2014-2015 English Honors/AP Summer Reading Selections


Click on the link below for even more resources on annotation and graphic organizers!




Students enrolled in Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) English I-IV are required to read an assigned novel, making annotations (in the text or on a graphic organizer) as they read, and to respond to the text in essay format. The essay is administered on the second day of the school year either in class or after school, regardless of the semester students are enrolled in English. 

Resources for annotating text, along with the instructions for completing the summer enrichment reading assignment, are below. 

Honors English I: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Honors English II: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

Honors/AP English III: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Honors/AP English IV: 1984 by George Orwell



Please read and follow the instructions below for students entering Honors or AP English.  It is important to complete this assignment thoroughly in order to be prepared for class activities and ensure a successful start to Honors or AP English. 

Students should read the text and complete annotations for the corresponding English course they will be enrolled in for the 2014-2015 school year.

1.   Obtain a print or digital copy of the following text:

Please be advised that electronic devices (phones, iPads, Kindles, laptops, tablets, etc.) will not be allowed in the assessment area.


2.   Review annotation resources and download the graphic organizer on the DCS Summer Reading website http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/summerreading.

  Record your annotations electronically and print them out, or print the graphic organizer out and write your annotations by hand.


3.   Read the novel making annotations in the text and/or completing the graphic organizer. See the DCS Summer Reading website above for resources on annotating texts.


4.   Bring a hard copy of the completed graphic organizer and/or your annotated

copy of the text to school for submission to your teacher on the first day class meets.

5.   Respond to a writing prompt, in essay format, using your personal copy of the annotated text and/or completed graphic organizer. Students will write in either their English class or after school on the second day ofthe school year, regardless of the semester they have English.

*Texts and graphic organizers will be returned to students when scored essays are returned.

*Students may not reference materials (study guides, etc.) printed from the Internet or copied when responding to the prompt. Only their personal annotations in the text and/or completed graphic organizer may be used.

Instructions for the Graphic Organizer:

Choose three of the following themes/motifs or literary elements to trace throughout the novel.

For each theme/motif, you must find three quotes and analyze how each quote pertains to that particular theme/motif; for each literary element, you must find three quotes (examples) and analyze its impact on the novel. (See sample quote/analysis). 

You should have a total of nine entries. An example from The Secret Life of Bees has been provided. 

English I: The Secret Life of Bees

·   Characterization (direct and indirect)

·   Symbolism

·   Role/Influence of Women

·   Theme: Motherhood

·   Theme: Moral Education

·   Theme: Irrationality of Racism

English II: Haroun and the Sea of Stories

·   Character Development

·   Symbolism


·   Theme: Identity

·   Theme: Family Relationships

·   Theme: Coming of Age

English III: The Poisonwood Bible

·   Narrative Tone(s)

·   Imagery (Religious)

Cultural Values

·   Theme: Personal Responsibility

·   Theme: Guilt and Blame

·   Theme: Language and Communication

English IV: 1984

·   Flashback/Foreshadowing

·   Paradox/Irony

·   Allusion (impacting on meaning/purpose)

·   Theme: Change

·   Theme: Government Oppression

·   Theme: Societal Prejudices

Theme/Literary Element

Quote from book that serves as an example of theme/literary element (with page #)

Analysis (How does this example relate to the theme? How does this literary element impact the novel?)

Theme/Literary Element:


Irrationality of Racism

“You know some things don’t matter much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart-now that matters.” (147)



In explaining why her house is pink to Lily, August is commenting on how the appearance (race) of an individual is insignificant compared to the person’s character. Judging a person on their exterior only would mean overlooking the most important part of who they are.

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