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Joseph Case High School

Summer Reading 2017


Dear Case Students and Families,


Reading is an important part of a student’s experience in high school, as in life, and we hope that each student will become a lifelong reader. Summer is a time for recreational reading, for exploring new books, and for reading those books a student never had time for during the busy school year.


Summer reading is also an important sustaining element in all of the Core Values of Joseph Case

High School:


Authentic learning opportunities

Shared responsibility in academic excellence and integrity

Engagement of students as active learners

Higher order thinking skills

Strong 21st century knowledge base


All students are expected to at least two summer reading titles by the time they return to school in the fall, including the required novel A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


All high school faculty have agreed to read this selection as the springboard to our fifth annual fall interdisciplinary day.


Summer reading selections for Grade 9 students include:

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie **

  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Eleanor and Park  by Rainbow Rowell **

  • Legend by Marie Lu

Honors 9

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens


Summer reading selections for Grade 10 students include:

  •  A Long Way Gone by Ishmeal Beah **

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls**

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown


Summer reading selections for Grade 11 students include:

  • Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote **

  • Timebound by Ryssa Walker **

  • Looking for Alaska by John Green **


Summer reading selections for Grade 12 students include:

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Classic selection)

and the following Case Passion options:

  • Mr. T. Whalen’s selection - Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger*

  • Mrs. Cookson’s selection - Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog by Garth Stein

  • Mrs. Hall’s selection - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

  • Mr. McCann’s selection - Watership Down by Richard Adams

  • Dr. Janson’s selection - Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow*



Additional Advanced Placement/Honors Reading

Honors 10

Students should read two of the titles for Grade 10.


AP Language

Students should receive the Language and Style packet, which must be completed and handed in by the first day of school, plus AP Language Student selection (Select one):

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (nonfiction)

  • Stiff, Spook, Gulp, Packing for Mars, or Grunt by Mary Roach (nonfiction)

  • Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson (modern British fiction)*

  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (classic British fiction)


AP Literature

All AP English Literature and Composition  students should register on Ms. Brooks’ AP Lit and Comp Google Classroom, the Student Code is  t28ssud.  Use the Google Classroom to stay up to date over the summer.  There are two required reading titles:

  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster and

  • J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye*

AP Lit and Comp students should purchase these two titles to annotate directly on the texts.


**Starred selections contain mature content and language.  Should students or their families have specific questions regarding the content of reading selections, they should contact the English Department Head at


AP Capstone

Students in AP Capstone should register on Dr. Janson’s AP Capstone page. The student code is b4eb524. This Google Classroom will be used to keep students updated over the summer and as forum for any questions. Students are required to read the first three chapters of Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research by Matt Upson, C. Michael Hall, and Kevin Cannon and answer the corresponding questions at the end of each chapter. These questions will be due the first Friday when students return. If students have any questions, please contact Dr. Janson.



Since your child will be writing about and discussing these books in September, he/she should keep a reading notebook that he/she may use in writing these graded assignments. Students should take notes on characters, theme, conflict and plot, and record their comments, opinions and analysis of the text.


Be Advised: Use of Cliffs Notes, Sparknotes, Shmoop, or any other resource of its kind is absolutely unacceptable.  Online summaries are not an acceptable alternative to first-hand reading.



The New York Times Summer Reading Option 2017

For our fifth year, Joseph Case High School has embraced The New York Times Learning Network to offer our students an alternative to traditional summer reading options.  This aligns emphatically with our connection to the ELA Common Core and commitment to informational texts. This option is highly personalized and empowers students with selection.


Each week from June 16 to August 25, students can choose any piece in The New York Times to read. Every Friday, The New York Times will post the same Student Opinion question: “What interested you most in The Times this week? Why?”


The link below contains details, FAQs, and a link to post weekly responses once the contest begins:


For this option to count as summer reading, you must read five (5) articles and submit an electronic response for each. The New York Times’ new commenting system allows responses up to 1,500 characters, which is somewhere between 250 and 300 words.


According to the Learning Network, in order to prove to your teacher that you participated: “make sure to check the box that asks you if you would like to be emailed when your comment is published.  If you do so, the system will send you a link to your comment, which you can use to show you teacher, your parents, your friends or anyone else you’d like to impress.”


Students should keep a portfolio of their posts and links.  Information is available at the link indicated above.  See How do I prove to my teacher that I participated? for strategies.


An English teacher will be available to assist students in the submission process throughout the summer weeks.  Please address any concerns regarding The New York Times summer reading option to Ms. Botelho at




Please have a safe and enjoyable summer,


The English Department Faculty

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