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Date:   June 6, 2013
To:       AP English Language and Composition students

From:   Ms. Hildbold & Ms. Cox

Re:       Course introduction &  Summer reading suggestions 2013 (there is no written assignment)

            We look forward to meeting all of you on the first day of class! The course is officially called “AP English Language and Composition.”  As you know this is a rigorous writing course but also a highly valuable class that will give you much practice to prepare you for college writing.  

            AP Lang is a composition course that focuses on the devices, choices, and strategies of non-fiction writers.  The work we do in class will make you better readers and writers and will enhance your enjoyment as you read.   There is no summer reading assignment but there is a suggested reading list at the bottom of this page.  We invite you to explore the list and take some time this summer to read some works of nonfiction. 


Why AP Language and Composition

Consider these student characteristics  and  our expectations as you commit to this class:


·         Intellectual curiosity

·         A desire to read nonfiction pieces

·         A desire to write every day and improve your writing

·         A desire to work hard in an accelerated class


This is a course about examining your own ideas and beliefs and then learning to write about them with power and grace. You have spent a significant amount of time in school learning how to write, how to achieve clarity, and how to be organized.  Now, you are ready to make your writing compelling. Throughout your life you will need to write and speak to motivate people, and to get others excited about your ideas. To learn to do this we will examine current and historical nonfiction pieces. As a class we will pull apart powerful essays to discover exactly how professional writers move us to action and to emotion.

The majority of the reading in this course can be considered “creative” or “literary” nonfiction. You will find most of the reading compelling. We generally work with short essays which address current topics. You will read across genres examining global and national issues.  This course exposes you to a wide range of topics and writing methods and styles. It is enormously helpful as you head to college and tackle increasingly difficult texts.

To prepare for the course, read often and pay attention to current and controversial issues. Check out the editorial pages of leading national newspapers and magazines. This course will ask you to become part of an on-going conversation examining who we are as a society. In what direction will the thinkers and writers of your generation take us?   





Enjoy your summer.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you have.  We look forward to seeing you in August, well-rested and ready to go!


The AP Lang Team





Do some online research to learn more about these books ( is a good place to start), and choose one or two to read this summer.  This is a suggestion, not a mandate.   You can find these titles on  Amazon new or used.  Most titles are available in local libraries as well.


Outliers (Gladwell)

Freakonomics  (Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) 

Mountains Beyond Mountains (Kidder)

Stiff: The Curious Life of Cadavers (Roach)

The Glass Castle  (Walls)

The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Pollan)

Inside of a Dog (Horowitz)

Eating Animals (Foer)

Free Will   (Sam Harris)

Bright-Sided (Barbara Ehrenreich)

Into Thin Air  (Jon Krakauer)

Into the Wild  (Jon Krakauer)

Complications  (Atul Gawande)

Enrique’s Journey  (Sonia Nazario)

The Devil’s Highway (Luis Alberto Urrea)

Moneyball   (Michael Lewis)

The Blindside  (Michael Lewis)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down  (Anne Fadiman)

Newjack (Ted Conover)

Nine Parts of Desire (Geraldine Brooks)

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet…and How We Can Make it    Better  (Annie Leonard)





Last Modified on June 6, 2013