Online College Courses for Credit

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Author: Eugenie Segura

To gain insight into the author and/or historical settings of our summer novels.

Use this mini course to help with your summer novels.

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Summer Reading Selections

ENGL 101 / Eng. III H

The Catcher in the Rye—Salinger

Choice of at Least One from List Below


ENGL 102 / Eng. IV H

A Tale of Two Cities—Dickens   

Choice of at Least One from List Below


Dual Enrollment Reading Choices:

  1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan—See (You may watch new movie IN ADDITION to reading the book.)
  2. Jane Eyre—Brontë (You may watch new movie IN ADDITION to reading the book.)
  3. A Thousand Splendid Suns—Hosseini
  4. Outliers—Gladwell
  5. A Long Way Gone—Beah
  6. English III ONLY—The Kite Runner—Hosseini (You MUST watch movie IN ADDITION to reading the book.)
  7. English IV ONLY—The Great Gatsby—Fitzgerald (You MUST watch movie—1974 version—IN ADDITION to reading the book.)


Interview with Kahled Hosseini

Meet the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Source: YouTube

Catcher in the Rye Part 1

Get ready to learn all about the book! (But not the ending!)

Source: YouTube

Interview with Malcolm Gladwell

Meet the author of Outliers.

Source: YouTube

Jane Eyre Trailer

Preview the movie based on the novel.

Source: YouTube

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Trailer

Trailer for the movie based on the novel.

Source: YouTube

Interview with Ishmael Beah

Meet the author of A Long Way Gone.

Source: YouTube

A Tale of Two Cities Clip

A REAL old version!

Source: YouTube

How to Think About Literature

Thinking About Literature

Use the following questions as a starting place to write in your RRJ or to discuss in class. You do not have to answer all questions, nor will all apply to all pieces of literature, but they will give you a guide and some points to consider beyond just what happened in the story.


Who—The Characters

  • Were the characters believable? Why or why not?
  • What motivates the characters? Why do they do what they do?
  • Compare and contrast two or more characters.
  • Do the characters change or grow? How? Why?
  • Do any of these influence the characters’ actions: gender, race, age, economic status, nationality, cultural background, past experiences, etc.? How?


What—The Plot

  • Does the story have a clear beginning, middle, and end?
  • Is the story presented in an unusual format?
  • What subplots are present?
  • Is the ending satisfactory?


When—Historical Context

  • How is the period in which the story is set important?
  • How would the story be different if set in a different time?
  • When did the author live? Does this date influence the story in any way? If so, how?


Where—The Setting

  • What is unique or noteworthy about the setting?
  • Is the setting chosen necessary for the story, or could it have been set elsewhere?
  • Does the author’s writing make you feel like you are there? Explain.


Why—The Book as a Whole

  • Why did the author write this story? What is the point he/she was trying to make?
  • Who is narrating the story? Why is this person telling the story? Is the narrator reliable?
  • What does the book’s title mean?
  • What are the main themes of the story? Are they relevant today?
  • Did this story win an award? get made into a movie? etc.
  • Does the story remind you of other pieces you have read?


How—The Author and His or Her Craft

  • What in the background of the author influenced his or her writing?
  • What does the story reveal about the author’s view of the world or life?
  • How does the author’s writing style and/or use of language affect your reading of the book?
  • How does the author use literary techniques such as symbolism, imagery, irony, satire, allusions, etc.?
  • What are some “WOW” passages in the work?