English II International Scholars - Summer Reading 2021

  • We are excited that you are going to be in one of our Lubbock High English II International Scholars classes next year. During your sophomore year, we will be reading literature from a variety of genres, time periods, and cultures. The texts that you will read this summer will give you great insight into the different types of reading that you will do next year. We expect that both texts you choose to read will generate rich discussion when we return to school in August.

    The steps you should follow to complete your summer assignment follow.


    • Join the Google Classroom for English II International Scholars Summer 2021 immediately. The Google Classroom has digital copies of the texts, extra copies of this letter, and examples of the assignments that you can view. Joining the Google Classroom will also allow you to get updates and ask questions in order to get direct feedback from one of us. To join, go to http://classroom.google.com. Log in with your lubbockisd.net email address and click the “+” to join the class. The code to join is mp2r4pw.


    • Read the selections from the first text: How to Read Literature like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster.  This book will help you recognize intricacies within literature and help you with your analysis of the works we will read this year. Do not wait until the last few weeks of the summer to read this book.  It is a dense text that is full of information that you will need to know and refer to over the course of the school year.  Spreading your reading out over the summer will help you to retain the information and ensure that you actually complete the reading assignment. You need to read the chapters with the following titles. 
    • Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion
    • It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow
    • …More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence
    • Is That a Symbol?
    • Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Too
    • If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism
    • He’s Blind for a Reason, You Know
    • Is He Serious? And Other Ironies


    • Choose and read ONE of the other texts that are listed below. These texts explore a protagonist’s coming of age within various cultures and time periods. The novel that you choose will help you make connections to the broader identity unit with which we begin the year.


    • Complete and submit the assignment posted on Google Classroom by the date of your exam (Monday, August 23rd). If you submit your assignment before the first day of school (August 18th), you will receive 10 points of extra credit on the project itself, which can help you start the year well.  All work must be completed individually, and cheating will result in a zero with no opportunity to redo the assignment.

    You will take a test over both books on Monday, August, 23th. The test will be based on the literal and analytical content of each text, including application of the Foster text to the novel you choose. You will NOT be allowed to use your books on the test.  You will also use these texts to write an essay at the start of the year, so it is essential that you actually read these texts; summaries from the internet or otherwise with not suffice. Your reading of the summer material is crucial to your success in the first six weeks of your sophomore year in English II.

    If you need a copy of any of these books, you can find digital copies on Google Classroom and linked above.  You can also buy them if you prefer; the edition doesn’t matter. We are looking forward to seeing you in August and feel confident that you will have a wonderful sophomore year at Lubbock High School. If you have any questions the fastest way to get a response is to comment on Google Classroom. Alternatively, you can email Mr. Harris or Mr. VânDôn at one of the email addresses below. 

    Have a great summer!

    James Harris Ron VânDôn

    james.harris@lubbockisd.org ron.vandon@lubbockisd.org 


    Summaries of Novel Choices

    Summaries from Amazon.com

    The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

    In THE NAMESAKE, Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel, the characters are always hungry: for a place to call home, for family, for love, and, of course, for food. Ashima, in an arranged marriage to Ashoke Ganguli, misses her native India as she sets up house far from her family in Massachusetts, a land of bleak winters that her family will never know, much less understand. Making Bengali food out of American substitutes, she searches desperately for the comfort of her childhood. Time gradually pulls her away from the past, and she learns the ways of America, becomes friends with other transplanted Bengalis, and begins a family. A quiet affection develops between Ashima and Ashoke as they raise their two children, oddly-named Gogol and his sister Sonia. 

    Gogol is the novel's center and its primary perspective, the namesake of the title. Although he does not know it until much later in life, Gogol is named after the Russian author not because, as he is told at first, Gogol is his father's favorite writer but because a copy of Gogol's short stories saved Ashoke's life after a train wreck. To Ashoke, the name of Gogol signifies a beginning, survival, "everything that followed" the horrific night spent in the rubble. This idea is the heart of the novel; as immigrants the Gangulis must look forward to what lies ahead instead of what is past. In America, Ashima and Ashoke are reborn, just as their children must find their own paths.

