For all BOSS students:

Dear BOSS Scholar: 

The curriculum for English begins this summer with a required reading assignment. You must select and read two books from the lists below. You must also have a reading log for one selected book. All reading logs will be collected by your English teacher at the start of the 2021-22 academic school year. Late work will receive half credit ONLY

We encourage you to select books you will enjoy reading. Graphic novels are fun reads. Listening to an audiobook also qualifies. Explore the teacher recommendations, the Graphic Arts Campus Library and so much more! Reading should be an enjoyable experience, not a chore, so make the most of it!

For each book you choose you must keep a record, also known as a log, of your reading. Neatly record all log entries on loose-leaf, in a composition notebook, or if you prefer, it may be typed. Clearly label the title of each book; include the author’s name and range of pages. Below, there is an example of how you should format each log. In this log, you will choose a significant passage, quote, or dialogue, then write a response. 



For each book, you must complete the following:  


1. Choose SIX (6) passages or quotes.  Be sure to include TWO (2) entries for the beginning, TWO (2) for the middle, and TWO (2) for the end. 


2. Copy each passage or quote on blank white paper and write the page number. On that same blank page, select and respond to at least ONE (1) of the following reading prompts for EACH passage or quote. Copy the selected reading prompt. Each response must consist of at least 4-5 sentences 


PLEASE NOTE: A sample of the reading log for each literary work is below.


  1. Who is speaking? Where does this particular scene take place (setting)? Explain the character’s thoughts, motives, and actions (i.e. What does the person mean?). 

  2. What does this passage reveal about the character(s) or ideas in this book? What is your opinion of the character(s)? Use textual evidence to support your response. 

  3. What literary device/technique (i.e. symbolism, flashback, irony, metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, etc.) does the author use to express meaning? 

  4. I agree/disagree with the idea/statement that….. 

  5. I think the message the author is trying to express is….. 

  6. If I were (include the character’s name), ….. OR: If I were (specify the situation/ dilemma, etc.),  I would have said/done…..

(Sample of a STRONG Response) 



Book Title: 1984 

Author: George Orwell 


Page Range: 1-73 


Entry #1: “The frightening thing, he reflected for the ten thousandth time as he forced his shoulders painfully backward… If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death” (Orwell 34). 


Reading Prompt:  Question #2: How would you summarize the idea expressed here? 

 Winston is participating in routine exercise in this part of the book. Everyone has to do it and if you don’t you can get in trouble. As he is doing the exercise, his mind wanders. He begins to think that his government is too controlling and gets off track. The woman in the Telescreen yells at him and he gets back to exercising correctly. He thinks that the control the Party has over people and history is worse than death or torture.

SUGGESTED BOOK TITLES: these titles are available at NYC Public Libraries both in print, eBook format, and audiobook.

If you need a New York Public Library Card, apply here.   You may also apply for a Brooklyn Public Library Card, apply here.  (You only need to live in New York State to apply for a card.)  

You will need to download the Libby app.  Click on the title of the book to learn more about the book and to check them out from the library.  If you need help, please email  Visit the  Graphic Arts Campus Library website for more recommendations.  


Title                                                                          ]Author                   Genre               Lexile Level

Tears of a Tiger                                                        Sharon Draper        YA                                 700

First They Killed My Father                                       Luong Ung             Memoir                         920

The House on Mango Street                                    Sandra Cisneros     Coming of Age             860

In the Time of the Butterflies                                    Julia Alvarez            Historical Fiction          910

Down These Mean Streets                                       Piri Thomas             Memoir                         820

The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game                 Oscar Robertson     Autobiography

Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Luis J. Rodriguez    Autobiography

Jaws                                                                         Peter Benchley        Adventure

Christine                                                                   Stephen King           Horror                         840

The Count of Monte Cristo                                       Alexandre Dumas   Adventure                  1080

I Am Malala                                                              Malala Yousafzai     Memoir                       1000

Chinese Cinderella: An Unwanted Daughter           Adeline Yen Mah     Memoir                     .  960

The Poet X                                                                Elizabeth Acevedo Poetry                           800

