The American Experience Reading Project
The books that we read in class for Junior English are classics by American authors about the America they saw – but they can’t begin to capture the entirety of the true American experience. Throughout the course of this school year, you will be choosing six books (three per semester) to read that will help fill in the gaps. Some are classics as well; some, however, are new, or focus on a narrow niche of American life (Black inner-city high school students? Amish teenagers? People with depression? NBA players? Pioneer women? Contemporary American Indian teenagers? Muslim immigrants immediately post-9/11?).
Those of you who took sophomore English from me will recognize that this is similar to SLIRP. However, it has a slightly different focus in order to enrich your American literature experience. In addition, this project will help prepare you for Senior Government and your life as an informed adult in the United States. Junior year is a time when you seriously begin the transition from child to adult, and part of that is the transition from reading children’s books to reading more challenging – whether in terms of content or verbiage - texts.
For each AERP book that you read, you will complete and submit a small packet in lieu of a formal book report or major book presentation. These packets are available in my room or on my website. At the end of each semester you will do a presentation that incorporates what you’ve learned or discovered through reading the books you chose.
The easiest way to make sure that a book is approved for AERP is to choose it from the list of pre-approved AERP books, which is available online and in Mrs. Bakers’ classroom; keep in mind that not every book on this list may be appropriate for you based on reading level, mature content, etc.. (If you have reading accommodations, contact me for book suggestions.) Other books must be pre-approved by Mrs. Baker; if you read a book without having Baker’s approval first, it may not count and you may receive a zero for your entire book project. As this list is updated when Mrs. Baker acquires new books throughout the year, new versions will be posted in the classroom and online.
Books for the AERP:
Books longer than 400 pages MAY count as two books IF approved by Mrs. Baker.
Your books should include:
NOTE: Students in the ITE academy may choose up to half (3) of their books from the Supplemental List. For more information, please contact Mrs. Baker.
Looking for a Book About _____?
Check out the recommendations page. If you have an idea for a recommendation list, let Mrs. Baker know so that she can make and post it!
All three book response packets are due by the day of your semester final. Remember that there will be a significant portion of your semester final dedicated to your AERP reading; if you fail to do this assignment, you will not only lose credit for AERP but will also do poorly on your final exam. If you want to split up your time evenly and make sure to get all three books read and responded to before the end of the semester, you should aim for the following "artificial deadlines":
Book 1: September 28
Book 2: November 8
Book 3: December 16
Book 4: February 23
Book 5: April 10
Book 6: May 29