    The Chosen by Chaim Potok

    Few stories offer more warmth, wisdom, or generosity than this tale of two boys, their fathers, their friendship, and the chaotic times in which they live. Though on the surface it explores religious faith--the intellectually committed as well as the passionately observant--the struggles addressed in The Chosen are familiar to families of all faiths and in all nations.

    In 1940s Brooklyn, New York, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a Modern Orthodox Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep, if unlikely, friendship. Together they negotiate adolescence, family conflicts, the crisis of faith engendered when Holocaust stories begin to emerge in the U.S., loss, love, and the journey to adulthood. The intellectual and spiritual clashes between fathers, between each son and his own father, and between the two young men, provide a unique backdrop for this exploration of fathers, sons, faith, loyalty, and, ultimately, the power of love. 

    Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

    Exquisite prose and wondrous storytelling have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English. Indeed, Anaya's tales fairly shimmer with the haunting beauty and richness of his culture. The winner of the Pen Center West Award for Fiction for his unforgettable novel Albuquerque, Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic bestseller, Bless Me, Ultima... Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past-a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world...and will nurture the birth of his soul.


    Summer Reading Assignment 2021 - 2022

    Section 1: How To Read Literature Like a Professor

    As you read through Thomas Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, complete the study guide on google classroom. Answer the chapter questions to take notes as you read; then choose and respond to one of the final two reflection questions in order to make a connection and apply what you’ve learned.

    Section 2: Application of Foster to Bildungsroman

    Complete the following activity, take a picture of it, and attach the final product to the assignment in Google Classroom.

    Purpose:​ A “one-pager” is a single-page response to an assigned reading (poem, novel, or essay). It is designed to promote thoughtful appreciation and understanding of the text, and allows you to create your own representation and understanding of it. Your one-pager should be creative and experimental. It is a way to respond imaginatively and honestly. It connects the verbal to the visual and connects your thoughts to the text. The more creative you allow yourself to be, the more you will get out of the assignment. When a one-pager is completed, anyone who looks at it will gain an instant understanding of how you interpreted the text.

    [Written Component] → Write this on the back of your one-pager.

    Choose one or more chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor that contained subject matter you recognized within your novel. In a well-developed discussion (at least two paragraphs) discuss how the ideas from Forster’s book are represented in your novel and how they give insight into the work as a whole. Avoid simply summarizing the text. Try to think about how the author’s choices are meaningful and intentional. In short, don’t simply write about what happened in your novel; instead, write about why it matters. Be sure to include at least one embedded direct quotation from each book per paragraph, and don’t forget your in-text citations! Refer to the paragraph form found in the entry titled, “Helpful Resources”

    [Illustration Components] → This is the front side of your one-pager.

    Follow the guidelines listed below: 

    1. Don’t put your name on the front. It should go on the back.
    2. Write the title of the text and the author’s name prominently.
    3. Pull out two quotations from your chosen novel that stand out as relevant to the connection you made in the written component. Be sure to put them in quotation marks as you copy them onto the page and copy them exactly as they appear. Try to integrate textual elements within or around your artwork.
    4. Now comes the fun part! Create visual images that relate to both your chosen novel, How to Read Literature, and the ideas you’ve chosen to focus on. 
      • Be sure to use unlined, blank, white 8 ½ x 11 paper. You may use a bigger page if you like. 
      • You may draw them (use colored pencils and/or markers)
      • You may choose to create one large, detailed drawing or include several in a collage. 
      • You may not print out pictures from the internet and paste them on the paper.
      • All writing is to be done neatly in ink​. This is not a digital assignment.
      • The images and writing should cover the entire page. Very little background area should show!​ The one-pager should be colorful and neat. No scribbles to fill in the background. Appearance counts!
    5. Not great at drawing?
      • Use something physical as a model. 
      • Try tracing an image from your computer screen.
      • Instead of drawing *people*, try drawing significant objects, the environment, or abstract symbols. 
      • Effort counts!
English II