9th Grade

Theme: The Odyssey and the Hero

Overview:
In order to begin ninth grade Language Arts with a shared reading experience, we require each student to read the selection listed under his/her course level. We have selected a novel that relates thematically to the essential questions of each course. We believe that pre-requisite reading should be focused and that a common reading experience helps to establish a community of learners on the first day.

Please help by making completion of this task non-negotiable. Work with your child to develop a reading schedule, and if possible, to read the selection so that your child has the opportunity to discuss with you what s/he is reading.

Resource Materials:
Parents:
Visit CommonSenseMedia.org to learn more about the reading selections. This website provides overviews of novels with attention to potential parental concerns and questions about book selections. Additionally, parents and students can visit the course overviews at the SDST.org webpage found within the 9-12 Language Arts section of the “Curriculum” tab. These overviews provide further insight into the goals, thematic ideas, and enduring understandings that will inform student learning throughout the duration of the course.

Students:
We recommend that students keep a reading journal and/or a reading guide that they will be permitted to use as a memory aid for the assessment. Teachers have prepared optional reading guides for each selection. These guides are available in the guidance office or online at http://springfieldreading.wikispaces.com/.

Requirement:
Students must read the required novel before the start of the school year. Teachers will assess the reading during the first few days of the course.

Contact: A parent (or guardian) who has an objection to a selection designated for his/her son or daughter should send a letter to the high school principal, explaining the objection and requesting an alternative assignment.

Academic 9
Alexie, Sherman: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.
  • 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
  • 2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Award
  • 2010 California Young Reader Medal

In Alexie’s National Book Award-winning novel, the teenage protagonist Junior finds himself in a new and foreign environment when he leaves the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. Issues of race, sexuality, language, and socialization suddenly become prominent in Junior’s life as he struggles to maintain his identity in a new environment. Junior documents his struggles through an engaging combination of prose and cartoons. By the end of the text, we come to realize that while Junior has a unique experience, he draws out the conflicts, struggles, and moral decisions that appeal to all readers.

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Amazon reviews.


Honors 9
bookthief.jpg
Zusak, Markus: The Book Thief.
  • 2006 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • 2006 Book list Children Editors' Choice
  • 2007 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands (School Library Journal). The horrors of Nazi Germany are exposed through a violent backdrop that is necessary for the emotional impact of the story to manifest. Liesel’s coming-of-age story captures the fears, anxieties, and atrocities of living through Hitler’s tyranny and terror with bravery and insight. Amazon Review.


English 9 100 and Wilson 9
outsiders.gif
Hinton, S.E.: The Outsiders.
  • 1967 New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Books List
  • 1967 Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book
  • 1975 Media and Methods Maxi Award
  • 1975 ALA Best Young Adult Books
A book many young adults can relate to. Class differences and stereotypes fuels the bitterness and resentment between two groups of teenagers. Taking place in the 1950's, the book includes gang violence (including underage smoking and drinking), teen language, and dysfunctional families.
Amazon reviews.

Questions from Associated Content

Alternate title:
Alexie, Sherman: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. See above.

Note: A parent (or guardian) who has an objection to a selection designated for his/her son or daughter should send a letter to the high school principal, explaining the objection and requesting an alternative assignment.