Dear Rising Sophomores,

This summer, you will be asked to read the book(s) listed under the courses you will be taking next year. While reading, you must keep track of important information from each book in a double-entry journal. (Click here for more information on double-entry journals.) These double-entry journals will be due on The Harbor at the start of the school year and will help you with an in-class essay during your first week of classes.

If you have any questions regarding the English books and assignments, please email sgiugliano@xaverian.org. If you have any questions regarding the history books and assignments, please email rmontalbano@xaverian.org.

Enjoy your summer!
                                                 
Mr. Steven Giugliano ’07                               Mr. Richard Montalbano
English Department Chairperson                Social Studies Department Chairperson

English Summer Reading

Rising sophomores in the Ryken program must read the following book and complete a double-entry journal.

List of 1 items.

  • Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel – Val Emmich

    From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen, Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be? No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself. A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.
Rising sophomores in the Academy and Honors programs must choose ONE of the following books and complete a double-entry journal. Please review these options with your parents/guardians and use websites like www.commonsensemedia.org to evaluate the books before you make your selection.

List of 6 items.

  • Becoming - Michelle Obama

    In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

    In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
  • Educated: A Memoir - Tara Westover

    Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University—only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far and if there was still a way home.
  • Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng

    Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

    So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

    A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
  • Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

    Under the streets of London, there's a place most people could never even dream of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armor and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

    Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.
  • Piece of My Heart - Mary Higgins Clark

    Television producer Laurie Moran and her fiancée, Alex Buckley, the former host of her investigative television show, are just days away from their mid-summer wedding when things take a dark turn. Alex’s seven-year-old nephew, Johnny, vanishes from the beach. A search party begins and witnesses recall Johnny playing in the water and collecting shells behind the beach shack, but no one remembers seeing him after the morning. As the sun sets, Johnny’s skimboard washes up to shore, and everyone realizes that he could be anywhere, even under the water.
  • Two Can Keep a Secret – Karen M. McManus

    Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery has never been there, but she's heard all about it: her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. Then, only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now, Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

    The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. Before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

    Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them -- which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Social Studies Summer Reading

Rising sophomores taking Global Studies 10 and Global Studies 10H must read the following for their social studies class and complete a double-entry journal.

List of 1 items.

  • All Quiet On the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

    I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. . . .

    This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

    Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another . . .  if only he can come out of the war alive.
Rising sophomores taking Advanced Placement World History must read the following sources and complete the summer assignment below. 

List of 1 items.

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