Bourne High School Summer Reading List Posted!

Summer Reading

As a whole-school requirement, all students at all levels are required to read Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat as Bourne High School embarks on the fourth year of the One Book, One School program. Follow-up book discussions with student and community participants and/or individual teacher assessments will take place at the beginning of the school year.


BHS English Department Summer Reading Requirements:


All students enrolled in honors-level English are required to read the book listed below according to the grade level that they will be entering in the fall of 2017. Students enrolled in AP courses must read ALL of the reading requirements for those courses listed below.  Students will be assessed on their understanding of the book of choice beginning the first day of class. The individual teacher will determine the kind of assessment. Students are strongly encouraged – but not required – to keep a reading log. Those students who complete a log may turn it in to their teacher for extra credit. The reading log, which may consist of selected quotations as well as notes on characters and plot details, should also include detailed responses to the essential questions (see List of Summer Reading 2017-2018 Essential Questions) for the title they chose to read. The reading log and the essential questions will serve to refresh students' memories when they are asked to complete the assessment for summer reading. Students are also encouraged to have their books with them at the start of the school year as to facilitate the recall of details for certain assessments.



The Book Thief Markus Zusak


Essential Questions:

1. What is the effect of having Death serve as the narrator?

2. What is the significance of colors in the book?

3. In the novel, words have the power to both destroy and save lives. Discuss.



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


Essential Questions:

1. Would you have left the Arnold’s reservation? Why? Be specific with details.

2. Why is the book entitled The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

3. Why does Rowdy call Arnold a nomad? What does it mean to be a nomad? Do you think being a nomad is a positive trait?

4. How do Arnold’s drawings change over the course of the novel?



The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain


Essential Questions:

1. Should the book, Huckleberry Finn, be taught? Support your answer with specifics.

2. Why did Twain use a young boy as the narrator of this novel?

3. Provide an example of satire. (Satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.)

4. How is the river symbolic?



Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival Laura Hillenbrand


Essential Questions:

1. Does this book make you wonder at mankind's capacity for cruelty? What accounts for it—especially on the part of the Japanese, a highly cultured and civilized society? (The same question has been applied to the Nazis.)

2. Louie endured many horrific experiences during the war, miraculously surviving each. Today Louie is a vibrant age 94. Do you believe by mere chance “Lucky Louie” survived WWII or did Louie’s survival come from some unique qualities or strengths?

3. How do the POW captives help one another survive? How are they able to communicate with one another? What devices do Zamperini and others use not only to survive but to maintain sanity?

4. Louie eventually went back to Japan and confronted his tormenter. Would you have been able to forgive the way Louie did? Is forgiveness a part of the healing process we humans must face in moving forward?



In the Garden of Beasts Erik Larson

The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown

*AP Language and Composition students are required to see Mr. Dow prior to the close of the 2016-2017 year to receive instructions for their summer assignments.



Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving

How to Read Like A Professor***

*AP Literature students are required to see Mrs. Casey prior to the close of the 2016-2017 school year to receive their mandatory summer assignments.

***Students are to pick up these two books from Mrs. Casey prior to the end of the school year.

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