Starting this summer, BHS will introduce a summer reading assignment for all students, according to grade level. The department is excited to announce the titles that BHS students will be reading in advance of the 2014-15 school year, and they are:
For incoming freshmen: Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
Here in the northeast, we don’t really know about how much high school football matters in other parts of the country. In West Texas, it’s almost a religion. Friday Night Lights is the true story of the 1988 Permian Panthers, a team from Odessa, Texas, and the pressures that the team faces in its attempts to win the state championship.
For incoming sophomores: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This story was nominated for the 2003 Booker Prize, and is part mystery novel, part family drama, and part character study. The most remarkable element of the book is it’s first-person narration, told by a 15-year-old autistic boy. The book is both daring and touching in its approach. A great read.
For incoming juniors: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
We recently (in 2012) introduced this text as a part of our junior curriculum, and next year, it will simply shift in its location to the summer. This book tells the true story of Christopher McCandless and what compelled him to abandon society in the 1990s and head off into the trackless northwest on his own, where he ultimately died. Some view McCandless as a modern-day Thoreau, others see him as a foolhardy kid who got in over his head, but he is charismatic, and his story is compelling.
For incoming seniors: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Another Book Prize nominee, this 1986 novel will fit nicely with another new addition to the BHS reading list, George Orwell’s 1984. Like 1984, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a future dystopia where society’s power has become horribly imbalanced. The novel explores gender imbalance, governmental corruption, international paranoia, and one woman’s attempts to stand up against it.
AP Language and AP Literature students do not have to read these titles. Their summer reading assignments will be decided by the AP teachers.
Students will be responsible for acquiring a copy of this book. We will post links on this page giving suggestions on where to find a discounted copy as the summer approaches. Also, any student in need is entitled to a free copy of the book, courtesy of the English Department.