Dear Facing History Students,

What’s the most exciting thing about summer?  All the time to read your favorite books!  To help you spend a wonderful summer reading, the English Department has created a summer reading list and optional extra credit projects for you to complete during your summer vacation.  You can start the year off right with extra credit points by reading one or more of the suggested books (or you can choose your own – they just need to be approved by an English teacher) and handing in one of the projects during the first week of school.

The books are divided up by 9th/10th grade books and 11th/12th grade books.  There are different projects for each set of books.  If you are reading an 11th/12th grade book, you need to do the project assigned for that book.  You can turn in at least two projects (from two different books) for a total of up to 50 extra credit points.  Imagine starting the year off with an A+!


Reading Book List

Incoming 9th and 10th Graders:

Alicia, My story – Alicia Appleman-Jurman

Night – Elie Wiesel

Holes – Louis Sacher

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

The Outsiders – Susan Hinton

Twilight – Stephanie Meyers

The Watsons go to Birmingham - Christopher Paul Curtis

The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom

When I was Puerto Rican – Esmeralda Santiago

Always Running - Luis Rodriguez

Fallen Angels - Walter Dean Meyers


Possible Projects for 9th/10th grade texts:

Movie Poster Project (25 points) – Imagine you are creating a movie version of your summer reading book.  You need to create a movie poster that would demonstrate your interpretation of the book.  The movie poster needs to have:

  • The title and author artistically drawn or written
  • At least 3 major characters shown by the name and a picture of the actors who would play them with a 3 sentence description of their character.  (Think LSTAR – how they look, what they say, what they think, how they act and how they react)
  • A 100 word summary of the book explaining the plot – make it interesting so people want to come see the movie but don’t give the ending away!
  • At least one drawing or visual representation of a setting from the book.

Flash Forward Project (25 points) – For this assignment, you can write an extra chapter at the end of the story that explains where one of the major characters is at least 5 years into the future. This creative writing assignment needs to be at least 300 words.  Use the following questions to help you write:

  • What is the setting five (or more) years later?
  • What has the character been doing since the end of the book? 
  • What does your character look like now? 
  • What kind of life is the character leading?  What is his/her job?  What is happening with his/her family?
  • Describe your characters relationship with at least one other character from the book.
  • How has your character changed from the end of the novel?  What has he/she learned?  What is their future going to be like?


Incoming 11th and 12th Graders:

The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison

Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Julia Alvarez

The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Malcolm X

The Metamorphasis - Franz Kafka

1984 - George Orwell

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky


11th/12th grade project:

Journaling (25 points) – keep a journal of your reactions to the chosen novel.  For every chapter or section of the book you read, write your reactions or your thoughts down.  You need to have at least 10 journal entires.  If you want, respond to the text using the following prompts:

  • What character do you identify most with?  Why?
  • What is your reaction to the evens of what you just read?  How do these events connect to your own life?
  • What do you think of a particular characters choices or actions?  Would you make similar choices if you were in their situtation?  Why or why not?

** You may turn in two different journal projects for two different books for up to 50 points.

Remember, you may choose books that are not on this list, but they need to be approved by an English teacher prior to earning any extra credit.  You many contact us with any questions using the following email address: or you can contact your indivudal English teacher.

For the library closest to you, go to and click on the link that says “Libraries and Hours.”  Or you can read any book online using google books at  Completed final extra credit projects are due to your English teacher by Friday, September 5th, 2008.


Happy reading this summer!  We look foward to seeing you this fall.


The English Department

Facing History School