Honors English Summer Reading

The HCHS English Department is proud you have chosen the honors track.  These challenging academic courses are designed for college-bound students and all include a substantial amount of reading.  The goal is to prepare for success on the ACT and for success as a college student.  

Each of the four classes has a summer reading requirement.  Students will be responsible for providing their own copies of these novels and should expect to have those copies available for additional study when school begins.   Digital copies are acceptable, but students must be using a device approved through the front office.  Additionally, students are solely responsible for keeping these items secure while at school.  

Please find below the required reading for each class.  All English classes are year long classes with the exception of Senior Honors English, which takes place in the fall semester only.  Tests are generally given over these books within the first few days of school.  Students should arrive at school during the first week of August prepared for testing.

9th grade:

Ten Little Indians
, also published under the title And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
Ten houseguests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer.  When they realize that every one of them is marked for murder, terror mounts as their number dwindles.  Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme?  Who will be left to tell the tale?  Clues abound in this masterpiece from Agatha Christie, her most popular mystery ever.

10th grade:

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
At the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, Mark Bragg, an officer in the Air Force, warns his brother Randy that nuclear war is imminent.  Mark, who lives in Omaha, sends his wife and children to live with Randy in the isolated town of Fort Repose, Florida as the tensions are escalating between the two superpowers.

11th grade:

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
As a youth of 18, Hemingway was eager to fight in the Great War.  Poor vision kept him out of the army, so he joined the ambulance corps instead. Hemingway emerged from the European battlefields with a medal for valor and a wealth of experience that he would, years later, spin into literary gold in A Farewell to Arms.  This is the story of Lieutenant Henry, an American, and Catherine Barkley, a British nurse.  The two meet in Italy and almost immediately Hemingway sets up the central tension of the novel: the tenuous nature of love in a time of war.

12th grade:

*** BOTH NOVELS ARE REQUIRED READING:  ***

1984 by George Orwell
Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London.  Big Brother stares out from every poster; the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal.  When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that  life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards a conspiracy.  Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind.  For those with original thoughts, they invented Room 101. Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell’s terrifying vision of totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to tyrannical regime.

Life of Pi   by Yann Martel

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a lifeboat with wounded animals. Find out how his adventure ends in this imaginative and unforgettable novel.