The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
Please click here for a review of this title.
Guiding questions for student reading:
1. Is Jeannette’s family so very different from a "normal" family?
2. In spite of their obvious failings as parents, do Rex and Rosemary have any positive impact on the children?
3. What is Jeannette’s attitude about her parents? Is it surprising?
4. How are Jeannette and her siblings affected differently by their upbringing?
5. Did this book change your attitude about homelessness?
6. Why is the memoir called "Glass Castle"?
Why summer reading?
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.
The Glass Castle is a memoir about Jeannette Walls’ extremely eccentric and often dysfunctional family and childhood. Walls offers a remarkable look back at a troubled childhood that includes alcoholism, mental illness, and some abuse, but also includes discovery, loyalty, and forgiveness. The overall tenor of the book is positive, and ultimately the book demonstrates the strength of the human spirit. Students who choose this book likely will confront a world quite different than their own; yet the overall message is relevant to anyone. It is a fascinating and popular memoir that is readily accessible to all readers.
What is the purpose of the summer reading assignment?
The primary purpose of summer reading at the senior year 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 seniors, each student should be able to find one that meets his/her specific reading needs. Students should read these books toward the end of the summer so the themes, characters and plots are fresh in their minds upon returning to school.
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 students understanding of some basic plot and thematic ideas from the text. This assessment will take place on the second day of the school year.