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English II Honors/Pre-AP/AP

Okeechobee High School 2021-22 Summer Reading List for English II Honors (NOT AP Prep.) 

For students entering English II Honors (NOT AP Prep):

Students are to read one of the selections listed below, and it must be completed BEFORE the first day of their sophomore year.  Students are expected to complete a project/test on their selection within the first week of school. If you have any questions over the summer, contact Mr. Talas at

Choose One

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 

AP Language

Welcome to AP Language and Composition! As a part of this course, students will be required to read two selections and complete an essay based on a prompt relating to one of this summer’s selections. The significance of these assignments is simple; reading over the summer keeps the student’s mind active and engaged, preparing them to come into the class next year prepared for literary analysis. These two selections will also be added to the student’s repertoire of literary knowledge, increasing their awareness and understanding of major literary works - a skill that will benefit them for the AP Language Exam, as well as future AP English courses. The two selections students are required to read, are as follows: 

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    • The Kite Runner follows the story of two boys, Hassan and Amir, and their experiences growing up in the Middle East. The novel covers topics such as discrimination, rape culture, victim blaming, and how to manage trauma. 

  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

    • This particular play takes place in Rome during 44 BC. The play centers around the dilemma of Brutus after his discovery of a plot to murder Julius Caesar - a plot aimed at preventing his seizure of a dictatorship over Rome. Following Caesar’s death, Rome descends into a period of civil war and the Republic that the murderers intended to create becomes an impossibility. 

The AP Language and Composition exam has undergone a slight shift within the last year or so. While there is still a focus for students to become familiar with literature written before 1900, there is an emergence of modern writing appearing on the exam, as well. This class will focus on covering a wide variety of diverse authors and topics to prepare students for the exam in May. While reading, you should pay special attention to the setting, descriptions, and the exploration of topics relating to society, morality, and the rhetoric used in each selection. The essay portion of the summer reading assignment requires you to pick one of the following two prompts to write a 500 word essay written in MLA Format:

  • In a 500 word essay, discuss how the perspective of Hosseini’s novel differs from the typical Eurocentric view that the Western world is used to.  How does this affect the novel as a whole? The struggles/trauma of the characters? How do the author/characters use pathos as a rhetorical strategy to convey their plight?

  • In a 500 word essay, analyze the rhetorical strategies used in the play. Think of how politicians during this time period had to rely on classical rhetorical strategies and discuss how the characters in the play use compelling figurative language and ideas to convince their audience of their views. 

AP Prep

As a field of study, literature relies on the ability to draw on the reader’s knowledge of the world and its history. For this reason, many texts will make references to ancient mythologies in what is called an allusion. Allusions are stylistic devices used to add context or meaning through references to a well-known person, place, event, or literary work. In order to gain a better understanding of allusions you might encounter as a growing reader, we will be reading an anthology of classic mythologies from various cultures such as, Greek/Roman, Norse, Eastern, and Arthurian legends.

 You will need to make sure that you purchase the unabridged version of Bulfinch’s Mythology. Below, I have included a link to the product on Amazon: 

Bulfinch's Mythology (Complete and Unabridged)

You are only reading up until the third portion “Legends of Charlemagne”. Stop after the last section in Arthurian Legend “Hero Myths of the British Race”. If you are like me and have a hard time retaining information, you may want to go through and use sticky notes to keep track of the main ideas behind each myth. Alternatively, you could take notes in a notebook! This is not required, but may help you on the Bulfinch Test when we take it Week Two! 

Keep an eye out for a myth that you like in particular, we will be creating monologue presentations starting Week One. The only limitations on these choices are as follows:

  • Only one person may present one particular mythological character. For example, if someone is doing “Apollo and Hyacinth”, no one else may choose Apollo. You may want to have a back up!

  • You may not choose from the “Big Boys and Girls”. There are some myths that are covered to death, for this reason, no one may choose the following characters: Zeus, Hercules, Thor, King Arthur, Lancelot, or Merlin.

**If you have any further questions for me regarding the summer reading, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact me via email: