The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Eastside

The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Eastside

The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Eastside

Honors english students should not be required to read an additional summer reading novel

The required english summer reading novels for honors students in each grade level, including The Book Thief (9th), Fahrenheit 451 (10th), The Grapes Of Wrath (11th), and 1984 (12th).
Alexis Rovner
The required english summer reading novels for honors students in each grade level, including The Book Thief (9th), Fahrenheit 451 (10th), The Grapes Of Wrath (11th), and 1984 (12th).

Year-round, students work non-stop to maintain satisfactory grades. Never able to truly rest, they are constantly worrying about the next assignment they might be given, and anxiously checking Genesis in their free time. Summer is the solitary season where students can put all their worries aside and rest…until these plans are ruined by summer reading assignments.
Above all, the honors books bring up the problem of an unclear connection between itself and the reading theme. While the general reading theme changes each summer, the honors requirement stays the same.
“I don’t believe that there is any link between the honors book and the theme. And if there is a link I don’t think that it was made clear,” said honors teacher Lisa Hamill.
Her sympathy as a teacher symbolizes the struggle of students having to complete assignments that are made even more difficult due to their cloudiness.
“Depending on the curriculum, it could take some time away from the strand for the year. For instance, the freshmen english curriculum’s thematic thread for the year is ‘Identity’. So not all of the Green Reads fit into that theme so it was hard to then start the thematic thread of the year off,” added freshmen honors teacher Anthony Maniscalco.
This sheds light on the fact that not only is this honors book connection difficult
and unclear for advanced students, but tough for teachers as well.
Students are often confused by this, unclear on how to craft their summer reading notes in a way that addresses the ideas of both novels. This confusion continues as students turn their summer reading notes into in-class discussions and later into essays.
“No one ever really made it clear if it was supposed to connect or if it was only supposed to connect to the choice book,” commented Gabrielle Levine (‘26).
Honors summer reading requirement novels have little to no connection to the themes, making them feel irrelevant and unimportant to students. As a result of the lack of thought put into the summer reading assignments created by the district, students often do not read the books.
Accepted by Hamill, she comes to the conclusion that “the majority of students probably just find the quick notes online. I think if it was set up differently and it was something that the students actually wanted to read with clearer instructions, perhaps more of them would actually spend the time reading it.”

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About the Contributor
Alexis Rovner, Eastside Online Opinions Editor
Alexis is this year’s Online Opinions Editor, and is so excited for her first year of board. At East, Alexis plays in the orchestra, participates in Interact Club, Speech Team, FOP, and more. Outside of Eastside, she loves to dance, play the violin, volunteer, and hang out with friends and family on the weekends. She’s so excited for sophomore year and can’t wait to bond with everyone on the Eastside board!

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