English HL 2 IB
Foothill High School
2021 Summer Reading Assignment
IB English Higher Level 2
Teacher: Mr. Hershberger
Welcome to English HL 2, the senior IB literature class at Foothill High School. I look forward to
working and learning with you in the upcoming school year. English HL 2 is a demanding,
college-level course, and I expect that you will meet this challenge with alacrity, integrity, and
As you prepare for your senior literature class, please know that the most effective way to improve
your writing is by reading broadly from diverse works of literary merit. (Similarly, writing often and
thinking like a writer will help your close-reading skills.) Therefore, in addition to your required
summer reading, you should read other literary texts, based on your interests, ranging from young
adult fiction and poetry to novels and memoir. Summer is the opportune time to read that book you’ve
heard everyone raving about but never had the time to read yourself.
Aside from your pleasure reading, your required summer reading is:
✓ Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Revised Edition, 2014). Expect a
short quiz and some writing on the advice and insights of this engaging guide to reading fiction in
the first two weeks of class. This book will change the way you read and think about literature, so
read it first, take notes, and review it at the end of your summer! You will apply the lessons of this
book in all your literary reading for many years to come. Be ready to share with the class in
August how this book has impacted your reading of other books you pick up for fun this summer!
If you feel so inclined, I personally recommend the following titles:
✓ William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White’s The Elements of Style (4th ed.). This classic writing
reference will help you write with clarity and sophistication. If you would like to decrease the
likelihood of my throwing your first essay across the room while grading it, you might find an
hour or two this summer to read Strunk and White’s advice. As a reference book, The Elements of
Style should be read at a trot rather than savored like Shakespeare.
✓ Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2010, 10th anniversary ed.). Read how the
master of the popular horror novel became the writer he is today and how he approaches writing as
both craft and career. While mostly a recommendation for those of you interested in creative
writing, it is a fascinating mix of memoir and advice book that may help you read literature more
like a writer. Neither of these recommended works is required--just optional fun!