Language & Literature

2018 Summer Reading
IB Language and Literature HL2 and AP Literature and Composition

The North Shore High School English IB Language & Literature HL2 teachers and the AP Literature and Composition teachers are happy to present two intriguing choices for your Summer Reading assignment.  Please select ONE of the novels below. 

While some students prefer purchasing their books, copies will be available at the NSHS library as well as both the Sea Cliff and the Gold Coast Public Libraries.  You can also download the eBook version.

The assignment is mandatory and will be graded as a formal first quarter assessment at the end of September.



  1. Read either The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien or The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

 The Things They Carried is an evocative series of vignettes that delves into the emotional and psychological impact of a controversial war.  A veteran himself, O’Brien crafts a semi-autobiographical novel that is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive voices of the Vietnam War.


The Alchemist chronicles a young man’s journey to achieve his Personal Legend as he travels from his home in Spain into North Africa.  The novel has been translated from Portuguese into 70 languages and has been a top seller in 74 countries.


2)  As you read, earmark two 40-50 line extracts (passages) from the novel
of thematic significance.

3)   Make a copy of both of your chosen extracts.  Identify the theme on the top of the page.  Annotate the passages for theme and literary and/or rhetorical devices.

4)   Bring both annotated passages to class when the assignment is due at the end of September.

Each annotated passage will receive points based on how strongly and thoroughly the selection and annotations demonstrate a clear and supportable theme.