SUMMER READING

At GALA, each student is

expected to complete a

summer reading project

in preparation for

the upcoming school year.

Scroll below to

your grade level

for full details.

 

6th Grade Summer Reading

In sixth grade, students will participate in the Level Up Village Course - I Am Malala. To prepare for this work we are recommending that each student read I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition) over the summer.

Assignment: Double Entry Journal
Due Date: First week of English/History Classes

View/Print FULL Assignment Details in a PDF format

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7th Grade Summer Reading

In seventh grade, students will participate in the Level Up Village Course - The Giver. To prepare for this work we are recommending that each student read the novel over the summer.

Assignment: Double Entry Journal
Due Date: First week of English/History Classes

Free PDF version of The Giver

View/Print FULL Assignment Details in a PDF format

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8th Grade Summer Reading

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In eighth grade, students will discuss the novel by Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time. To prepare for this work we are recommending that each student read the novel over the summer.

Assignment: Double Entry Journal
Due Date: First week of English/History Classes

View/Print FULL Assignment Details in a PDF format

 

9th Grade Summer Reading

Throughout the ninth grade, you will be exploring what it means to come of age. For your summer reading, choose ONE of the following 4 books to read and construct a double-entry journal. When we return from school, you will be given a test over the book you read.

Assignment:
Double Entry Journal
Due Date:
First week of English/History Classes

View/Print FULL Assignment Details in a PDF format

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices--but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Option 1

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

Option 2

Charlotte Brontë's most beloved novel describes the passionate love between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Rochester. The loneliness and cruelty of Jane's childhood strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice. Ever since its publication in 1847, Jane Eyre has enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving and unforgettable portrayal of a young woman's quest for self-respect.

Option 3

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

Option 4
 

10th Grade Summer Reading

Throughout the tenth grade, you will be exploring the topic of culture. For your summer reading, choose ONE of the following 12 books to read and construct a double-entry journal. When we return from school, you will be given a test over the book you read.

Assignment:
Double Entry Journal
Due Date:
First week of English/History Classes

View/Print FULL Assignment Details in a PDF format

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

 

Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

Option 1

Though more than seventy years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. In The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-Lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during the last century.

 

Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel—beloved by millions of readers—is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history.

Option 5

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

Option 9

Sherman Alexie, in his first book for young adults, tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

 

Heartbreaking, funny, beautifully written, semi-autobiographical, and coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian will continue to make a lasting impression for many years to come. Bonus content to include an introduction from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson, a new author's note, an excerpt of a sequel from the character Rowdy's point of view,and more!

Option 2

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

Option 6

From master storyteller and Printz Award–winning author An Na comes a thoughtful novel about American beauty standards through the eyes of a Korean-American teenager who must decide how far she’s willing to go to be seen as beautiful.


On the last day of her junior year, Joyce Park finally musters up the courage to ask her crush to sign her yearbook, but he can’t remember her name. Joyce questions whether she’ll ever be pretty or special enough to stand out, especially when her older sister, Helen, outshines her in every way. When Joyce’s plastic-surgery-crazed aunt wins the lottery and decides to help everyone in the family improve their looks, Joyce is offered the chance to have eyelid surgery to give her monolids a fold. Joyce is certain that this surgery could change her life, then she’ll look more like the typical white American beauty—the kind of girl her crush dates. But Joyce hates pain. Any pain. And while her best friend can’t believe she would give up the opportunity to change her looks, Joyce’s sister can’t believe she would even consider the surgery. Is fitting in worth going under the knife for?

Option 10

In this debut novel, the García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father’s role in an attempt to overthrow a tyrannical dictator is discovered. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. In the wild and wondrous and not always welcoming U.S.A., their parents try to hold on to their old ways, but the girls try find new lives: by forgetting their Spanish, by straightening their hair and wearing fringed bell bottoms. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new. How the García Girls Lost Their Accents sets the sisters free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at home—and not at home—in America.

Option 3

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico blends poignant romance and bittersweet wit.

 

This classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef, using cooking to express herself and sharing recipes with readers along the way.

Option 7

Hard-hitting, page-turning and celebratory of friendship in unlikely circumstances, Joyce Carol Oates' sure touch with small town life hits home in her first young adult novel.

 

Matt Donaghy is the class joker, and Ursula Riggs is the misfit loner. Neither knows the other. But when Matt is suddenly arrested on a charge of threatening to blow up the school and massacre the students, Ursula is the only one who sees through the hysteria and hypocrisy, and corroborates Matt's story.


The case is dropped, but Matt's old friends avoid him, and his teachers treat him with kid gloves. Even Ursula, apparently his only friend during the crisis, can't meet his eye. But Ursula can't remain aloof when she catches Matt contemplating suicide and a strange friendship is born.

Option 11

"When a war ends it does not go away," my mother says."It hides inside us . . . Just forget!"


But I do not want to do what Mother says . . . I want to remember.

 

In this groundbreaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. With candor and courage, she stitches together memories of her childhood: fear and confusion as bombs explode near her home and she is separated from her family; the harshness of life in the Middle East as a Palestinian refugee; her unexpected joy when she discovers Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. This is the beginning of her passionate connection to words, and as language becomes her refuge, allowing her to piece together the fragments of her world, it becomes her true home.

 

Transcending the particulars of politics, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood is an illuminating and timely book that provides a telling glimpse into a part of the Middle East that has become an increasingly important part of the puzzle of world peace.

Option 4

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Option 8

Ruth Young and her widowed mother, LuLing, have always had a tumultuous relationship. Now, before she succumbs to forgetfulness, LuLing gives Ruth some of her writings, which reveal a side of LuLing that Ruth has never known.


In a remote mountain village where ghosts and tradition rule, LuLing grows up in the care of her mute Precious Auntie as the family endures a curse laid upon a relative known as the bonesetter. When headstrong LuLing rejects the marriage proposal of the coffinmaker, a shocking series of events are set in motion–all of which lead back to Ruth and LuLing in modern San Francisco. The truth that Ruth learns from her mother’s past will forever change her perception of family, love, and forgiveness.

Option 12
 
 

11th Grade Summer Reading

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In eleventh grade, students will discuss the memoir by Jeanne Wakatsuki - Farewell to Manzanar.

To prepare for this work we are recommending that each student read the book over the summer.

Assignment: Double Entry Journal
Due Date: First week of English/History Classes

View/Print FULL Assignment Details in a PDF format

12th Grade Summer Reading

In twelfth grade, students will discuss the self-help book by Sean Covey - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. To prepare for this work we are recommending that each student read the book over the summer.

THE 7 HABITS OF
HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEENS

Adapted from the New York Times bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is the ultimate teenage success guide—now updated for the digital age.

Imagine you had a roadmap—a step-by-step guide to help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Your goals, your dreams, your plans…they’re all within reach. You just need the tools to help you get there.

That’s what Sean Covey’s landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been to millions of teens: a handbook to self-esteem and success. Now updated for the digital age, this classic book applies the timeless principles of 7 Habits to the tough issues and life-changing decisions teens face. Covey provides a simple approach to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, and appreciate their parents, as well as tackle the new challenges of our time, like cyberbullying and social media. In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world.

Endorsed by high-achievers such as former 49ers quarterback Steve Young and 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens has become the last word on surviving and thriving as a teen.

Assignment:
Answer ALL "Study Guide" questions for EACH chapter
Due Date:
First week of English Class

View/Print STUDY GUIDE

questions in a PDF format

Free PDF version of the book

“GALA: Where girls love to be SMART, SELF-CONFIDENT, and SUCCESSFUL.”

Address: 

1067 West Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

 

Tel: (323) 900-4532

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