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Dear Case Students and Families:
Reading is an important part of the student experience in high school.  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 Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

All high school faculty have agreed to read this selection as the springboard to a fall interdisciplinary event on Friday, September 16.
Summer reading choices 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
 Summer reading choices for Grade 10 students include:
  •  A Long Way Gone by Ishmeal Beah **
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls**
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram by Dang Thuy Tram
 Summer reading choices 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 choices for Grade 12 students include:
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden**
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Advanced Placement/Honors:  additional titles
Honors 9
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Honors 10
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas
AP Language
The Elements of Style, 4th Ed., by Strunk and White
plus AP Language Student Choice (Select one):
For seniors, choose one of the following:
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë (British fiction)
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (British fiction)
  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (British fiction)
  • Dracula, by Bram Stoker (Irish fiction)*
For juniors, choose one of the following:
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
  • Danse Macabre, by Stephen King (American nonfiction/ pop culture)
  • Stiff, Spook, Gulp, or Packing for Mars by Mary Roach:
  • Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson (British fiction)*
AP Literature
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger**
plus AP Literature Student Choice (Select one):
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
**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
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, or any other resource of its kind is absolutely unacceptable.  Online summaries are not an acceptable alternative to first-hand reading.
The students’ written responses to the summer reading must be based upon their reading and their notes on that reading. If it is judged that the student has employed an aforementioned summary, the student will be given a zero. If a student wishes to appeal that decision, he/she will be required to provide his teacher with proof of his reading notes and submit to an interview which will challenge the authenticity of his work. Summer reading journals must be completed and submitted upon return.

Reading Guidelines: Any of these literary elements listed below may become topics for the in-class essay you will write upon your return to Joseph Case High School in the fall.
• Does the author seem to be saying something about ambition, courage, greed, jealousy, happiness, or some other big idea?
• Does the author have a point to make about a specific historical event? If so, how does the author go about making that point?
• How does the main character change from the beginning to the end of the book?
• What forces or circumstances affect that change?
• What are the most revealing aspects of one of the characters?
(Consider his or her thoughts, words, and actions.)
• Evaluate how believable the characters’ actions are.
• Which character would you like to be in this book? Why?
• What external or internal conflict affects the main character’s behavior?
• What appears to be the climax of the plot? How does the climax change the direction of the story?
• Was the ending satisfactory? If not, how should the story have ended?
• What effect does setting have on the characters?
• Does the setting expand your understanding of a specific time and place? How?
A final alternative is to embrace the 7th annual New York Times Summer Reading Contest in lieu of one of the grade-level titles.  This cannot be done in place of the school-wide title or any additional AP work.  See details on below.

Please have a safe and enjoyable summer,
Principal Brian McCann
and the English Department Faculty
The New York Times
Summer Reading Option 2016
For our fourth 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 choice.

Each week from June 17 to August 19, 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
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