Upper School Summer Reading

2017 Upper School Reading list


Expand your mind this summer. Read.

In a time when YouTube, streaming video, 24-hour sports coverage, and video games compete for our attention at every turn, Gilman School believes in literature’s unique ability to instill in readers the values of empathy, wonder, and intellectual stimulation. The Summer Reading program promotes reading for pleasure, hoping to establish a lifelong habit in all Gilman boys. While some books have been chosen by the faculty and administration, students also have the opportunity to make choices in line with personal interests. Between the required and choice books, all students will read at least three books over the summer.

The Modern Language Department’s reading requirements and the books for the Elizabeth Woolsey Gilman Prize, one of Gilman’s oldest and most honored awards, are also listed below.

This year’s all Upper School read is The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. This year’s all Upper School read was selected by the students. Rising seniors recommended titles and the Upper School student body voted to select this book as the All School Read.

We believe strongly in the importance of reading. Buying the Cliff’s Notes, watching films, or using online resources (i.e. Spark Notes) in lieu of reading one of these books cannot substitute for reading the actual text. Students will simply be cheating themselves if they do not read the book itself. Electronic book (e-book) formats (Kindle, Nook, and iPad) are acceptable for completing the readings.

If you have any questions regarding the summer reading program, please do not hesitate to contact any of the three of us.

Robert Heubeck
Upper School Head

Patrick Hastings
Chair, English Department

Diane Fuller
Upper School Librarian


Required Reading

All Upper School students will read The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Rising 9th graders will read The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

As you read this book, please consider the following questions:

  • In what way is Holden a ‘reluctant hero?’
  • Do you identify with Holden? Why or why not?
  • Do Holden’s observations about society’s “phoniness” ring true to you? Provide an example of modern-day hypocrisy that you have experienced.

Rising 10th graders will read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

  • This novel takes place in Nigeria, and the country itself may be considered a character. How is Nigeria struggling to bridge the gap between the traditional and the modern? How is this struggle reflected in Kambili's immediate and extended family?
  • Kambili's story is a coming-of-age story. As with all of us, Kambili's growing-up is complicated. How does Kambili find allies in the midst of familial and national upheaval? How does Kambili find peace in the midst of familial and national upheaval?
  • What are the consequences of silence, both within a family and outside of it?
  • How does one's public persona differ from one's private persona? Is there hypocrisy inherent in this difference?

To begin their study of American Literature, rising Juniors taking English at Gilman will read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Those Juniors taking English at Bryn Mawr will read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and those Juniors taking English at RPCS will read Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok.

Rising Seniors will read books assigned for the first semester English Elective they are scheduled to take. For electives offered at Gilman, the summer reading books are as follows:

Creative Writing: Thrill Me by Benjamin Percy

Writers in Revolt: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Ulysses: Dubliners by James Joyce

Reading and Writing Fiction: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron

Dante: A Grief Observed by C. S Lewis

Award Winning Novels Since 2000: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Applied Philosophy: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari

Leadership Lit: The Secret Sharer, by Joseph Conrad

African-American Lit: Not In My Neighborhood by Antero Pietila

Lit of the 60s: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Students taking first semester English Electives at Bryn Mawr or RPCS should check the website of that school regarding required books.

Bryn Mawr School Summer Reading

Roland Park Country School Summer Reading

Choice Books All Upper School boys will read one book of their choosing.

Return to the Edward R. Fenimore Jr. Library

Elisabeth Woolsey Gilman Prize (optional)

Additionally, we encourage students to read the assigned books for the Elizabeth Woolsey Gilman Prize, one of Gilman’s oldest and most honored awards. This essay competition gives students the opportunity to further develop their reading and practice their skills in literary analysis. An essay examination will be held in April, allowing students to use Spring Break to brush up on the books. A prize will be awarded for the best paper written by a member of the 11th or 12th grades, and a second prize will be awarded to a member of the 9th or 10th grades.

The books on which the Elizabeth Woolsey Gilman Prize examination will be based this year are the following:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ………………......Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking Glass ………………………… Lewis Carroll

American War.….…………………………………….….. Omar El Akkad


French Courses - summer assignments

French II (Reg and Honors)

FRENCH II Regular

Devoirs d’été

A.Lisez la lecture aux pages 84-5 de D’Accord II. Servez-vous des stratégies “Avant la lecture.”

B.Sur une feuille de papier, écrivez vos réponses pour les activités ‘Vrai ou faux?’, ‘Commandez’, et ‘Répondez’

C.Réfléchissez sur l’activité ‘À vous’ -- en classe, on va discuter cette activité la première semaine de l’école! Préparez des réponses orales. Ignore the directions that include a partner - we will incorporate this component in class.


FRENCH II Honors

Devoirs d’été

A.Lisez la lecture aux pages 120-1 de D’Accord II. Servez-vous des stratégies “Avant la lecture.”

