Jackson Hole Community School
This summer, all JHCS students are required to read two books and write one essay.
- All students are required to read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This New York Times best seller and National Book Award for Non-fiction winner is written as a letter to Coates’s teenage son about his experiences as a black man in the United States. During the 2020-2021 school year, we as a school community will use this book as a springboard to discuss where we see systemic racism playing out in our society. While this is by no means a new issue, we are in a true teaching and learning moment as our nation wrestles with this in a way we have not seen in many years. To quote our current and incoming Heads of School, “the way forward lies in the realm of listening and learning with one’s mind and heart firmly open.” This book and the conversations it sparks will enable us to honor our founding principles of fostering critical thought, honoring diverse ideas and opinions, and respecting each person as a unique individual while cultivating meaningful relationships. Parents are encouraged to read Coates’ work also!
- Each grade level has an additional required reading and writing assignment, explained below. Please follow the directions provided. (Juniors are also required to watch a film in addition to the assigned novel, and their summer reading essay should analyze the novel or a shared theme found in both works -- the book and the film).
- We encourage students to explore some of the suggested reads found on the back of this page, too.
- Any questions you have regarding the grade-level summer reading books and the required essay should be directed to Dave Baczko at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy summer!
Grade Level Summer Reading (and film viewing) in addition to the all-school read:
9th Grade: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10th Grade: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
11th Grade Novel: O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
Film: A River Runs Through It (Director: Robert Redford)
12th Grade: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
SUMMER READING ESSAY on the grade level novel—
Students are required to write an analytical essay that puts forth a clear and insightful argument (thesis) addressing ONE of the following prompts. 12th grade student essays need to be 3-4 pages long; 9th through 11th grade essays need to be 2-3 pages long (double-spaced). The questions (you need only choose one) are meant to help you form a unique and critical thesis. Using outside sources (such as the internet, parents, or friends) and claiming those ideas as your own represents a breach of JHCS’s Honor Code. Make sure the essay incorporates your own interpretation and be sure to cite specific examples from the text/film to support your argument.
1) Discuss a major theme or symbol that you see throughout the novel (or novel and film). What is the significance of the symbol? How does the author develop the theme to make a larger point?
2) Evaluate the tone and bias of the author’s voice. What lens are you seeing the story through? How is the narration shaped in order for the author to convey/emphasize a point?
3) Analyze the agenda and message of the author. What is it that the author wants the reader to walk away with? Why might the author have decided to tell the story that he/she did?
4) Create a critical response with a focus of your own choosing.
DUE DATE: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 in your teacher’s mailbox.
Suggested Reading—These lists include works that the academic departments at JHCS recommend as worthwhile reads for our students at each grade level. (Disclaimer: A few of the suggested texts feature language and detail that might be uncomfortable for some readers. Students should feel free to research the nature of the story before reading it).
The Pearl –John Steinbeck
The House on Mango Street –Sandra Cisneros
Endurance --Alfred Lansing
Ender’s Game –Orson Scott Card
A Separate Peace –John Knowles
Kon-Tiki –Thor Heyerdahl
Wapiti Wilderness—Margaret and Olaus Murie
A Raisin in the Sun—Lorraine Hansberry
An Unfinished Life—Mark Spragg
My Antonia –Willa Cather
Princess Bride—William Goldman
Power of One—Bryce Courtney
West with the Night--Beryl Markham
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich—Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Legends of the Fall—Jim Harrison
Berlin City of Stones—Jason Lutes
What is the What—Dave Eggers
Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body--Neil Shubin
A Farewell to Arms—Ernest Hemingway
The Hate U Give—Angie Thomas
Ragtime –E.L. Doctorow
Angela’s Ashes –Frank McCourt
Devil in the White City—Erik Larson
Man Hunt: The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer --James L. Swanson
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn–Betty Smith
The Brothers K—David James Duncan
Franny and Zooey—J.D. Salinger
This Boy’s Life—Tobias Wolff
Breakfast at Tiffanys - Truman Capote
Manchild in the Promised Land—Claude Brown
The Bluest Eye—Toni Morrison
The Professor and the Madman—Simon Winchester
Disappearing Spoon—Sam Kean
And the Band Played On—Randy Shilts
The Handmaid’s Tale–Margaret Atwood
The Awakening –Kate Chopin
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—R. Skloot
White Noise—Don Delillo
The Unbearable Lightness of Being—Milan Kundera
The Glass Castle—Jeanette Walls
The Invisible Man—Ralph Ellison