• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Summer Reading

Page history last edited by msward 11 years, 4 months ago




RESOURCES FOR Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asegdom



Summer Reading Review for Of Beetles and Angels



The author’s website provides information on Mawi's story, including his commencement speech at Harvard, and his programs.  

o  Philadelphia Free Library Podcast of Mawi Asegdom's Speech in February 2008 

A wonderful audio speech by Mawi Asegdom. He spoke at Central Library in February 2008 as a part of Philadelphia’s One Book, One Philadelphia project.


This website allows students to examine the impact of conflicts throughout the world, with focus on such African countries as Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. In addition to the audio interviews with teenage refugees now living in the United States, this site also hosts a great deal of information on the lives of teenage refugees, child soldiers, and other issues. Students can click on individual students' stories, follow a time line, and read background articles on various conflicts. 

o   Extended Lives: the African Immigrant Experience in Philadelphia 

Part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, this website explores many aspects of the new African immigrants living in Philadelphia. Although they have left their home countries, they have not lost contact. Instead, most find that their lives become extended in various ways, so that they remain emotionally, politically, spiritually, and financially invested in their home countries, even as they create new lives in the United States. The exhibit includes sections on extended families, extending communities, extending occupations, the refugee experience, religious life, including many quotations, stories, and pictures from African community members. 

o       Country Study: Ethiopia

The Library of Congress provides historical, social, cultural, and political information about Ethiopia. It includes a section on the Eritrean Movement, as well as information on refugees and the cultural life of Ethiopians. 


RESOURCES FOR Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


Summer Reading Review Sheet for Persepolis

Chapters "The Make Up" and "The Convocation"

Skills we will develop during our review




  • Background Information:

    • Marjane Satrapi has a blog on the New York Times website and in 2005 wrote an interesting graphic piece titled "Defending My Country" while on tour with her book Persepolis

    • Ms. Satrapi also wrote another wonderful piece in the New York Times titled "I Must Go Home to Iran Again" in which she talks about both Persepolis but also about how people received her book and how she feels about her mother country. 


  • Playlist of Interviews


"WIDE ANGLE’s unprecedented, award-winning 12-year documentary project, Time for School, returns in 2009 with visits to seven classrooms in seven countries to offer a glimpse into the lives of seven extraordinary children who are struggling to get what nearly all American kids take for granted: a basic education. We started filming in 2002, watching as kids first entered school in Afghanistan, Benin, Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya and Romania, many despite great odds. Several years later, in 2006, we returned to film an update — and now, three years later, we travel to check in on our young teenagers who are making the precarious transition to middle school..."

CONSIDERING STYLE: Analyzing writing style in our summer reading




After our class discussion of what constitutes style in writing, we decided upon a definition and some criteria for assessing a writer's style.  Use the criteria below to assess our summer reading memoirs. Remember...


  • Style is not what is written, but the way an author puts together words, phrases, and ideas. 
  • Style is “…the literary element that describes the ways that the author uses words – the author’s word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, and sentence arrangement all work together to establish mood, images, and meaning in a text” (Gardner).


Sentence Structure
  • Are the sentences long or short?  Why do they change?
  • Do they contain many clauses and phrases, or are they often fragments?
  • Are there any digressions or interruptions?
  • Is the word-order straightforward or unconventionally crafted?


  • Is the writing heavily descriptive, with emphasis on setting and atmosphere, or does it focus on action and plot movement?

Diction/ Vocabulary

  • Are the words simple or fancy?  Are they technical, flowery, colloquial, cerebral, punning, obscure (and so on...)? 
  • Is the writing tight and efficient, or elaborate and long-winded?
  • When does the author use one or the other mode, and why? 

Figures of speech

  • Are there any metaphors, similes, or symbols?
  • Are there any other uses of figurative language (personification, hyperbole, irony, and so on)?

Use of Dialogue

  • How often does dialogue tell the story?
  • Do we see whole conversations or just fragments?
  • Does the conversation use slang or is it formal?  Does it appear natural or contrived?
  • Does the dialogue give a sense of pacing, of pauses, of the unsaid?
  • How much does it substitute for narration?

Point of View

  • Who narrates the piece?
  • Is the piece written in first person (uses I, me, my)? Or is the piece written in third person (uses he, she, it)? Does the narrator have a limited perspective or is he or she omniscient (all-knowing)?

Character development


  • How does the author introduce characters, and how do we see their evolution in the story?  What is their function and motivation?
  • What kinds of characters are they?  Full/round?  Stock characters?  Stereotypes?  Caricatures?


  • What is the author’s attitude?  What is the mood of the story? 
  • Whatever the tone, where is it visible in the narrative?

Structure: Paragraph / Chapter/ Sequencing

  • Are paragraphs very short, or are they enormous blocks running across many pages?
  • Are the chapters short or long?  How many are there, how are they organized, and why is this important?
  • How has the author organized the chronology of events?  To what effect?  What is the work’s structural “rhythm”? 

 Adapted from Erik Christensen, Lakeside Upper School



  • Complete the blank grid in your pack for MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 . Select either Persepolis or Of Beetles and Angels to evaluate.  Give at least one example/quotation (including page numbers) to support your assessment of each of the criteria on your grid.
  • On Monday , we will be using your completed grid in the second step of this assignment. Hint - the more details you incorporate into your grid, the better off you will be on Thursday!


Blog It! 

You've completed your grid and analyzed the writing style of one of our summer reading authors, now it is time to put it all together.  Use the linked handout to help you craft a one-paragraph response that analyzes the writing style of your selected book.  Ultimately, you will use your brainstormed ideas from this handout to craft a well-revised blog post which will be added to our class website. We will post our responses as a blog in class on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1st.



HONORS STUDENTS: Summer Reading Choice Novels

Thematic Analysis Presentations

Our class will split up into smaller groups based on whether you selected to read Sound of Waves, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, or Jasmine for your choice summer reading novel.  Each group will work together to unpack some of events of the story in order to present a theme from the story to the class. Each group will create a poster and present their theme and analysis. Groups will need to appoint specific tasks to each group member in order to efficiently and effectively complete this project.





Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.