Welcome to Campo Verde High School!

Dear Incoming 9th Grade Honors English Students and Parents:

First, let us offer our congratulations on your choice to take 9th grade Honors English next year! We are looking forward to meeting and working with each of you! Our curriculum is interesting, fun, and challenging. You have chosen a rewarding path through high school which will serve you well in your future!

Your journey in your Honors English class begins this summer with your summer reading. You will be reading the following novel:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull's egg, as "perfect as the moon." With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security....

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folktale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man's nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

-Amazon.com product description

Yes, we said SUMMER reading! But as we know in Arizona, we return to school far before summer is over. This is a ‘summer season’ reading, which means you don’t have to finish the book until the summer season is over, specifically you will test on the book and begin activities the day after labor day.

The Honors program at Campo Verde High School encourages students to buy their own books for annotation purposes. This book can regularly be found at Barnes and Noble. It can also be found on-line on Amazon.com and at other discount bookstores, such as Half-Price Books and Bookman’s.  Furthermore, you may purchase an e-copy for a device such as a Kindle or Nook as long as you are able to annotate using the device.

You will want to highlight in your book and take notes in the margins about why you highlighted what you did. What should you highlight? Let’s start with lines that seem significant to a character’s contribution to a theme. You know, those lines that could be turned into famous quotes! In the margin, just briefly explain why you think it could be significant. Your goal is to find 10 quotes by the end of the book (not too bad, right?).

We know that you will find this novel incredibly thought-provoking. Be ready for some exciting discussions and assignments over this piece after the reading due date. We will be working with excerpted passages throughout the month of August to learn and apply various close reading skills.

Again, we look forward to working with you this next school year. It will be an amazing year of growth for you both academically and personally. If you have any questions about the class or about the summer reading, please contact Mr. Heermans (Jake.Heermans@gilbertschools.net) or Ms. Mull (Leslie.Mull@gilbertschools.net).

Have a fun and safe summer! We will see you on the first day of school.


Jake Heermans and Leslie Mull

Honors English I Teachers