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Summer Reading 2019 Entering 10th Grade

Princeton High School - 2019 Sophomore Summer Reading

Rising sophomores must read two books during the summer; the texts must be completed prior to the start of school in September. While no written work is required, students should read carefully and thoughtfully.  You may want to take notes or keep a journal to stay actively engaged. In September, students will spend several class periods participating in activities related to their selections and will then complete one or more writing assignments involving their two texts. We encourage you to read with attention, consideration, and curiosity.

REQUIRED: All rising sophomores must read Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah. In this poignant and humorous memoir, Noah details his young life in South Africa, during the final years of apartheid. His story addresses the role that race played in his upbringing and the tools his mother gave him to succeed despite the many obstacles he faced.  Please note that this text does contain profanity and sporadic off-color humor; if you would prefer to avoid these elements, you may substitute It’s Trevor Noah: Born A Crime, the young adult version of the text.

All rising sophomores must also read one additional text  from the following list (brief descriptions below):


                        Title                                                                            Author


Fahrenheit 451                                                                             Ray Bradbury

The Alchemist                                                                              Paulo Coelho

The Children’s Hour                                                                      Lillian Hellman

Lost Names:  Scenes from a Korean Boyhood                                  Richard Kim

Fully Empowered                                                                          Pablo Neruda

Citizen 13660                                                                               Mine Okubo

1984                                                                                           George Orwell

Persepolis                                                                                   Marjane Satrapi

Maus I                                                                                        Art Spiegelman


Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 

This work depicts a dystopian society in which access to knowledge is severely restricted and books are forbidden. Everything is turned on its head in this world as the firemen are called to light fires rather than extinguish them. 


Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

This graphic autobiography depicts the author’s childhood and young adult years in Iran, leading up to and following the Islamic Revolution.  


Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

This novel depicts a young man’s journey to find worldly goods, which ultimately turns into a quest to find the treasure within.  


Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour

This play explores the effect of malicious gossip on the lives of two women in 1930’s New England.  The story centers on two female teachers who are condemned by their community when a student alleges that they are having a homosexual affair.  


Richard Kim’s Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood 

In this novel, Kim tells the story of a young boy growing up in Korea during the Japanese occupation. He struggles with his identity while his extended family struggles simply to survive. 


Pablo Neruda’s Fully Empowered

This collection of poetry includes thirty-six poems that vary from short, intense lyrics to longer odes that speak to Neruda’s declared purpose: “to be in his poems a voice for all those people -- and things -- that have no voice:  that is the poet’s obligation.” (from Alastair Reid’sIntroduction to the Collection)


Mine Okubo’s Citizen 13660

This text is an early graphic novel that explores life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. This autobiographical account reflects one woman’s struggles during that dark time.


George Orwell’s 1984

This classic dystopian novel chronicles life in a government-controlled country that, in some ways, shines light on trends in our contemporary world.


Art Spiegelman’s MAUS I

In this graphic novel about World War II, Spiegelman tells of his father Vladek’s survival during the Nazi Holocaust.  The first installment of two, this novel explores Vladek’s pre-war life in Poland, Art’s childhood as the son of Holocaust survivors, and his own journey as an artist while writing this book.