Updates to Literary Map

It’s recently come to our attention that our BHS literary map has slightly fallen behind, especially with the changes in our curricula due to new books, and the addition of our new summer reading program. Our Literary Map (see the header above) now reflects some of these new locations in the books that we offer, including:

Ratliff Stadium, the ridiculously huge football field where the Permian Panthers play their home games in Friday Night Lights. Seriously, check this one out, because the field is insane.
The mansion just outside of Geneva, Switzerland where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and where some parts of the novel take place.
“The Wall” in The Handmaid’s Tale, which is, somewhat surprisingly, the brick wall that encompasses Harvard University in Cambridge.
The Fort Pitt Tunnel, which Charlie and pals drive through in The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Colorado hotel that serves as the central location of Stephen King’s The Shining
Plus, new locations in Tanzania (Golden Boy), Pakistan (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Japan (Orchards), and England (The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time).

We’ll probably have more additions as this next school year unfolds. And we still have old favorites, like Gatsby’s Mansion, the actual House on Mango Street, the location of the murders in In Cold Blood, and the Rainy River, where Tim O’Brien contemplates fleeing the country in The Things They Carried, and the castle in Denmark where Hamlet attempts to avenge his father’s death.

To check it out,

American Literacy Statistics from 2013

Here’s an article from January of this year, outlining the decline of reading in the US, and how the worst may be over.

Fast facts:

In 2013, 23% of American adults did not read a single book.

The average American read 5 books last year, with women reading 50% more than men.

While the percentage of Americans  who did not read a single book has tripled since the late ’70s, the percentage of young Americans (aged 18-24) who read at least one book for pleasure in the past year has been holding steady for the past ten years, ending what had been a steady decline.

Finally, the Americans who read the most are those who have completed college, and those who have the highest incomes; both groups read nearly twice as much as the average American.


Murals Coming into Focus in English Hall

The two mural projects in the English hallway, both focusing on our junior-year curricula, are nearing completion. First, Anne Zhang (Class of 2015) is creating a portrait of John Steinbeck and his dog Charlie, from Travels With Charley, and is mapping out the route that the two companions take in that non-fiction work. The mural is going up in the alcove in the center of the English hallway. Special thanks to Mrs. Rose and Mr. Ratkevich for putting this together! (NB: These paintings are still works in progress at this time)

2014-06-17 09.14.47Directly opposite this project, on the doorway to room 201 (Ms. Netishen’s room), junior Brenna Tedesco is completing a collection of images from the AP Language reading selections from this year’s course, including Janie’s pear tree from Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hester Prynne’s Scarlet Letter, the eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleburg from The Great Gatsby, and the English Department’s best friend, Charlie from Travels With Charlie.

2014-06-17 09.15.02

We’re very luck to have such talented artists working in our hallway. The English hall was sorely lacking in decoration, ever since the whitewashing of the rogue Disney characters a few years back. Stay tuned for more pictures, once these two masterpieces are completed!

Summer Reading Assignments

The summer reading assignments have been posted, and you can find them HERE.

This page is also connected to the Summer Reading tab, which you can find under COURSES in the header menu.

We plan on adding a sample annotation for the grade 11 & 12 annotation assignments, as well as a sample paragraph for the sophomore written response. Otherwise, have at it!

June 13 Book Awards – Congratulations!

On June 13th, BHS held its annual Book Awards Ceremony, where select BHS students receive awards for standing out in our various departments. The English Department is proud of the five winners of our departmental awards this year.

The 21st Century Book Awards are given out each year to one student in each grade who has shown the greatest improvement or effort in his or her English class. This year’s winners were:
Class of 2014: Lenny Thelusma
Class of 2015: Joel Rocca
Class of 2016: Nicole Carlo
Class of 2017: Michael Fucci

And the Brown Book Award goes out annually to a student who shows excellent verbal and written skills. This year’s winner was T.J. Horgan

Congratulations to our five winners, and to all other recipients of the BHS Book Awards! Keep reading!


New Website Domain Name: Coming Soon!

Today, the BHS English Department acquired a new domain name for this website. At some point over the summer, we’ll transition our pages to the new site, but starting next year, our homepage will simply be


Easier to remember, and none of the content will disappear. We’ll also keep this current domain alive through at least November, possibly longer, so no need to change your bookmarks.