Summer Reading 2020

Each form has different requirements for its summer reading book. Please read the directions carefully. Your assignment counts 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.

Students need to purchase a copy of the assigned book from a local or online source.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

The Third Form year is focused on the question of “Who Am I?” Throughout this year, as we explore Antiquity, we will continuously reflect upon the development of the individual and their identity in order to gain a deeper understanding of our own identities. It is the goal of the Third Form that each student will be confident with their identity and be capable of articulating their personal, familial, and social identities. 

This summer, third formers are asked to read Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton. The full directions on the assignment are part of the Google Classroom that each third former has been invited to with his South Kent School email.

The novel is centered on the journey of Cliff Hubbard, a 6’6”  200 lb high schooler whose hobbies include watching old sci-fi movies, avoiding his father’s abuse, and hanging out alone at the Monolith, the place where Cliff and his older brother use to ponder the mysteries of the universe, that was until his older brother committed suicide. When Cliff’s archnemesis Aaron Zimmerman, the high school football star and Mr. Popularity himself calls upon Cliff to assist him with a divine list given to Aaron by God, Cliff is not sure if the List is truly a mission from God or the side effect of Aaron’s tragic accident. With nothing to lose, and possibly a sign from above, Cliff decides to join Aaron on the mission of making high school suck less. On their journey the two boys wrestle with their own identities and their pasts, and Cliff learns just how close to home the List really hits.  

Over the summer you will be expected to read around 50 pages a week. Some assignments are a little fewer, others a little more. The novel is 410 pages in total, so it is beneficial to pace yourself and follow the Google Classroom assignments. 

Contact Mr. Jesse Brennan ([email protected]) or Ms. Kathryn Hall ([email protected]) with any questions about the assignment or logging into Google Classroom.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Fourth Form year is focused on the question of “Who am I in a Community?” Throughout this year, as we explore Early Modern History, we will continuously reflect upon the relationship of the individual, their identity, and their communities  in order to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction between them. It is the goal of the Fourth Form that each student will be confident with their personal identity, as well as their self-identification and place in communities. 

This summer, the Fourth Form will be reading the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The full directions on the assignment are part of the Google Classroom that each fourth former has been invited to with his South Kent School email.

The novel is centered on Starr Carter who is a member of two very different communities, the wealthy and predominantly White school she attends, and the lower income Black neighborhood in which she lives. She is forced to examine her identity and her authority in these two communities after witnessing her childhood friend being fatally shot by the police. In the face of injustice, Starr uncovers how she interacts with people  in both communities while beginning to understand her personal desires and her own power to make a stand for justice. 

Over the summer you will be expected to read over 50 pages a week. Some assignments are a little fewer, others a little more. The novel is 443 pages in total, so it is beneficial to pace yourself and follow the Google Classroom assignments. 

Contact Mr. Jesse Brennan ([email protected]) or Ms. Kathryn Hall ([email protected]) with any questions about the assignment or logging into Google Classroom.

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

During the Fifth Form year, 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 your Humanities course will help guide you through a voyage in discovering what this question might mean to you in all aspects of your life. 

In The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell, Uhtred of Bebbanburg is taken by the very Danes who murdered his family, and subsequently, must learn to navigate two worlds: one as the rightful heir to an English noble house, and one as a Danish warrior. As Uhtred’s story unfolds, so too does he begin to grow in his understanding of the world and of himself.

Assignment
In a well-written and organized two-page, double-spaced essay, using textual evidence from The Last Kingdom, analyze Uhtred’s development in heart and mindset as he transitions from not knowing where – or to whom – he belongs, to understanding his place in the world.

Additional information, including the rubric for the assignment, will be shared with all fifth form students through your South Kent School email this summer.

Contact Mr. Max Pfeffer ([email protected]) or Mr. Kevin Benz ([email protected]) with any questions about the assignment.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Your final year of high school is one of preparation for college and beyond. The form theme is “Who Do I Want to Be?” 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.  What lessons does Clay learn through his search for the truth behind Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore that helps transform him from a somewhat self-absorbed young man into a person who has found his life's purpose?

Create a three-page literary essay that examines his evolution 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].