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2021 Summer Reading & Assignments: Upper School

Getting Started

To use this guide, begin by selecting a department from the tabbed menu at the top of the box below.  Be sure to view each department from which you are taking a class in order to view your summer reading and assignments for each subject area.

US Summer Assignments by Subject

English I - Justice, Power & Revenge - Freshmen

Read ONE of the following texts and complete the linked assignment:





All American Boys
by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

by Scott Shusterman

If I Ever Get Out of Here
by Eric Gansworth



You may use either a hard copy or an e-book.
You may listen to an audiobook if that helps you focus, but you must also follow along with the written text.

Assignment Link: 

English II - The Ties that Bind - Sophomores

Read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi and complete the linked assignment

Assignment Link:

Before starting your summer reading, please wait to receive your schedule that will confirm which course you are enrolled in.

Gender Perceptions

Read a book-length memoir in which gender or sexuality is the central theme (see the linked assignment for a list of suggested titles) and complete the linked assignment.   

Assignment Link:

Speculative Fiction: Our Future Selves

 Read  Unwind by Neal Shusterman and complete the linked assignment

Assignment Link:

The List: New York Times Best Sellers

 Read Where the Crawdads Sing and complete the linked assignment

Assignment Link:

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition

Read a memoir, your choice, written by an American who was not born in this country and complete the linked assignment

Assignment Link:

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

Read An Image of Africa, by Chinua Achebe; Things Fall Apart (Part 3), by Chinua Achebe; and Swing Time, by Zadie Smith; and complete the linked assignment

Assignment Link:


Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture

Completen las actividades anexas antes de la primera clase del año.

The Development of Our Global World - Freshmen

Read the following primary and/or secondary sources and complete the assignment:

  1. The Power of the Church: The Power of the Church worksheet.pdf
  2. Thomas Hobbes: Thomas Hobbes worksheet.pdf
  3. John Locke: John Locke worksheet.pdf

Assignment Link:

Historical Methods: Inquiry, Writing, & Presentation - Sophomore

Read Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah and complete the assignment.

Assignment Link:

Before starting your summer reading, please wait to receive your schedule confirming which course you are enrolled in.

Aristocrats, Autocrats, and Oligarchs: A Russian History Survey Course

Read read the Cold War Original Documents and complete the linked assignment.

Assignment Link:

Brown, the Board, the Ballot, and the Bullet: Civil Rights in the USA

Read Martin Luther King Jr.’s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" & Malcolm X’s "The Ballot or the Bullet". Actively read and engage with both essays, then complete the assignment.

Assignment Link:


Freedom Struggles in the Colonized World

Read the illustrated booklet on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and complete the assignment.

Assignment Link:

La Lucha Sigue: Making of the Modern Americas

Watch “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America” and complete the linked assignment.

Assignment Link:


What in the World? An Exploration of Contemporary Current Events

Read the assignment and answer the attached questions. 

Assignment Link:


Research and Historical Inquiry


Research and historical Inquiry

Review and Complete the tasks outlined in the assignment.

  1. Bring a public library card issued in your name to class on the first day. 
  2. Write a one-page introduction of yourself answering the following prompts.
  3. Explore the NHD website and check out the Project Categories, Sample Projects, and Resources. Which category is most interesting to you, and why? Include a link to a sample project and/or resource that you think is cool or inspirational. 

Assignment Link:

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement European History

Read Chapter 11 of McKay’s A History of Western Society Since 1300 for AP (13th edition) and the welcome letter from Mr Sheldon.

Advanced Placement Calculus

AP Calculus students have NO summer assignment this year. 

Advanced Placement Biology

Review and Complete the assignment linked below:

Assignment link:

Advanced Placement Chemistry

Review the assignment linked below, then

  1. Review Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the text: Chemistry: A Molecular Approach by N. Tro, 5th ed. (available from the Bancroft Bookstore). ​
  2. Review the supporting PowerPoint slides for each of these chapters.
  3. Complete the assigned end-of-chapter problems for each chapter (see Summer Assignment handout, linked below) in your homework journal (available from the Bancroft Bookstore)

Assignment Link:

Science and Engineering Inquiry

Your summer assignment is designed to help you get a head start on the project selection process by asking you to think about what you want to do, exposing you to some different areas of research, and getting you used to reading research papers.


Assignment Link:


Advanced Visual Art Portfolio

During the summer you will be preparing assignments in 3 categories: Sketchbook Assignments (3), Life Drawings (2), and Projects (3). 

Assignment Link: