Summer Reading

  • Summer Reading 2015

    Night by Elie Wiesel
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
    Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton 
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen OR The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

    Major Works Data Sheet Guidelines and Definitions 

    Genre:  A type or category of literature.  Examples include mystery, coming-of-age, science fiction, fantasy, classic, realistic-fiction, biography, etc.  Note:  Drama is writing intended for stage production (i.e., a script), not a type of novel.

    Historical information about period of publication:  List five events of historical significance that happened on the date the book was originally published.  Be sure you do not get this confused with the copyright date for the current printing—you want the date the author first published the book.

    Biographical information about the author:  Briefly describe the author’s birth, life, and death (if applicable).  Some of your books may provide this information.  If not, you will need to conduct research.  Be sure your source is reliable, and list the title and author (if a printed source), or web address and organization responsible for it (if an internet source) along with the information.

    Characteristics of the genre:  List several characteristics of this book that fit the genre you chose for it.  For example, a mystery typically contains a crime, clues to the solution, and one or more characters acting as detectives.

    Plot summary:  Briefly summarize the entire sequence of events, from beginning to end.  Summary should be no more than one typed page.

    Author’s Style:  Style is a term used to describe what makes that author’s writing unique from the writing of others.  Elements of style include diction (word choice), syntax (arrangement of words into phrases and sentences), use of figurative language, level of descriptiveness, level of formality, etc.  Provide a passage that demonstrates this style in the adjoining box.

    Memorable Quotes:  List 5-8 quotes from throughout the book.  Include page numbers.  Tell what is important or significant about each quote in the adjoining box.

    Characters:  List the name of each important character.  In the “role in the story” column, briefly describe the character (“an orphaned boy,” “a villainous count,” etc.).  In the “significance” column, describe why they are important to the events of the plot, and in the “adjectives” column, list at least two words that describe each character (“smart, cowardly, honest;” “tall, romantic, quiet;” etc.).

    Setting:  Place and time period of the story.

    Symbols:  A person, place, thing or event that stands for itself and something else (usually something intangible, like freedom, love, etc.).  List at least three and tell what they represent in this novel.  Do not just look up Spark Notes’ symbols!

    Theme:  A theme is a message conveyed through literature.  It typically makes a statement about life and is universal—something that is important regardless of time or place.  It is more than just a subject or topic dealt with in the book (“True love lasts forever,” not “love,” or “Family loyalty is more important than independence,” not “independence”).  Do not just copy Spark Notes' themes!


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