English Department

In an effort to foster a love of reading and to spend some time reflecting on the CSJ charisms, the English Department has decided to take a new approach to our Summer Reading Assignment this year. The department has selected a book for each grade level that we feel connects with the primary charisms that are a focus of our school and learning. There is one text assigned per grade, regardless of level or course.

Grade 9

Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals

*Please be sure to purchase the regular biography version ISBN# 9780671866396. This is the unabridged version.

“Women of Heart” - Think about the following questions while you are reading:

  • What does it mean to have heart?
  • How does having a passion or belief in something shape who we are or who we become?
  • What is the difference between passion and drive?
  • What do you think people need to overcome hardships?
  • In what ways is a Melba a woman of heart?
  • Melba’s grandmother states that Melba is a “warrior on the battlefield for you Lord.”
  • In what ways are Melba and the rest of the Little Rock Nine warriors? How are they women of heart?
  • What qualities do you have in common with Melba?

Grade 10

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming

“Women of Faith” - Think about the following questions while you are reading:

  • What does it mean to have faith?
  • How does having faith in something shape who we are or who we become?
  • Why do you think people turn to faith when they need to overcome hardships?
  • In what ways is Doaa a woman of faith?
  • How are faith and courage connected?
  • What do you do when your faith falters?
  • How does Doaa nurture her faith so that it is strong?
  • What qualities do you have in common with Doaa?

Grade 11

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

“Women of Courage” - Think about the following questions while you are reading:

  • How do you define courage?
  • Who are the people in life who give you courage?
  • How do you find courage within yourself?
  • Have you ever been so afraid you didn’t know what to do next?
  • How are faith and courage connected?
  • Is courage connected to passion?
  • What do you think helps people overcome their fears or face them?
  • Where does the title of this book come from? What does it mean?
  • What is the connection between society and courage?
  • What qualities do you have in common with Maya?

Grade 12

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“Women of Heart, Faith, and Courage” - Think about the following questions while you are reading:

  • Who do you think represents a “woman of heart” in the story and why?
  • Who do you think represents a “woman of faith” in the story and why?
  • Who do you think represents a “woman of courage” in the story and why?
  • What events do you think impacted what these women become? How?
  • Do you think either Vianne or Isabelle embraced all three qualities (heart, faith, and courage)? Why? How?
  • Was there anything that Vianne or Isabelle did that surprised you?
  • Do you think it is different to have heart, faith, and courage as a woman than as a man? Why?
  • When reflecting on the young woman that you are, what qualities of yourself do you see in these characters (Vianne and Isabelle)? How?
  • What do you learn about women from the stories of Vianne and Isabelle?
  • What connections do you see to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet?

Summer Reading 2018-19

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to foster a love of reading and develop a deeper sense of the school’s charisms as a foundation for the school year.

Expectation: Students are expected to actively read and annotate the book chosen for their grade level. While reading, students should reflect on the charism aligned with that novel and be ready to discuss and participate in activities centered around the book when they begin the school year.

Assessment: When students return they will engage in a variety of activities based on the assigned text in their classes. Activities will vary according to course, but could include discussion, Socratic Seminar, group projects, individual projects, written essay, creative writing, etc.  The expectation is that students will have read the book and be ready to engage with the text during the first week(s) of school.


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