Summer Reading Suggestions

Do not rely on review notes, such as Cliff Notes or Spark Notes, as you will be unable to get a true understanding of the book.

Keep a reading notebook containing the following:

  • Chapter Summaries - As you read the chapters, write down what happened. Keep track of the plot.
  • Setting - List where the events take place and note any changes in setting.
  • Characters - List the characters as you read. Be aware of the major and minor characters. Understand the different ways they are characterized, whether it be through physical descriptions (appearance), psychological descriptions (thoughts), moral descriptions (actions) or social descriptions (how / where they fit into society's levels).
  • Theme - Try and figure out what message the author might be trying to convey. This is also the author's purpose in writing the work. Ask yourself why the author wrote this story.
  • Tone - Identify the author's attitude toward the subject matter. It might be solemn, satiric, sad, happy, etc.Write any other thought or observation that you have while reading in your notebook.

Be sure to read actively - that is, think as you read. Try to anticipate what might happen and why it is happening. Put yourself in the character's situations. Think and feel for them as if you were them.