Summer Reading Information

It’s that time of year; time to think about summer reading!                                                       

Depending on whether you are enrolled in a college prep or honors/UConn English class for the 2019-2020 school year, you will be responsible for reading either one or two books over the summer and taking high quality notes to be used in a Socratic Seminar. It is crucial you do this assignment well, since your summer reading Socratic seminar(s) will be your first grade for the 2019-2020 school year.

Enjoy your summer reading, and get off to a great start for the new school year! 

Assigned texts:

  • Incoming Freshmen 
    • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (Everybody)
    • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (Honors only)
  • Incoming Sophomores 
    • Grendel, John Gardner (Everybody)
    • Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (Honors only)
  • Incoming Juniors 
    • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck 
    • The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway (Honors only)
  • Incoming Seniors 
    • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (Everybody)
    • The Stranger, Albert Camus (UConn only)  


You are free to use any edition of the assigned texts, including Kindle or e-books. The town library has many copies of these texts. If you wish to purchase a text, you may do that as well.  RJ Julia in Madison has all our titles!!

Whatever edition of the text you read, you need to complete your notes for the Socratic seminar.

 Summer reading, including notes for the Socratic seminar, is due on the first day of school.

Socratic Seminar information is to the right of this block of information.

Summer Reading Socratic Seminar Packet Information



Summer Reading Socratic Seminar Packet


Directions for Socratic Seminar Packet (handwritten only):

    • Record 2 thematic statements woven throughout the novel. Remember, a theme is a statement: THE MESSAGE.


  • Example of an acceptable thematic statement:


        • Ambition has the potential to corrupt a person’s thoughts and actions.


  • Example of an unacceptable thematic statement:


        • The idea of ambition in the novel
    • Provide 3 quotations (evidence) for each thematic statement. Quotations should represent the beginning (first third), middle (second third) and end (final third) of the novel. 
    • Provide a reflection for each quotation. Each reflection should center on a clear point of view, include elaboration and multiple complete sentences.
    • End each topic with a thought provoking question that can be used during the Socratic Seminar. Remember, a thought provoking question is one that does not have a specific answer but lends itself to many responses (not yes or no answers). 


  • Example of a good thought provoking question


        • In what ways is the character in control of (or not in control of) his or her life?


  • Example of an unacceptable question


      • Does the character control his/her destiny?


If you enrolled in an honors/UConn English Class, you must complete a separate Socratic Seminar packet for EACH of your books.

Summer Reading Notes for Book Title: ____________________________________________________

Thematic Statement 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Quotations (Include Page #s)

Reflections (at least 4-6 sentences)

Beginning of novel

Middle of novel

End of novel

Thought Provoking Question Related to Thematic Statement 1:


Summer Reading Notes for Book Title: ____________________________________________________

Thematic Statement 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Quotations (Include Page #s)

Reflections (at least 4-6 sentences)

Beginning of novel

Middle of novel

End of novel


Thought Provoking Question Related to Thematic Statement 2:


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Students, this area is for you to submit forms with book suggestions and book reviews

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Uconn ECE Student Information


Westbrook High School instructors and students who participate in UConn Early College Experience (UConn ECE) have full academic access to the University of Connecticut.  These modules were created by the UConn Homer Babbidge Library ( exclusively for UConn ECE instructors and students. For additional help, please see the Ms. G

 To access Uconn Libraries click link below:
Uconn Libraries

Early College Experience Guide

ECE Module - Conducting a Simple Search

ECE Module - What is a Database?

ECE Module - Getting the Article

ECE Module - Finding a Book  

 Research Now! New to ECE courses!  



Westbrook Public Library



Westbrook Public Library
Looking for a book we may not have? Try the public library; Mr. Daniels and his staff are a great resource!