2022 Summer Assignments

McQuaid Jesuit


IMPORTANT:  This document begins with required summer reading for English, but be advised that a number of courses in addition to core English courses have summer assignments.  Please be sure to review this entire document to make sure you are aware of summer requirements for all of your 2022-23 courses.

English Summer Reading Assignments

The English Department’s Philosophy: Every part of who we are as human beings—mind, spirit, and body—needs nourishment.  Reading goes a long way towards the care of all of those parts: our hearts are touched, our imaginations are stimulated, and our bodies are relaxed.

Students should read each work carefully and thoughtfully, taking notes on what they read as discussion and evaluation of reading will begin on the first day of classes. 

Except for Advanced and A.P. English courses, all of our English courses for grades 6-12 require students to read two titles over the summer.  Note taking (character names, significant events or action from the story, etc.) is suggested as students read so that review of the novel prior to assessments is possible.  The title labeled “Required Reading” will be assessed on the first day of classes.  Students are then expected to read at least one additional title listed under “Selected Titles.”  These novels will be discussed and assessed during the first cycle of the schedule in the school year.

6th Grade:

Required reading by all:

  1. Holes by Louis Sachar               

 Selected titles (choose at least ONE of the following):

  1. 2. Janitors by Tyler Whitesides
  2. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  3. Football Genius by Tim Green
  4. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

7th Grade:

Required reading by all: Choose 1 of the following 4 books:

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass  (Realistic Fiction)

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Realistic Fiction)

Hazard by Frances O’Roark Dowell (Verse Narrative/ Realistic Fiction)

New Kid by Jerry Kraft (Graphic Novel/Realistic Fiction)

Pick 1 more book to read from the list below, organized by genre. The books selected were favorites of McQuaid 7th graders in 2021-22:

Science Fiction:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

MiNrs by Kevin Sylvester 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

Favorite Mystery novels:

Ali Cross by James Patterson

They Call Me Zombie by John Mercer

Greenglass House by Kate Millford

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Favorite Historical Fiction novels:

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Prisoner of War by Michael P. Spradlin


The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by Eugene Yelchin and Matthew Tobin Anderson

Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

The Callers by Kiah Thomas

The Night Gardener  by Jonathan Auxier


The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Booked by Kwame Alexander

All of Me by Chris Baron

The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling

8th Grade:

Required reading by all:

  1. Heat by Mike Lupica           ISBN-13: 978-0142407578

Selected titles (choose at least ONE of the following):

  1. The Brave by Robert Lipsyte
  2. Blue Skin of the Sea by Graham Salisbury
  3. The Runaway King (Book 2) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

9th Grade:

Required reading by all:

Shoeless Joe – Kinsella

Selected titles (choose at least ONE of the following):

Tarzan of the Apes – Burroughs

Lost in the Barrens – Mowat

People of Darkness – Hillerman

10th Grade (students in Advanced see below):

Required reading by all:

Lord of the Flies by Sir William Golding

Selected titles (choose at least ONE of the following):

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Atonement – Ian McEwan

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

10 Grade – Advanced:

Required reading by all:

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

11th Grade – English 3:

Theme: Inclusion and Exclusion in America – A Paradox

Rationale: Throughout its existence, America and American society has long been viewed as a land of inclusion that promotes tolerance, acceptance, and unity between all of its inhabitants, while also instituting long-standing social practices that may exclude some individuals based on a person’s social, economic, racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural background, as well as other differences. These contrasting aspects of American society being both inclusive and exclusive poses a fascinating paradox, which challenges us to consider whether America lives up to some of its greatest ideals of equality, justice, and freedom in spite of such a contradiction. With these ideas in mind, the following summer reading titles are meant to help you further explore and examine this paradox and discover for yourself which trait (inclusion or exclusion) does America and Americans seem to embody, fulfill, and live up to more fully.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As you read each literary work, keep in mind the “rationale” for this summer’s reading theme. Pay close attention to characterization, symbolism, use of narrative devices, and tone. Annotate your novels as you go. This will help immensely in September on both the summer reading test and the first assigned essay of the year.

REQUIRED TEXT – All rising juniors must read the following text:

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer                                                                ISBN-13: 978-0385486804

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

SELECTED TEXTS – Choose at least ONE of the following texts to read:

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison                                                          ISBN-13: 978-0679732761

A classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, Invisible Man chronicles the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness. Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, and sadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison’s first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It’s also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees.

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami   ISBN-13: 978-0525436041

In this brilliantly argued and deeply personal work, Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using her own story as a starting point for an exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth—such as national origin, race, and gender—that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today. Weaving together her experiences with an examination of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture, Lalami illuminates how conditional citizens are all those whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder                   

ISBN-13: 978-0062473042

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads.  On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a one time cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May. Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei                                  ISBN-13: 978-1603094504

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

11th Grade – A.P. English Language & Composition:

You may find detailed information on this year’s summer assignment at Mrs. Hill’s webpage, available at this link.

Required reading by all:

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave, Written by Himself by Frederick Douglas

Nonfiction (Choice of ONE):

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane


How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D., from The Saturday Review of Literature, July 6, 1941.  This essay is available at this link (scroll down the page to locate the essay).

Please be ready for an examination (both objective and critical analysis) on the first day of class! 

12th Grade – English 4:

Theme:  The Problem of Truth

In a world of fake news and polarized political expression, it is difficult to apprehend what is real, and to know what is true. And then there is the problem of perspective, and the daunting reality that we can never truly understand what it is like to stand in another person’s shoes. With these compelling issues in mind, the senior English faculty has curated a summer reading list for you that tackles these issues head-on, and through the power of imagination and some pretty amazing detective work, these titles might offer a glimpse of the elusive truth that we all are seeking.

Required reading by all:  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

ISBN-13: 978-1-400-03271-6

Told from the perspective of a young man on the autism spectrum, this modern detective story places us at the heart of our theme for the year: how do I know what is real and who can I trust to help me find the truth?


The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you’ve always wanted to dive into this classic, now is the time! It is showcased in the required reading as well.

The Dead Father’s Club by Matt Haig. Get a preview of the issues at the heart of the incomparable Shakespearean tragedy that awaits you in the fall semester – Hamlet – with this modern take on the mother of all tragedies.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. (The enhanced audio version is highly recommended.) If you prefer non-fiction, this is the one for you! Using moments taken right out of today’s news, the author highlights the difficulties that stand in the way of our earnest attempts to understand other human beings.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. If you love animals, and you have a desire to go on an amazing journey with a truly compelling young hero, then this one’s for you. We promise that the final chapters will leave you astonished!

12th Grade – A.P. English Literature:

Theme:  Re-Writing Enslavement

One of the ways which both white authors and authors of color continue to contribute to the current and vital conversation about race in this country is by grappling with the reality and legacy of American chattel slavery, be that through poetic realism, satire, alternative history, or straight-up science fiction.

As you read, keep in mind the “rationale” for this summer’s reading theme.  Pay close attention to characterization, symbolism, use of narrative devices, and tone.  Annotate your novels as you go.  This will help immensely in September.  When class convenes in September, the first day of class will be taken up with a test on The Underground Railroad (possible types of questions could include identification; matching [quotes and characters]); short answer; essay).  There will ALSO be a take-home essay involving The Underground Railroad and your other chosen text.

Required reading by all: 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.

In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.  The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Selected titles (students must choose one title from the following list):

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1856–a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces–when legendary abolitionist John Brown arrives. When an argument between Brown and Henry’s master turns violent, Henry is forced to leave town–along with Brown, who believes Henry to be a girl and his good luck charm.

Over the ensuing months, Henry, whom Brown nicknames Little Onion, conceals his true identity to stay alive. Eventually Brown sweeps him into the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859–one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

A young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service in exchange for his freedom. He’s got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called “the Hard Four.” On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn’t right — with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country’s arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.  Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we’d like to believe.

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.  

A Mercy by Toni Morrison

In the 1680s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy. Jacob Vaark is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Rejected by her mother, Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, and later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives.  A Mercy is a small but dense poetic masterpiece by Toni Morrison, one of only three American women and the only African-American, to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

***Non-English Course Assignments Continue Below***

Non-English Courses’ Summer Assignments

Listed by department – review carefully!

Computer Science

A.P. Computer Science Principles 

In the upcoming year, we will be learning the Python programming language to explore the world of computer science. This summer and in place of traditional “reading” assignments, you will complete the first three exercises in an online tutorial. The first three exercises are: Welcome, ASCII Cat and Exact Change.

To start, please navigate to https://replit.com/teams/join/yrxcfvmxklkaujxyepybosrrpdkofipk- McQ-Tigers to join the team: Crouching Tigers. If you don’t have an account, select the Google login option using your actual name and school email address when creating the account.

Once you’ve joined, take a moment to review the exercises available. At first, it may be a little awkward to navigate, but you will get used to it. Once you open an exercise, you will note three important files: lesson.md, instructions.md and main.py. Simply stated, the lesson file contains background information you’ll need to complete the exercise, the instruction file has the specific steps you need to complete in the main.py file. Be sure to click SUBMIT on each exercise to get credit.

Any additional exercises you complete will earn extra credit. Start the year with a higher than 100 average by completing all the exercises.

Contact Mr. Maxwell at jmaxwell@mcquaid.org with any questions or issues.

A.P. Computer Science A

In the upcoming year, we will be focusing on the Java programming language to explore the world of computer science. This summer and in place of traditional “reading” assignments, you will complete the “Duke 1A-1C” units in an online tutorial.

To start, please navigate to https://replit.com/teams/join/rzujaeqrxjyjegljpytlahzvmiyjvvkn-McQ- Bears to join the team: McQ-Bears. If you don’t have an account, select the Google login option using your actual name and school email address when creating the account.

Once you’ve joined, take a moment to review the exercises available. At first, it may be a little awkward to navigate, but you will get used to it. Once you open an exercise, you will note two important files: instructions.md and main.py. Simply stated, the instructions file contains the information you’ll need to complete the exercise and the main file is the one you will use to create Java programs. Once done, be sure to click the SUBMIT button for credit.

Any additional exercises you complete will earn extra credit. Start the year with a higher than 100 average by completing more than the required exercises.

Contact Mr. Maxwell at jmaxwell@mcquaid.org with any questions or issues.

Foreign Language

A.P. Latin

Students enrolled in A.P. Latin should read the following:

The Aeneid, Books 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12(Students have been provided with a copy of the Penguin Classics edition.)

Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, Books 1, 6, 7, which are available at multiple places: the Internet Classics Archive will do. http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.html

Contact Mr. Morales (mmorales@mcquaid.org) with any questions.

A.P. Spanish Language and Culture

Students enrolled in A.P. Spanish Language and Culture will complete a multi-part summer project, details of which can be found at this link.  Students enrolled in the course will be automatically added to a course Schoology group in July and can find additional materials and submission instructions there.  Contact Ms. Hickman (shickman@mcquaid.org) with any questions.


A.P. Statistics

Students enrolled in A.P. Statistics should purchase the course textbook, The Practice of Statistics for A.P. 4th ed. by Starnes, Yates & Moore (ISBN: 9781429245593).

Assignment: Pg. 42: 37, 39, 43, 45, 47, 55, 61, 67, 69-74 and Pg. 70:79-89 odd, 95, 97, 99, 101, 103, 107-110

Students should be prepared for a test on Ch. 1, sec.2 & 3 on September 14.  Contact Mr. Dye (ddye@mcquaid.org) or Mr. Rybak (mrybak@mcquaid.org) with any questions.


A.P. Chemistry

An assignment will be sent out promptly to all enrolled students on August 1, 2022 via McQuaid Student email. It will include passwords and signup information for the learning platforms used in the course, as well as an assignment for reviewing the material learned in Advanced Chemistry.  Please contact Dr. Rogalskyj (jrogalskyj@mcquaid.org) if you are enrolled in the course but do not receive an email on August 1.  

A.P. Environmental Science

Students enrolled in A.P. Environmental Science have a three-part summer assignment, details of which can be found at this link:

  1. Pick up the course textbook from the McQuaid Jesuit bookstore.
  2. Read Chapter 1 of the textbook and answer the corresponding questions, and be prepared to discuss on the first day of class.
  3. Complete the Scavenger Hunt activity described at the link above.

Contact Mrs. Kaidy at jkaidy@mcquaid.org with any questions.

Social Studies

A.P. European History

Students enrolled in A.P. European History will read The Verge by Patrick Wyman and complete one of several essay options.  Assignment details were distributed at a meeting in May and emailed to all students enrolled.  Contact Mr. Baber (ababer@mcquaid.org) with any questions.

A.P. Microeconomics/Macroeconomics

Students enrolled in A.P. Micro/Macro should purchase the e-text (Economics by McConnell/Brue/Flynn) at the McQ Jesuit online bookstore.  Read all of chapter 1.  From the end of the chapter, answer Discussion Questions 1, 2, and 3.  Answer Review Questions 5, 6, 7, and 8.  Answer Problem #5.  Submit to Schoology under the heading “Summer Assignment” before the first class.  There will be a quiz on the first day of classes.  Contact Mr. Purtell (jpurtell@mcquaid.org) with any questions.

A.P. United States History

The summer assignment can be found at the following link: https://mcquaid.org/apush-summer-work-2022/ 

Contact Ms. Suter (asuter@mcquaid.org) with any questions.

A.P. World History

Students enrolled in A.P. World History should read Empire: How Spain Became a World Power, 1492-1763   (paperback) by Henry Kamen (ISBN-13: 978-0060932640).  Contact Mr. Wegman at pwegman@mcquaid.org with any questions.