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English III Honors

Summer Reading Assignment

You will read The Year of the Hangman by Gary L. Blackwood and choose one book from this list to read, for a total of two books.  I can provide a copy of The Year of the Hangman if you need, but you will need to obtain a copy of the books below.  You will need to bring the book you choose from this list to school the first few weeks.  

*Disclaimer: There are a few books on this list with sensitive material.  Do your research on them (I recommend this by, and choose wisely. Do not choose a novel your parents do not want you reading.*


Upon returning to school, we are going to explore these questions that may be helpful to consider as you read:

  1. What does it mean to be American?

  2. What do Americans value?  What do Americans glorify?

  3. Does the past influence our idea of what it means to be American?  Does it influence the idea of who we are as individuals?

  4. Have American values changed over the years?

  5. In what ways are your novel choice and The Year of the Hangman related?


  • 1776 by David McCullough

  • Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi

  • Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

  • George Washington’s Spy Ring by Brian Kilmeade

  • The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents by Corey Brettschnider

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Sofran Foer

  • The Hunger of a Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez

  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Susan Vowell

  • Fences by August Wilson

  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett

  • American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham

  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barabara Ehrenreich

  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozol