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Ms. Emily Sullinger

AP English Language and Composition (11th Grade)

Mrs. Sullinger

2023 Summer Reading


First of all, join my Remind by texting @esullinge to 81010.

Feel free to email your assignment to me, but do not assume that

I received it unless you get a reply from me to confirm.


Believe it or not, this assignment is not intended to stress you out or ruin your summer

vacation. Actual research has been done that supports the value of reading; it broadens

your vocabulary, strengthens reading skills, and generally makes you a better citizen. Of

course, it can only increase your chances of doing well on standardized tests such as the

ACT and SAT. Seriously, the more you read, the better prepared you will be for the

rigorous demands of AP Language and Composition, college, and life itself.


Even though you won't have this course until second semester, you will still need to turn

in your summer reading in the fall. It is due on the first day of school in August.


*There are also two books you need to read in the fall semester. When you turn in

your summer work on the first day of school, I will give you the additional texts

and assignments.


Summer Assignment

(Two parts, both due on the first day of the school year)


Part I.

List Pick

Read a book from the list below. Choose one you like. If, after 50 pages, you don't like

your book, choose another. Write an informal journal entry in which you BRIEFLY give

the plot, describe all main characters, discuss the theme of the book, and give your personal

reaction to the book (Go well beyond “I liked / did not like it.”), including an explanation

of why this book would be fabulous for AP Language students to read. This journal must

be 500 words minimum, typed, MLA-style. Include the word count at the end of this journal.


Some of these books have been made into movies. Watch the movie after you read

the book if you like. But base your writing on the text, not the film.


As I Lay Dying (Faulkner)

The Queen of Palmyra (Gwin)

Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston)

The Invention of Wings (Kidd)

Life of Pi (Martel)

The Things They Carried (O'Brien)


Part II.

Your Choice

Read a book of your choice.  In an informal journal of 500 words minimum, address

the following points:

•     why you chose this book

•     what you think the author's purpose was in writing the book

•     several major themes and how they are developed throughout the book

•     your favorite character and why

•     your favorite scene from the book and why

•     your speech, plea, poem, etc. convincing me to read the book

•     anything else you would like to share about the book


Courses Taught:

AP English Language & Composition (11th grade), AP English Literature and Composition (12th grade), PSAT I, PSAT II, ACT-Prep

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition (12th Grade)

Summer Reading: 2023

Part I. (Due on the first day of class)

Feedback from previous AP Exam scores shows that, nationwide, students are weakest in pre-20th century literature. Reading literature written prior to the 20th century will strengthen your vocabulary and reading comprehension. Reading literature from earlier centuries is often a “test of endurance.” To be successful in AP English Lit and beyond, you must endure!


       Read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and write personal reactions on designated sections. In these reactions, discuss questions and confusions, make predictions, discuss themes from the work and relate those themes to your own life, and just express your thoughts and feelings about the novel to the point you've read.  The style of your reactions should be casual. Do not summarize. Do reactions as follows: Letters; Ch. 1-6; Ch. 7-12; Ch. 13-18; Ch. 19-24. Each of these five journal entries should be between 250-350 words. Also, read the Mary Shelley biography in the connections section of the book.

       Use Post-Its to annotate parts of the novel that indicate theme in the copy of Frankenstein that I will loan you over the summer. If you buy your own, be sure that you purchase the 1831 version. Find at least 10 parts of the text to mark and write the theme indicated on the sticky note.

       You will have a test on the book the first week you are back in school. Read carefully. The test is detailed.



Part II.  (Also due on the first day of class in August)

Read a book from the list below. Choose one you like. If after 50 pages, you don't like the book you've chosen, select another from the list.


Write an informal journal in which you BRIEFLY give the plot and discuss the author's themes and use of devices such as conflict, symbolism, etc. Give your personal reaction, but be specific; also, explain why this book is important for AP Lit students to read. This journal must be 500 words minimum, typed, double-spaced, MLA style.


The Awakening (Chopin)                                        Heart of Darkness (Conrad)

The Kite Runner (Hosseini)                                     Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (See)

All the Pretty Horses (McCarthy)                              The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver)


Some of these books have been made into movies. Watch the movie after you have read the book if you like. Remember that the movie versions of these novels are not going to have the depth of detail of the book and that the plots are going to be altered. Be sure that you read the book and base your writing on the text, not the film.

Part III. (Must be postmarked on or before July 20, 2023)

The personal statement essay is a very important part of many college applications. This is the one situation in which you get to share who you are with the admissions or scholarship committee.


Using a topic from the application of a college you want to attend, write a well-developed essay (approx. 200-300 words) that is typed in 12-point font, with 1-inch margins, and double-spaced. Remember: use this as a chance to set yourself apart from the other applicants. Make it interesting. Make it unique. Think of this as a creative writing assignment, not as a job application. If the college to which you are applying requires a different length essay, follow their directions. If you cannot find the prompt for a particular school, use one from the “Common Application,” or another one that you can find easily online; many prompts are quite similar. Attach the prompt to the essay before you seal and send it.


MAIL this essay to Emily Sullinger, Hernando High School, 805 Dilworth Lane, Hernando, MS 38632. Please use U.S. Postal Service only and be sure that your essay is postmarked NO LATER THAN July 20, 2023. If you want to be accepted into a college or university, you must submit your application on time. Therefore, think of this essay as a practice-run for your application. If it is not postmarked by July 20, 2023, it will still be accepted, but there will be consequences just like there would be if your college application were not sent on time.



-Certified in Secondary English

-B.S.E. in English from Delta State University

-Gifted Certified

-Certified in both AP English Language & Composition and AP English Literature & Composition


I teach Advanced Placement English Language and Composition (11th grade AP English), Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition (12th grade AP English), PSAT-Prep, and ACT-Prep.

I also sponsor the HHS Chess Team. We hold tryouts for the team each year in September and the district tournament is in November.

AP English aims to provide students with a college English experience while potentially earning them college credit, depending on the score they receive on the AP exam in May. My "office hours" are 7:00-7:25am each morning, as well as 1:30-3:30 each afternoon. All of my current students know that they may reach me by email or Schoology message to ask questions or to schedule a conference.


AP English Language and Composition