HONORS 9- SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT                                    Casey Matthews                

Beachwood High School                                                                  cpm@beachwoodschools.org

                                                                                    Twitter: @MatthewsEngBHS

For summer reading you will read Boxers & Saints by Gene Yuen Yang; these are graphic novels about the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1899-1900. It is important to read the books in a particular order (Boxers first, then Saints) so that, as a class, the experience of “unfolding” the story is the same. You will also need to research a little about the Boxer Rebellion before you begin reading, especially if you are unfamiliar with the history behind the books; I have included a QR code and the link that will take you to many valuable resources.

Here are some questions that you are not required to turn in, but these are more for discussion when school begins.

  1. Who were the leaders of the Boxer Rebellion on both sides of the war? What were their main objectives?
  2. What impact did the Opium Wars (1839-42, 1856-60) have on the Boxer Rebellion?
  3. Who are Ch’in Shih-Huang and Joan of Arc? What is their symbolic purpose in the books?

Also, take notes about the characters of Lee Bao and Four-Girl (Vibiana), their development and their actions and consider the following questions:

  1. How can actions be viewed by one person as justified and another person as fanatical?
  2. A tragedy has four parts: a hero of high standing who has a tragic flaw that leads to his/her death or destruction and has a cathartic ending. Could these books be considered a tragedy? If so, who is the tragic hero?
  3. Who is good and who is evil in these books?

I look forward to meeting all you in August. Please check your emails periodically over the summer, as I will send you a syllabus for the class. Have a great summer!

Link/QR code to historical background: