In an effort to maintain high academic standards, to promote literacy, and to raise standardized test scores, summer reading is a requirement at Holy Martyrs Cabayan Elementary and Ferrahian High School.  The English department requires all students to read one book assigned by their English teacher.  In addition, students are strongly encouraged to read additional books for extra credit.


Required and suggested books are listed on the following pages for each grade and academic level.  Students are accountable to read the required book listed at their entering grade level.  Additionally, students may select any grade appropriate titles for extra credit and complete the attached form. The required book for each grade level must be purchased and brought to class during the beginning of the school year.


Students are required to complete the following assignment during their summer break:


  1. Required Book & Reading Journals: Each student must complete Reading Journals by choosing from the “Questions for Reading Journals” handout (attached). The journals must present information from the beginning, middle, and end of the book. The student must write a thoughtful response to the question by providing specific evidence and examples from the book to support his or her inferences.  The response should be typed and double-spaced. Students must save the original digital copy of the journal and await further instructions from their English teacher. On the first day of school, teachers will direct students to bring printed copies of the journal and/or to submit them to Turnitin.com for review.
  • Middle school students must complete four journals with a word count of       100-150 words for each journal entry.
  • High school students, except for A.P. Language and A.P. Literature, must complete four journals with a word count of 250-300 words for each journal entry.


  1. All students will take a test on the assigned reading upon their return to school.


All assignments are due on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.  No late assignments will be accepted unless the student enrolled after the first of August.  The assignments will count for 10% of the first quarter grade, which is worth about one letter grade.


IMPORTANT: Any form of plagiarism and/or cheating – including the use of the internet – on the assignments will result in the student receiving an automatic F (20%).


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the English Department Coordinator,  Mrs. Jasmine Rostamian, by e-mailing her at mrs.rostamian@yahoo.com



  1. What were your feelings after reading the opening chapter(s) of this book?  After reading half of the book? After finishing the book?
  2. Did this book make you laugh?   Cry?  Smile?  Cheer?  Explode?  Explain your reaction.
  3. How is this book like (or not like) your own life? Explain.
  4. What are the best parts of this book?  What are the worst parts of this book?  Why?
  5. What was the author saying about life and living through this book?  Why?
  6. What parts of the book seem most believable?  Why?  What parts seem unbelievable?  Why?
  7. Do you think the title fits the book?  Why or why not?
  8. Do you like the ending of the book? Why or why not?  Do you think there is more to tell?  What do you think might happen next?
  9. What do you feel is the most important word, sentence, or passage in the book? The most important event, character, feeling or decision?  Why is it important?
  10. In what ways are you like any of the characters?  Explain.
  11. Do any of the characters remind you of friends, family members, or classmates? Explain.
  12. What character would you like to be in this book? Why?
  13. What would you and your favorite character talk about in your first conversation?  Begin the conversation.
  14. What makes you wonder in this book?  Why?  What confuses you in this book? Why?
  15. What came as a surprise in the book? Why?
  16. Has this book helped you in any way?  Explain.
  17. How have you changed after reading this book?  Explain.
  18. How do you picture the author of this book?  Why do you picture him or her in this way?
  19. What questions would you like answered after reading this book?  Why?
  20. Who else should read this book?  Why? Who shouldn’t read this book?  Why?



(Make additional copies if needed)

Title & Author of Book # of Pages Brief Summary & Analysis






















Entering Grade 6

Required Book:

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen


Suggested Books:

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Zabelle by Nancy Krikorian

Bright Shadow by Avi

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn

The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

How Tia Lola Came to Stay by Julia Alvarez

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

A Long Way from Home by Richard Peck


Entering Grade 7

Required Book:

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgsen Burnett


Suggested Books:

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Finding Home by David Kherdian

Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman

The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake

The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez

Far North by Will Hobbs

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli


Entering Grade 8

Required Book:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


Suggested Books:

After The Rain by Norma Fox Mazer

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Finding Home by David Kherdian

Zabelle by Nancy Krikorian

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt

Behind Rebel Lines by Seymour Reit

Off-Color by Janet McDonald

Monster by Walter Dean Meyers


Entering Grade 9

Required Book:

The Human Comedy by William Saroyan


Suggested Books:

My Name is Aram by William Saroyan

Elsewhere by Garbrielle Zevin

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt

New Boy by David Klass

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Izzy, Willy Nilly by Cynthia Voigt

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Briar Rose Jane Yolen

Bearstone by Will Hobbs

The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze: and Other Stories by William Saroyan


Entering Grade 10

Required Book:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


Suggested Books:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

My Antonia by Willa Cather

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

True Grit by Charles Portis

Daredevils of Sassoun by Leon Surmelian

Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success by John Wooden and Jay Carty

Flush by Virginia Woolf

Native Son by Richard Wright


Entering Grade 11 (Regular)

Required Book:

Black Dog of Fate by Peter Balakian


Suggested Books:

Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Rise the Euphrates by Carol Edgarian

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Dreams of Bread and Fire by Nancy Krikorian

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success by John Wooden and Jay Carty

The Autobiography of Malcom X by Malcom X


Entering Grade 11 (AP English Language and Composition)

Thank You For Arguing by Jay Heinrichs


Black Dog of Fate by Peter Balakian


A.P. Summer Homework Packets will be distributed by the instructor.


Entering Grade 12 (Regular)

Required Book:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

(ISBN# 0743273567)


Grade 12 Suggested Books:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian

Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success by John Wooden and Jay Carty

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dubliners by James Joyce

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Othello by William Shakespeare

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig


Entering Grade 12 (AP English Literature & Composition)

Required Books:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

(ISBN# 0743273567)

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster (ISBN# 006000942X)


A.P. Summer Homework Packets will be distributed by the instructor.

Attention A.P. Students: You will not be required to answer the journal questions included in this packet.