Pine Bush High School 11th Grade English Regents 2019-2020 Summer Reading Assignment

Choose ONE novel/memoir from the list for your summer reading assignment.

Read the novel/memoir and take notes. Notes should include:

  • any and all obstacles faced by the main character(s)
  • any influential person(s) to the main character(s)
  • any literary elements/techniques (including but not limited to: setting, characterization, theme, irony, symbolism)

Write down TWO quotes from the novel/memoir that support the obstacles and/or influential person (be sure to copy it exactly and include the page(s) from the novel/memoir)

Bring all notes and quotes to class the first week of school. Notes must be handwritten on loose leaf.

Note Taking Guidelines

a. Obstacles

  •  Describe the obstacles the main character faced. 
  •  Did these obstacles produce a better or worse life for the character. 
  • Did the character surmount these obstacles?
  • How did the main character surmount these obstacles?
  • Or how was the main character destroyed by these obstacles? 
  • What was the final outcome for the character?

b. Influential Person(s)

  • Describe a person who influenced the main character, either positively or negatively.
  • Describe the influence and its effects fully.

The actual paper will be written during class in September.


Oates, Joyce Carol.  Because it is Bitter, and Because it is My Heart

It is a novel of violence and love. Iris Courtney is white and handsome and Jinx Fairchild, who is black, kills a white man while protecting Iris. It is not only their attraction to each other but also a bond of passion and guilt that is formed between them.

McCarthy, Cormac.  The Crossing

It is novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the nostalgic power of a lost American myth. In the late 1930s, sixteen-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been destroying his family’s ranch.  But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico.  

Radner, Gilda.  It’s Always Something 

It is an Autobiography of the comedienne who tells of her rise to the top of her profession, her marriage to Gene Wilder, and how the diagnosis of cancer changed her life.

Grealy, Lucy.  Autobiography of a Face 

Shares what it’s like to be really different from other people as Lucy relates her story of growing up facially disfigured in a society that puts a high priority on beauty.

Lamb, Wally.  She’s Come Undone

It is a journey of love, pain, and renewal for Dolores Price, from a 13-year-old girl to young adulthood.

Bragg, Rick.  All Over But the Shoutin’

Story of a war-haunted, hard drinking father and a strong willed, loving mother who struggled to protect her sons from the effects of poverty and ignorance in the pines of Alabama.

Chang, Pang-Mei Natasha.  Bound Feet and Western Dress

In China, a woman begins the saga of who defies the expectations of her family and the traditions of her culture.

Kincaid, Jamaica.  My Brother 

Jamaica Kincaid’s poetic and shockingly frank recounting of her brother Devon’s life and his death from AIDS at the age of thirty-three.

Chambers, Veronica.  Mama’s Girl 

It traces the evolution of a complicated mother-daughter relationship and the resilience of Black women across generations.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns.  Wait Till Next Year

Set in the suburbs of New York in the 1950’s a young girl’s story of growing up in love with baseball and the neighborhoods that were equally divided between Dodger, Giant and Yankee fans.

McCain, John.  Faith of My Fathers 

This deeply moving memoir by one of this country’s leaders tells the story of three generations of an American military family.

Dodson, James.  Final Rounds 

It is a moving tribute to the love between father and son and their shared passion for golf.

Ung, Loung.  First They Killed My Father 

From a childhood survivor of Cambodia’s brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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