All-School Book Summer 2019

Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies

By Lawrence Goldstone

In his novel Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies, author Lawrence Goldstone tells us a story about grit, perseverance, optimism, failure, and ultimately success. The Wright brothers become American inspirations, sparking a revolution in modern engineering, transportation, and the American way of life, while championing the ideals of curiosity, ingenuity, and risk-taking. The story is timeless and the impact exceeded even what the Wright brothers and those around them could have ever imagined.

Assignment: In the book, the Wright brothers find themselves in a world that is rapidly changing and must search for their place in it. Please answer the following questions with a substantial paragraph for each, using evidence from the text and your own analysis.

  • In what ways was the United States rapidly changing at the turn of the century? How did these changes impact, or inspire, the Wright brothers? How did these changes provide an opportunity for Orville and Wilbur?
  • What skills did the Wright brothers need and use to make a mark in history and to find success? How did they use these skills to their advantage?
  • Were Orville and Wilbur always successful? In what ways were they not successful? How did the Wright brothers learn from failure?
  • How is the world rapidly changing today? How will it continue to change in the future?
  • What skills will you need in order to overcome, and even capitalize on, these changes?

You will turn in this assignment as a Google Doc to your history teacher during the first week of classes.


Form Specific Assignments

Along with the all-school summer reading, each form has specific assignments which are listed below.

This year, we will explore the essential question, Who am I? As we read texts, we will explore what experiences have shaped each of us into the person we are today. We will read novels, poetry/music, non-fiction, and historical work throughout the school year. As a third former, you are required to prepare yourself for the start of the school year.

Over the summer, please:

  1. Read Born a Crime by Trevor Noah;
  2. Keep a journal with your notes about what you have read;
  3. Complete the Writing Assignment and Essay described below; and
  4. Be prepared to discuss Born a Crime and the question, What is identity?

Please send your writing assignment and essay to me at [email protected] by August 23, 2019.

Born a Crime can be purchased through online book vendors, such as amazon.com, or at a local bookstore.

After you finish reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, answer the following questions.

Your answers should be typed, double-spaced, and in Times New Roman, 12pt font.

Each question should be answered in at 75-125 words.

  1. Discuss the role of religion in Trevor Noah’s family’s life. For example, why did Trevor and his mother attend so many services and what did they get from each? How do Trevor and his mother view the importance of religion?
  2. How and why does Trevor’s mother change her parenting style with Trevor’s younger brother?
  3. How does witchcraft figure into South African society and belief systems?
  4. How does Patricia, Trevor’s mom, challenge Trevor to think for himself and stand up for himself?
  5. Discuss Trevor’s relationship with his father. How does Trevor feel about the relationship?
  6. Discuss the role of the police in South Africa and this book. What are your impressions of apartheid?
  7. What lessons in love does Trevor Noah describe in this book?
  8. What are your thoughts about this book? Would you recommend it to a friend? Why or why not?

Essay

Write a 3-4 page, double-spaced (Times New Roman, 12pt font) essay.

Select two of the following themes for your essay: masculinity, love, religion, role models, tradition, identity, education, discrimination, and social class.

Describe your thoughts about the themes, noting examples of where the themes appear in the book.

Analyze each theme, and then compare the two themes.

Conclude what these themes suggest for Trevor’s identity and development.

 

Good luck. This work will provide us with a good class discussion. I look forward to meeting you and reading your papers when you arrive on campus this autumn.

Sincerely,

Mr. Patrick Beer

Dear Rising 4th Former,

In the 4th Form, we will be exploring the essential question, “Who am I in my community?”.  As we read texts, we will explore what experiences have shaped each of us into the person we are today. We will read novels, poetry, music, non-fiction, and historical works throughout the school year. We also will be studying several themes throughout the Humanities, the first of which is “Political Legitimacy.”

To kick off the themes of “Who am I in my community” and “political legitimacy,” the summer reading novel every 4th Former will read is called The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey by Ernesto "Che" Guevara. It is available in digital and hard copy format and any version is acceptable (watching the film is NOT reading, plus it is different).

Review from Publishers Weekly:

Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara became Fidel Castro's chief lieutenant in the Cuban revolution, Cuba's minister for industry and later a guerrilla in Bolivia, where he was captured and executed in 1967. This high-spirited travel diary of Guevara's eight-month motorcycle journey across Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela as a 23-year-old medical student in 1951-52 mixes lyrical observation, youthful adventure, and anti-imperialist political analysis. With a doctor friend as a traveling companion, Guevara stows away on a cargo ship, explores Inca ruins, volunteers as a fireman, visits a leper colony and displays solidarity with miners and farm workers... On balance, this candid journal, part self-discovery, part fieldwork, glimmers with portents of the future revolutionary.

