Please select one of the three choices below as your main summer read, and then print the short story and poem linked below.
Students are expected to carefully annotate as much as possible and look for similarities between the texts. When school starts, we will write a piece about the summer readings.
A: Soldier’s Secret
by Sheila Solomon Klass
When the colonies went to war with the British in 1775, Deborah was intent on being part of the action. Seeing no other option, she disguised herself in a man's uniform and served in the Continental army for more than a year, her identity hidden from her fellow soldiers. Based on the real-life heroine, Deborah Sampson, this engrossing novel brings the reader into a woman’s journey in a man’s war. For students, this suspenseful text pairs well with conversations about identity, self-determination, non-linear plot structure, and thematic writing.
B: Dread Nation
by Justina Ireland
Jane McKeene was born two days before the undead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. Will Jane be able to help salvage what’s left of the United States? Thrilling and terrifying, this novel is a stunning vision of America on the brink; at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet. For students, this engaging text pairs well with conversations about systemic racial oppression, classism, feminism, and how authors use setting to create mood in a story.
C: Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years… until now. For students, this fascinating story pairs well with conversations about identity, the implications of war, and the power of communication and language.
Even under the best of circumstances, leaving someone or something behind can be difficult. Familiar people and places often provide us with a sense of safety and security. In this memoir, Julia Alvarez faces the pain of leaving her homeland, even as she realizes the dangers of staying. For students, this harrowing and historical story teaches cause-and-effect relationships in a text as well as characterization.