• Required Summer Assignment: AP English IV

    Teacher: Sommer Sneed Husbands, ssneed@oxfordsd.org

    Students entering AP English IV at Oxford High School must have completed the following assignments before the first day of class.

    1. Read the four books on the Required Reading List below.
    2. Come to school prepared to:
      1. take a comprehension test and/or produce writing entries on the selections, and
      2. discuss thoroughly and in depth the concepts and themes of the books.
    3. Annotating (taking notes) on the texts is strongly suggested, as you will need a working knowledge of all four texts when you return to school in August. It will be easier to review your notes than to reread the whole book!


    If you have any questions about the summer reading assignment, please email your teacher:

Required Reading List

  • Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre

    by Charlotte Brontë Year Published: 1847 Fiction

    Immediately recognized as a masterpiece when it was first published, Jane Eyre is an extraordinary coming-of-age story featuring the strong female protagonist, poor and plain Jane. Orphaned and oppressed throughout her childhood, she manages to emerge into adulthood with her spirit and integrity unbroken to become a governess in the household of the dark, impassioned Mr. Rochester. Mystery and secrets lurk in Rochester’s household that will affect Jane in very personal ways. One of the world’s most beloved classic novels, Jane Eyre is a startlingly modern blend of passion, romance, mystery, and suspense.

    Comments (-1)
  • Reservation Blues

    Reservation Blues

    by Sherman Alexie Year Published: 1995 Fiction

    Many may remember the tale of Robert Johnson, the musician who sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for being the best blues guitarist around. What many may not know is that after this tragic deal in Mississippi, Johnson ended up in a small town on the Spokane Indian reservation in Washington state — at least that's how author Sherman Alexie tells it. Alexie, a Native American who grew up on a reservation, spins the fictional tale of Johnson's adventure at a new crossroads, where he seeks out Big Mom, a local medicine woman, and, in so doing, leaves his famous guitar in the hands of misfit storyteller Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who starts his own band. As the band plays club after club, Alexie uses music as a cross-cultural bridge, while the band members take on the gamut of problems faced by Indians on modern reservations, battling everything from alcoholism to violence, political corruption to sexual abuse.

    Comments (-1)
  • Crimes of the Heart

    by Beth Henley Year Published: 1979 Fiction

    In Hazlehurst, Mississippi, the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazlehurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Their troubles, grave and yet somehow hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail. In the end the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future, told in a way so true and touching and consistently hilarious.

    Comments (-1)
  • Twelfth Night

    Twelfth Night

    by William Shakespeare Year Published: 1601 Fiction

    Named for the twelfth night after Christmas, the end of the Christmas season, Twelfth Night plays with love and power. The Countess Olivia, a woman with her own household, attracts Duke (or Count) Orsino. Two other would-be suitors are her pretentious steward, Malvolio, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Onto this scene arrive the twins Viola and Sebastian; caught in a shipwreck, each thinks the other has drowned. Viola disguises herself as a male page and enters Orsino’s service. Orsino sends her as his envoy to Olivia — only to have Olivia fall in love with the messenger. The play complicates, then wonderfully untangles, these relationships.

    Note: This text can be easily accessed for free online.

    Comments (-1)

Finding/Purchasing Books

    • All of the listed books are available at Square Books and/or Square Books, Jr.
    • For cheaper or used copies, there are many bargain book websites available now, and all titles are currently in print and readily available.
    • These books can be found at the public library.
    • Classmates are welcome to share books throughout the summer, so as to alleviate the cost of purchasing all four books.
    • Feel free to look for online versions, as well, but make sure you do not read an abridged version of any of the texts.

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