AP English Literature and Composition: Required Summer Reading


Welcome to AP Literature! Your Summer Reading Assignment is due on Tuesday, September 4.

Select one option from the list below. Please purchase a copy (does not have to be new) so that you may take notes directly in the book. Read & annotate the work thoroughly→ I expect, and will check, to see that the book you have selected is annotated (highlights, comments in the margin, sticky tabs, etc). Easy points!

When annotating, take note of important characters, conflict, setting, important/cool quotes, and, most importantly, be able to articulate what the themes are.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to be an expert! During those first few days of school you will participate in a few circle discussions about your book. However, you should come to school prepared with something to say about your book other than “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it”. Consider what makes favorite/powerful moments favorite or powerful.

If you don’t like your first selection, choose another! I have revamped the list to include books that are shorter, of various interests and genres, AND usable for the AP Test. All of these books make for good “beach-reads.”


While you are more than welcome to read as many as you like, you are only required to select one.

  • Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature Winner
    Powerful. Heartbreaking. Warning: deals with controversial subject matter.
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (a Hackett favorite and short)
    Read the book first. Then watch the Academy Award Winning film. If you like “bad guys,” you’re going to love this novel.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, 2016 Pulitzer Winner
    This is my summer read! Focuses on a blind French girl and a German boy struggling to survive in WWII occupied France.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    Short + one of the most interesting & intense characters in Literature. The only “love” story on the list.
  • Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    A “monster” story. Oscar Wilde’s only novel. One of the few “classics” that manages to be both short & beautifully written. One of my favorites from when I was in high school.

Make sure you bring your annotated book to the first day of school. You will be tested on your selected summer reading at some point during the first two weeks of school.

A Chance to Get Ahead + Win Some Money→ School Year Outside Reading Book:

The following selections will be due on the Monday after Thanksgiving. You are totally welcome to read them over the summer AND write the essay ahead of time! I will not officially assign the the book until mid-September. You are more than welcome to do both.

  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
    Contest Prize worth $10,000 CASH MONEY!!!! Hosted by the Ayn Rand Institute. Topics will not be released until early Fall 2018. We have had many people win money! Two years ago, one of my students took 3rd place and won $2,000 dollars CASH!
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    Contest Prize worth $1,000 dollar scholarship. Google search Signet Essay Contest. Topics release at some point in July of 2018.

Mr. Glen Hackett