The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Please click here for a review of this title.
Guiding questions for student reading:
1. What characters play key roles in the development of each protagonist?
2. In what ways do the main characters defy the status quo?
3. How do specific instances in the plot aid or harm the main character?
4. What main idea(s) about society does the author want readers to contemplate?
5. What significance does each title have in regards to the theme of each novel?
Students, please use these questions as a guide for your annotation of the summer reading.
Your teachers encourage the practice of annotation in all your assigned reading at Stevenson, as a way to prepare for classroom activities and assessments and to reinforce the habit of active reading.
Why summer reading?
Feisty Marietta Greer leaves home in a beat-up '55 Volkswagen bug on her way to nowhere in particular. When her car runs out of gas, she changes her name to "Taylor" and thus begins a new chapter in her life. This funny, inspiring book is a marvelous affirmation of risk-taking, commitment and everyday miracles. (from Publishers Weekly)
Students who choose this book likely will confront a world similar to their own, yet different. As the protagonist, Taylor, encounters situations that are timely and relevant to teenagers today, her experiences revolve around the relationships between parents and children, relationships with authority, and relationships with peers. Readers will encounter ideas about the need for independence, the loss of innocence, and the acceptance of reality in this accessible story.
What is the purpose of the summer reading assignment?
The primary purpose of summer reading for Sophomore College Prep is to give students the kind of positive reading experience that continues to encourage young people to become life-long readers. Students will have a choice of three books, increasing their educational autonomy and providing the opportunity to find and read books that are appealing to their interests. While all the books are at appropriate reading levels for entering sophomores, each student should be able to find one that meets his/her specific reading needs and/or interests.
What can you expect in your English class at the beginning of the school year?
Students should expect to be assessed on their reading habits and their ability to recognize important details and ideas. The goals of this assessment are to affirm that the student read the text and to provide the teacher some baseline data on the student's understanding of plot, characters, and thematic ideas from the text. This assessment will take place on the second day of the school year.