Like A Love Story                                                     Abdi Nazemian       Historical Fiction

On the Up Come                                                      Angie Thomas         Realistic Fiction    HL550L

Patron Saint of Nothing                                            Randy Ribay            Realistic Fiction         840L

Butterfly Yellow                                                         Thanhha Lai            Historical Fiction        850

War Girls                                                                   Tochi Onyebuchi     Fantasy                     650

Wilder Girls                                                               Rory Power              Horror                   HL730L

The Lovely War                                                         Julie Berry               Romance              HL650L

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter                 Erika L. Sanchez     Coming of Age     HL730L

Two Can Keep A Secret                                            Karen M. McManus YA-Mystery          HL730L

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card             Sara Saedi               YA - Memoir           1030L

Fallen Angels                                                            Walter Dean Myers   Historical Fiction

The Hate U Give                                                       Angie Thomas           YA-Fiction           HL590L

Push                                                                         Sapphire                    Fiction

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time        Mark Haddon             YA-Mystery            1090L

The Alchemist                                                          Paulo Coelho             Fiction                      910L

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian     Sherman Alexie          YA Fiction                600L

Punching the Air                                                      I. Zoboi & Y. Salaam   Fiction                  

All American Boys                                                   J. Reynolds & B. Kiely Fiction               HL770L

The Coldest Winter Ever                                          Sistah Souljah             Urban Fiction 

Please contact our Librarian Ms. Southwell ( for help on accessing books and book recommendations.


What is Summer Reading?

Summer reading programs take place at 95% of public libraries in the United States. Children, teens, and adults participate in activities meant to encourage reading, such as keeping a reading log, post on social media, flipgrid, and BeanStalk.  This year the Graphic Arts Campus Library will be sponsoring a summer reading program in conjunction with NYPL/BPL!  What are the goals of summer reading this year?  They are simple: encourage students to become lifelong learns,  connect students and families with the libraries resources and expose students to diverse authors and characters. 


Why promote summer reading? Studies show that reading helps continue skill-building throughout the year and helps to prevent what education specialists call “the summer slide” – the loss of information and reading skills from one school to the next. In fact, it doesn’t take many books to prevent that slide (studies show just three or four make a big difference). In addition to boosting academic achievement, as an educator and a librarian, I want my students to learn to love reading and become lifelong learners.


Rethinking summer reading. I recently went to a lecture where Kylene Beers gave her four guidelines for summer reading. I’d like to share them (plus one of my own) with you for a (relatively) painless experience. Although she gears her guidelines towards educators, I feel they work well as reminders for parents as well.  


Guidelines for summer reading:

  1. Read whichever books look good to you. Student choice is VITAL. Will I offer some suggestions? Of course, and I have (check out the summer reading list and other resources). But allowing students to choose their own books gives them agency and autonomy over their own reading and learning and helps them develop skills to learn what they like (and like any skill, takes practice). 

  2. Nudge students throughout the summer. Encourage students to join Goodreads or follow the librarian on social media and tag me in their posts! Watch one of our library vlog episodes.  I will continue to send friendly reminders of summer reading throughout the summer to students, parents, and staff.

  3. Give kids permission to read easy. Graphic novels count. Comics count. Magazines count. Audiobooks count. Reading on e-reader counts. Reading to a younger sibling counts. Reading promotes more reading! 

  4. Celebrate reading book series. Reading a book that you love so much you can’t wait to get the next one really shows that reading is becoming a habit.  

  5. Create a culture of reading in your home (or classroom). Full disclosure, this one is my own personal suggestion. I believe that habits are learned and we model our habits after those we see in our lives. Young people look up to us as parents and educators. If they see us reading, they are more likely to read. When you go to the library (they should open soon for holds), get books for yourself, too! I’ve even included adult books on my summer reading list. 


How will parents be involved?

Parent outreach and involvement will begin with several presentations to PA that will detail what the Graphic Arts Campus Library Reading program, in addition will be emailed and sent with lots of resources to support summer reading. Parents will receive reminders, just like staff and students.  

Marie Southwell, Graphics Campus Librarian (