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Summer Reading 2018


In addition to a 1S1Q choice, students entering Sophomore Honors should read The Stranger by Albert Camus and The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud. At the start of the year, students will write a synthesis essay about the two texts.

In addition to a 1S1Q choice and one book of choice, students entering Honors Sophomore MGC (Modern Global Communities) should read 1984 by George Orwell. Students will be asked to write an in-class essay about the texts.

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

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 Change the World should read the 1S1Q choice and a free choice book.  Honors students should also read "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. Students taking this class at the Honors level should be prepared to write an in-class essay on Kafka's novella during the first weeks of school.

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 three books from a list; the list is available on the English Department web site, and from Mr. Lee ( 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 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, the 1S1Q choice, and a third book of their choice.

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

Students entering Horror Fiction and Science Fiction should read The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H.G. Wells one book of choice, and the 1S1Q choice.

Seniors entering Shakespeare should read the following:

1. one of the One-School-One-Question selections
2. one book of choice
3. one of the following works related to Shakespeare:

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

Honors (or ACP)
a) Will In The World, by Stephen Greenblatt (biography/criticism). Read the following chapters:

Ch. 2: “The Dream of Restoration” (related to Falstaff and 1Henry IV) (54-85)

Ch. 4: “Wooing, Wedding, and Repenting” (marriage and the Comedies) (118- 148)

Ch. 8: “Master-Mistress” (the Sonnets) (226-255)

Ch. 10: “Speaking with the Dead” (Hamlet) (288-322)

Ch. 11: “Bewitching the King” (Macbeth) (323-355)

Ch. 12: “The Triumph of the Everyday” (King Lear and The Tempest) (356-390)


b) 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, by James Shapiro (history/biography—432 pages). Read either of the following two sections of the book:

Prologue (1-20) + “Winter” and “Spring” of 1599 (21-170) OR Prologue (1-20) + “Summer” and “Fall” of 1599 (171-320) 

Students entering Senior Women in Literature are required to read the 1S1Q selection entitled Under the Lights and in the Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer by Gwendolyn Oxenham. Students are also required to read The Power by Naomi Alderman. Recommended: read a third book of your choosing that is written by a female author and falls within any one of the following genres: memoir, autobiography, collection of personal essays, novel or collection of short stories that could be considered autobiographical fiction. Students seeking reading suggestions can email Ms. Robertson (

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Students entering AP United States history are required to read and take notes on the first six chapters of An Unfinished Nation by Alan Brinkley. A detailed assignment is on the AP US History Summer Reading Schoology page, which all currently enrolled students have been added to. For access to the page, please email Ms. Chapman (

Students will take an exam based on the summer reading during the first week of school. 

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Newton South High School Library

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