Following are the following reading requirements for incoming grade 9, Garden City High School:
Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris
This historical fiction book opens as Marjorie Bruce is being dragged by English soldiers to a small town, where she is tossed into an animal’s cage. The villagers treat her with disgust, and she is kept under guard. Her life was turned upside-down when her father confronted and killed Red Comyn, a treacherous lackey of King Edward Longshanks.
Now Marjorie’s father, Robert the Bruce, has been crowned king of Scotland, and Longshanks is trying to hunt down and kill him. In flashback, Marjorie reveals the events that turned herself, her stepmother, and her relations into fugitives. In the present, the dying Longshanks visits Marjorie’s cage to taunt her, pressing the lonely girl to betray her father in exchange for release. And Marjorie, crown princess of Scotland, is determined to outlast the enemy king, no matter what.
Required Text for 9 Honors:
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston
During World War II, a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese-American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsuki, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a 7-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew.
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
1.Jim the Boy by Tony Earley (Nook/Kindle)
The year is 1934 and, like the rest of the country, Aliceville is feeling the pinch of the Great Depression. However, neither Jim nor his mother and his three uncles, who have split the paternal role neatly among themselves since the death of Jim’s father a decade earlier, are feeling much in the way of economic pain. Indeed, if you stuck a satellite dish on the front lawn, the story might be taking place in the New South rather than the older, rural one.
2.The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (Nook)
With her acclaimed 1989 novel The Joy Luck Club and its successors, Amy Tan succeeded in revealing the Chinese-American sensibility to readers in unprecedented numbers. In mystical, winding prose, she draws the boundaries and commonalities between generations of women who are related, but born worlds apart. In 1949, four Chinese women begin meeting in San Francisco for fun. Nearly 40 years later, their daughters continue to meet as the Joy Luck Club. Their stories ultimately display the double happiness that can be found in being both Chinese and American.
3.The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Nook/Kindle)
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 from jail. 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.
4.Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar
From the author of Dunk comes this sparkling new novel that covers a year in the life of high school freshmen Scott Hudson, who is sideswiped by the unexpected news that his mother is about to have another baby. In a hilarious and touching journal addressed to the unborn intruder, Scott bares his soul as he copes with the trials and tribulations of a life that is changing faster than he wants it to.
5.Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
High school freshman Melinda has found that it has been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud. “My throat is always sore, my lips raw…Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze…It’s like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis.” What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she cannot speak.
6.Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice
A ruthless villain known as Weasel commits unspeakable atrocities in the frontier wilderness. When 12-year-old Nathan’s family is victimized, the boy is determined to avenge the wrongs on his own. This is a masterfully told, riveting tale that is sure to inspire strong discussions about moral choices.