School, One Question choice., and The Post-American World (Release 2.0) by Fareed Zakaria. Students will be asked to respond to the 1S1Q choice in an argumentative essay and to The Post-American World (Release 2.0) in a history test.

Students entering Honors Junior MGC (Modern Global Communities) should read Passing by Nella Larsen and one book of your choice, in addition to the 1S1Q choice. Students in honors will be asked to write an in-class essay on Passing. 

All students entering Senior MGC: Words That Changed the World should read the 1S1Q choice.  Honors students ONLY should also read A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and ONE BOOK OF CHOICE.  Students enrolled in ACP and CP, in addition to wthe 1S1Q choice, should read TWO BOOKS OF CHOICE.  Students should be prepared to discuss and write about the main characters' learning experiences.  Students taking this class at the Honors level should be prepared to write an in-class essay on A Prayer for Owen Meany during the first weeks of school.

Seniors entering Shakespeare should read the following:

  1. One of the 1S1Q selections
  2. One book of choice
  3. One of the following works on Shakespeare:
  • For either ACP or Honors:  1599:  A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, by James Shapiro (history/biography—432 pages)

  • ACP
    1. Shakespeare: The World As Stage, by Bill Bryson (biography—208 pgs.)
    2. How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by Stephen Marche (sociology/history—224 pgs.)

  • Honors
    1. Will In The World, by Stephen Greenblatt (biography/criticism—448 pgs.)
    2. Shakespeare:  The Basics, by Sean McEvoy (criticism/analysis—296 pages)

Newton South High School Library

140 Brandeis Road
Newton, MA 02459
call: (617) 559-6561