B.Sur une feuille de papier, écrivez vos réponses pour les activités ‘Complétez’ et ‘Vrai ou faux?’

C.Écrivez un paragraphe de 6 à 8 phrases en répondant aux questions suivantes:

Est-ce que vous êtes souvent fatigué? Pourquoi/pourquoi pas? Est-ce qu’il y a des moments de l’année où vous êtes plus ou moins fatigué? Qu’est-ce que vous faites pour dire non à la fatigue?

  1. Préparez une réponse orale pour une discussion en classe aux questions de ‘Votre opinion compte.’ Ignore the directions that include a partner - we will incorporate this component in class.

French III (Reg and Honors)

French IV-V

Devoirs d’été: Fr AP
et Fr IV -French IV-V

Les devoirs d’été

A. Lisez “Le football”, de René Goscinny aux pages 290-293 de D’accord III.

B. Écrivez sur une feuille de papier vos réponses aux exercices 1,2, et 3 de la page 294 (Disregard the instructions that indicate working with a partner for ex. 2 and 3)

C. Préparez des réponses orales pour l'ex 4 de la page 294 (Disregard the instructions that indicate working with a group)

French AP Language and Culture

French AP Language and Culture

Bienvenu à AP Français, Langue et culture. Voici les devoirs d’été en préparation pour une année formidable dans ce cours. Les livres dont vous aurez besoin sont Allons au de-là de Richard Ladd et Practice for the AP exam in Langue & culture. N’achetez pas ces livres d’un autre élève ! (DO NOT BUY THESE BOOKS USED AND WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED) Go to Amazon.com to rent or buy them instead of the MBS site where they will be more expensive, but DO NOT BUY used copies.

Deux devoirs à faire :

  • I. Allons au-delà, « La Parure » de Guy de Maupassant aux pages 285-293.
  • A. Lisez le conte
  • B. Ecrivez les réponses aux questions « Après la lecture » # 1 à 15 ; « En y réfléchissant

C. « Pour améliorer votre vocabulaire» p295 Utilisez wordreference.com

  • compléter 1.Synonymes, 2. Antonymes, 3. Définitions
  • II.Choisissez un personnage de l’histoire et préparez un monologue de 2
  • minutes dans lequel vous parlerez des circonstance de ce personnage et
  • des pensées intimes de ce personnage. N’oubliez pas que vous devez
  • nous convaincre que vous êtes ce personnage.

N.B. Vous rendrez vos réponses aux questions basées sur « La Parure » le jour O à la rentrée. Vous donnerez votre présentation du personnage le premier jour de classe.

French VI (RPCS)

Spanish Courses - summer assignments

Spanish II

Spanish II Honors

Spanish III

Spanish III Honors

Summer Work for Honors III

Summer Reading and Exercises are in the textbook

Textbook: Descubre 3, second edition

A- Read Parejas sin fronteras (pages 10-11)

Complete exercises #1 and #3

B- Watch the Video on Flash Cultura (page 13).

Steps to watch the video:

You need to go to www.vhlcentral.com.

Choose Lesson 1

In Activities, click on ENFOQUES, and select Flash Cultura

Watch "Video: Las relaciones personales"

Complete the exercises Comprensión and Expansión

You can send the homework to your teacher by email or hand it in on Day 0.

Spanish IV

Spanish IV assignment Questions (PDF)
Spanish IV Reading - Una Carta a Dios (PDF)

Spanish V Civilization

Summer Reading Spanish V Civilization

Summer Reading and Exercises are in the textbook

Textbook: Imagina, Third Edition

A- Read La intrusa (pages 298-299)

Complete exercises 1-2 (page 300)

B- Project: Make a brochure about an invention (new one or already existing) that you want to promote in Spanish. It can be done by hand or on the computer (preferred). Instructions are on page 300, exercise 4 (Plan de redacción-Campaña Publicitaria). You can include photos/drawings of the invention in the brochure. You can use any verbal tense. The instructions say to use the infinitivo and the pluscuamperfecto, but you can ignore that.

If you do the assignment by computer, send it to your teacher by email by Day 0, or hand it in on the same day.

Spanish AP Literature

Spanish AP Language and Culture

Spanish AP Language and Culture Assignment (PDF)

You will find attached the instructions for your summer work for AP Spanish. Please carefully follow the instructions on page one and answer the questions and respond to the composition prompt on the final page. Contact your instructor via e-mail with any questions or concerns.

Required novel for the course -- San Manuel Bueno, Máritr, by Miguel de Unamuno, in addition to our class textbook. You do not have to read this during the summer, but it should be purchased before the first day of class. Please make sure you buy the "Catedra" Spanish edition edited by Mario Valdés with the black cover listed here.

Spanish VI

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