Summer Required Reading-Humanitites
Summer Reading List
Over the summer, all Metro high school students are required to read the summer reading selection assigned to their incoming grade. When school begins on August 3rd, 2015, students must have completed reading the selection, be prepared to be assessed on their understanding of the book and to discuss the novel in depth.
Incoming Freshmen - Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
Becoming a writer the hard way In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison. In Hole in My Life, this prizewinning author of over thirty books for young people confronts the period of struggle and confinement that marked the end of his own youth. On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one crazed moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless final year of high school, his short-lived career as a criminal, and his time in prison. But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos - once he was locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell - moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and how dedicating himself more fully to the thing he most wanted to do helped him endure and ultimately overcome the worst experience of his life. Hole in My Life is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Incoming Sophomores - The Odyssey by Homer
Robert Fagles's translation is a jaw-droppingly beautiful rendering of Homer's Odyssey, the most accessible and enthralling epic of classical Greece. Fagles captures the rapid and direct language of the original Greek, while telling the story of Odysseus in lyrics that ring with a clear, energetic voice. The story itself has never seemed more dynamic, the action more compelling, nor the descriptions so brilliant in detail. It is often said that every age demands its own translation of the classics. Fagles's work is a triumph because he has not merely provided a contemporary version of Homer's classic poem, but has located the right language for the timeless character of this great tale.
**There are many different translations of The Odyssey. Please make sure to use this particular edition translated by Robert Fagle. Reading another translation can lead to confusion and make comprehension and discussion more difficult for students when we reconvene in the Fall.
Incoming Juniors - Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Thirty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the
most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel
that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of
mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply
scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further
wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by
immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace
that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber
majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.
Incoming Seniors - 1984 by George Orwell
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely that ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia," that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.