Assignment: In the book, Che Guevara finds himself exploring a world he thought he knew, full of inequality, repression, and injustice. During the journey, Che begins to explore who he is, as a man, within his own community and the other communities he explores. Please answer the first three prompts with TWO 5 or more sentence paragraph response for each prompt. Be sure you are using evidence from the text and your own analysis (Please use quotes and citations in MLA format). Please answer Prompt 4 in a proper MLA essay format and again, using quotes and citations.

  1. Who is Che Guevara? How did Che view the world when he began his journey and how does that compare with what he feels in the end? Who does Che feel should “legitimately” be in power in Latin America?
  2. As Che begins to see the inequality, repression, and injustice throughout Latin America, what does Che do to enact change? Do inequality, repression, and injustice occur in the rapidly changing world we live in today?
  3. Who are you (what do you value)? What can you do right now as a young man, to peacefully counter inequality, repression, and injustice within your community?
  4. One Page Essay: How do Che’s remarks and views throughout the work about certain groups of people, such as blacks, homosexuals, and Jews reveal a contradictory set of views and values?

Please email me with any questions. Good Luck and see you in the Fall!

Sincerely,

Mr. Todd Gennings

[email protected]

4th Form Dean

Please note: You will turn in this assignment as a Google Doc to your history teacher during the first week of classes

This year in the Fifth Form, we will explore the essential question, Who am I in the World? Your summer reading will help prepare you for this exploration. The core curriculum of English and History will guide you through discovery to answer this question during the year.

Step 1:

Read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Step 2:

Upon completion of the novel, look back at the following passages in the text and do a close reading of the two different conversations taking place:

  • Text A - Beatty’s speech to Montag - pages 51-59 (Beginning with “Beatty took a full moment…” and ending with “‘Of Course.’ Montag’s mouth was dry.”)
  • Text B - Faber’s conversation with Montag - midway page 76-top of 88 (Beginning with “Who is it?” and ending with “...looking at the world.”)
Step 3: Answer the following prompts:
  1. In a well-written and organized, two-page essay, using textual evidence from your close reading of Text A, identify whether Beatty supports or opposes censorship.
  2. In a well-written and organized, two-page essay, using textual evidence from your close reading of Text B, identify whether Faber supports or opposes censorship.
Step 4: Comparative response

The overarching question for the Fifth Form is “Who am I in the world?”  In order to begin exploring this question, research your own nation’s censorship policy and compare it to another nation’s censorship policy; preferably, the two would be different.  Write a well-written and organized one-page essay in which you compare the two policies.  

All three of these essays should be made into three .pdf attachments and emailed to Mr. Benz ([email protected]) in a single email anytime before Wednesday, September 4th.

If you have any questions please reach out to Mr. Benz.

Your final year of high school is one of preparation for college and beyond. You are asked to read the book, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan, this summer.

In Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, there is an extended contrast (and even a conflict) between traditional technologies (the realm of the physical, such as books) and digital technologies.  How does the narrator Clay Jannon reconcile this conflict in his search for truth and in his discovery that there "is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care"?  To what extent does an obsession with one or the other prevent some characters from sharing in that insight?

Create a three-page literary essay that examines this contrast between technologies in this story. It should be double spaced and 12 point type.

You will be required to submit this essay during the first week of school to your English teacher. Once at school, there will be discussions in class about this story.

If you have any questions about the assignment this summer, please contact Father Steve Klots [email protected].

Your final year of high school is one of preparation for college and beyond. You are asked to read the book, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan, this summer.

In Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, there is an extended contrast (and even a conflict) between traditional technologies (the realm of the physical, such as books) and digital technologies.  How does the narrator Clay Jannon reconcile this conflict in his search for truth and in his discovery that there "is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care"?  To what extent does an obsession with one or the other prevent some characters from sharing in that insight?

Create a three-page literary essay that examines this contrast between technologies in this story. It should be double spaced and 12 point type.

You will be required to submit this essay during the first week of school to your English teacher. Once at school, there will be discussions in class about this story.

If you have any questions about the assignment this summer, please contact Father Steve Klots [email protected].

Each form has different requirements for its summer reading book. Please read the directions carefully. Assignments count as your first grade of the year, so get off to a good start by taking the time to complete the work.  If you have questions, please email the faculty member referenced under each form's summer reading description.