12th Grade Summer Reading

Sparkman High School

AP English 12 Summer Reading

Part One: Read for enjoyment—REALLY!

Fundamentally, we believe that reading is a pleasure. Therefore, our summer reading project is designed to allow you to read a book simply for enjoyment. We save the difficult books, the ones that benefit from being taught and discussed in a classroom setting, for the school year so we can read those books with you.


1. Choose one of the books from the following list.

2. Divide your book in half, either by chapters or page numbers.

3. Halfway through reading the book, type a one-page, double-spaced response to the novel. (By “response,” we mean write about your perceptions, delights, and frustrations about the book thus far).

4. At the end of the book, type another one-page, double-spaced response about the book as a whole, judging it in light of all the other books you’ve read in your life.

5. Then make sure your name is on both pages of your responses, staple the two pages together and bring them to class on the first day of school to turn in.


Responses should be written in Times New Roman, 11 point font, with 1 inch margins on each side. Handwritten responses must be written in pen and be four pages (2 for each half of the book) in order to receive full credit. Responses written in pencil will be returned and requested to be turned back in the following day—in pen. Twenty points will be deducted.


Part One is a 100 point test grade. The pages must be FULL to receive full credit. Remember that your two page assignment will be our first impression of you in our classroom—so make a GOOD one. ☺

Due Date:

The Summer Reading Assignment Part One is due one week from the first day of your English class.


If you have any questions, you can contact me at the following addresses: asilvey@madison.k12.al.us.

Be Advised:

  • Please choose a book that you think you will enjoy. Don’t choose one randomly, nor choose one because of length. Some short books (100 pages) take longer to read than long works. For example, students may read a Harry Potter book (that’s 700 pages) in a couple of days but need two weeks to read The Awakening, a 1899 novella (approximately 100 pages).
  • If you start a book and don’t like it, then put the book down and choose another.
  • Some of the works listed on the following page have content that may be offensive to some readers. We have tried to list warnings beside each title. Please do not choose a book with a warning if you know that you would be offended by that book, or more importantly, if you know that your parents would not like you to read that book. An * means this work may have adult themes and issues.

The List:

Our list of suggested works is organized somewhat thematically. If you would like to know more about individual works, then go to Amazon.com and read the summaries. Additionally, any of these works may be used on the AP exam.

African-American Works:
*The Bluest Eye,
*Song of Solomon,
*A Lesson before Dying,
*A Gathering of Old Men,
Black Boy,

Science Fiction:
*The Sparrow,

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams

For the Future English Major:
David Copperfield,
Mansfield Park ,
Howard’s End,
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,
Remains of the Day,
A Room with a View,
Rebecca, Daphne Du

Some International Works:
The Plague,
The Three Musketeers,
The Count of Monte Cristo,
The Alchemist,
Anna Karenina,
The Fountainhead,
The Trial,

Dystopian / Post-apocalyptic Works:
*A Clockwork Orange,
*The Road, Cormac
Brave New World,
Alas, Babylon,
*The Handmaid’s Tale,

Dracula, Stoker
*Different Seasons,
The Turn of the Screw,

Some American Literature:
Age of Innocence,
Catcher in the Rye ,
The Sun Also Rises,
A Farewell to Arms,
*On the Road,
*The Cider House Rules,
A Prayer for Owen Meany,
The Poisonwood Bible,
*One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,
An American Tragedy,

Multicultural Literature:
The Namesake,
Reservation Blues,
The Joy Luck Club,

Thanks to Davis Thompson and Karen Hall from Auburn High School for the above ideas

Part 2: Read How to Read Literature like a Professor by Foster and Apply What You’ve Learned


  1. Read the book.
  2. As you read, consider how the novel (from part one) relates to Foster’s ideas.
  3. Select any twenty (20) chapters and write a 2-4 sentence response, demonstrating how at least ONE concept from a chapter relates to a work that you’ve read.
    1. At least ten (10) chapters should be from the novel you read during the summer.
    2. The remaining ten (10) are your choice. You may continue with your book or choose any short story or novel that you’ve read (in school or on own).


  • Responses should be written in Times New Roman, 11 point font, with 1 inch margins on each side. Handwritten responses must be written in pen. Responses written in pencil will be returned and requested to be turned back in the following day—in pen. Twenty points will be deducted.
  • Be sure to write the chapter number next to your response as well as the name of the story or book that you reference.
  • Below are three examples:

Ch 2: Foster claims that the essentials for a vampire store are an older figure, a young, virginal female, “a stripping away of her youth”, and her death or destruction (19). In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Arnold Friend is a metaphorical vampire, for he is twice the age of Connie, a teenage girl. He preys upon her, “marks” her as his, and presumably takes her life.

Ch. 21: Foster states, “In each of us….a monstrous Other exists…no matter how civilized, lurk elements that we’d really prefer not to acknowledge” (200). Throughout history and literature, even the best of men and heroes have done bad things. In Lord of the Flies most of the seemingly innocent young boys turn into savage monsters in just a few months without having adults to supervise them.

Ch. 10 The cliché “It was a dark and stormy night” became popular for a reason—it easily works to foreshadow dark events. Each time before Catherine and Heathcliff (from Wuthering Heights) have an argument, there is always a storm; also a ghost appears to Lockwood on a stormy evening. Additionally, Frankenstein’s monster is created on a stormy night, and his “birth” brings about the eventual demise of his creator.


Part Two is a 100 point test grade.

Due Date:

The Summer Reading Assignment Part Two is due one week from the first day of your English class.

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English 12 Summer Reading


Due Date – first day of class


Choose one of the following novels and complete the project

  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  • The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
  • Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
  • Tuesday's With Morrie – Mitch Albom
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Links to this information will be on the SHS website. Please watch for the updates. Charts for the assignment below can be printed from the links once updated.

Complete this information:

  • Title:
  • Author:
  • Date of Publication:
  • Genre:
  • Setting(Time and Place):

  • List 10 INTERESTING facts about the author.

  • Give a thorough plot summary including all important events in 150-200 words.

  • Consider the author’s tone. Go to www.mshogue.com/AP/tone.htm and read the list of tone words and definitions. Using the definition as a guide, briefly explain (1-3 sentences for each word) how the word describes the author’s tone.

  • Choose 2 themes for the work you read. Describe each theme and its relevance to the novel (50 words for each theme).

  • Choose five memorable quotes from the text that are significant to the plot. In the left column, write the quote and the page number. In the right column, explain the quote’s significance to the plot.

  • Consider the important characters from the novel. In the chart below, fill in the information about each important character. (Remember, a character can be important to the plot, even if they are not a main character!)

Character's Name--- Significance/Role in Story-- Adjectives to Describe

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