Students in 9th grade will choose two books to read from the selections below. The students will be assessed the first week back to school in the fall. Please scroll to the bottom of this document for assessment details.
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message.
Taking as his starting point the betrayed promise of the Russian Revolution, Orwell lays out a vision that, in its bitter wisdom, gives us the clearest understanding we possess of the possible consequences of our social and political acts.
Animal Farm won the Retro Hugo award in 1996 for best novella and the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 2011.
Cold Sassy Tree – Olive Ann Burns
The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E.
Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner,
Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all
over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major
scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless
approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the
newlyweds' chaperone, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second
adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own. He gets run over by a train and lives to tell about it; he
kisses his first girl, and survives that too. Olive Ann Burns has given us a timeless, funny, resplendent novel - about a
romance that rocks an entire town, about a boy's passage through the momentous but elusive year when childhood
melts into adolescence, and about just how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century.
Inhabited by characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Cold Sassy,
Georgia, is the perfect setting for the debut of a storyteller of rare brio, exuberance, and style
The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years, a Good Morning
America “Read This” Book Club pick and was made into an award-winning film starring Dakota Fanning, Queen
Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys. A coming of age tale set in South Carolina in 1964,The Secret Life of
Bees will appeal to fans of Kathryn Stockett’sThe Help and Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and tells the
story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed.
When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the town’s most vicious
racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s
past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing
world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about
divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will continue to share and pass on to
their daughters for years to come.
It received critical acclaim and was a New York Times bestseller list. It won the2004 Book Sense Book of
the Year Awards (Paperback), and was nominated for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaimen
In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.
The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel.
Subjective questions will be given on each book on Schoology (to be completed the first week of school). And an in class essay will be written (to be completed the Friday after school has started).