11th Grade Reading List
Summer Reading—Entering 11th Grade
English 11, American Literature
Mrs. Rosenberg (Ms. Guerino)
Thematic Question: How is an American identity created?
Welcome to English 11: American Literature! Each of the following books deals with identity formation in the United States. Choose ONE of the following novels to read over the summer. Choose a title that interests you, not necessarily something that’s short!
You may also choose to read something else if you have not already read that book for another class. Your parent/guardian and myself must approve of an alternate choice.
Be prepared to write an analytical essay when you return to school in August.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (nonfiction)
A famous poet and writer, Angelou’s autobiography focuses on her passion for words and her efforts to become literate as a way to cope with abandonment, abuse, and racism.
A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
This play centers on a Chicago family aspiring to live the “American Dream” while confronting racism at every turn. A major theme of this play is racial identity.
Without a Map, Meredith Hall (nonfiction)
Hall’s memoir recounts how when she was 16 years old and pregnant, she was shunned from her family, friends, and school in Hampton, NH. She wandered the globe in an effort to find herself.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie (YA fiction)
Junior is a Native American living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. However, tensions arise when he decides to leave his school on the reservation to attend an all-white high school.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chobsky (YA fiction)
Charlie starts high school and deals with a difficult transition into adult life. Written in epistolary (letter) format, Charlie has the reader wondering, who is he writing to?
Winger, Andrew Smith (YA fiction)
A teen at boarding school grapples with life, love, and rugby in the unforgettable novel that is “alternately hilarious and painful, awkward and enlightening” (Publishers Weekly)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz (fiction)
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. As the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship.