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Summer reading requirements, activities
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As students and families pack their cars for summer trips and their bathing suits for the beach, one item not to be forgotten should be a book.

Newton County high school students are required to read one book this summer of their choice from a list provided by the Newton County School System (NCSS) and complete a response assignment, which is due at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.

“Reading during the summer is an excellent way to prevent the fading away of foundational skills that take place when students are not in a structured academic environment,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey.

“(Students) should read every day. Students who read a variety of genres and read frequently tend to perform better throughout their school experiences and are better prepared for the rigor associated with standardized assessments.”

Summer reading assignments will be taken for a grade in the student’s English Language Arts classes within the first two weeks of school. Each assignment will be graded and counted as a performance task grade for the first marking period of the 2014-2015 school year.

“There is not a better way to prepare for the upcoming school year than by reading as many good books as you can. I encourage students from Pre-K through grade 12 to pick up a good book and start reading today,” Fuhrey said.
Rising ninth-graders must read one of the following books: “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger; “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou; “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd; “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding; “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo; “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier; “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.

Tenth-graders must choose between the following as their summer reading book: “The Life of Pi” by Yen Martel; “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton; “The House of Spirits” by Isabel Allende; “A Bridge Over the River Kwai” by Pierre Boulle; “The Stranger” by Albert Camus; “Wandering Warrior” by Da Chen; “Year of Impossible Goodbyes” by Cook Nyul Choi; “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini.

Summer reading choices for 11th graders are: “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker; “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison; “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne; “Animal Dreams” by Barbara Kingsolver; “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines; “All the Pretty Horses” by McCarthy Cormac; “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin; “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier; “Cold Sassy Tree” by Ann Olive Burns; “All the King’s Men” by Penn Robert Warren.
Incoming seniors have must read one of the following books this summer: “The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan; “Nothing but the Truth” by Avi; “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water” by Michael Dorris; “House of Sand and Fog” by Andre Dubus; “Beet Queen” by Louise Erdrich; “Chocolat” by Joanne Harris; “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingslover.