Taking a look inside the outside AP English reading


The outside reading books for AP English 11 are pictured on a desk in C318. Students were given the option to pick from a list of four books each semester. (Not pictured: Freakonomics, Fast Food Nation, In Cold Blood and Henderson the Rain King).

Noelle McBride

Starting this year, juniors who take AP English are required to read an out-of-class reading assignment, one book every semester, along with their usual coursework.

“The purpose behind the out-of-class reading was to enforce or create a culture of reading for those that either already read, to give them offerings that they may not think about reading and for those that don’t read to show them what is accessible with reading,” Mr. Christopher Engel, English, said.

AP juniors read four novels in-school and have been able to choose between four outside each semester, though this may change in the future.

“The choice of the books really stems from books we believe that are interesting to bring a new aspect to reading. Mostly nonfiction books that have different outlooks and then [students] can choose from what those books are. We are looking to even increase the possibilities, the number of books or just create create one master list that [students] would choose two from. So [the list] is also a morphic being. It’s gonna change on a regular basis,” Engel said.

The outside reading has been created to give students more of an option on what they read. This option is to help students get further into reading and eliminate any negative thoughts on reading.

“I think one way [the out-of-class reading is] beneficial is that I think it kind of generates a culture of reading that we don’t always have in our classes. Not in AP classes necessarily, but definitely in regular classes, reading as seen as this horrible, onerous activity that is just horrible work for everybody. But I think, by choosing books that the students like, I think we’re bringing people back to the idea that reading can be fun and interesting and we have students get in groups and talk about what they read and their impressions and I think that helps to generate that reading culture too,” Mrs. Kathryn Clark, English, said.