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Grade 9 Summer Reading Assignment

Directions - Choose one of the books listed below and complete one page of two-column notes per indicated section.  (Total:  4 pages of notes)

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

  1. Chapters 1-8
  2. Chapters 9-16
  3. Chapters 17-23
  4. Chapters 24-31

The Color of Water by James McBride

  1. Chapter 1-8
  2. Chapters 9-13
  3. Chapters 14-19
  4. Chapters 20-Epilogue

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

  1. Chapters 1-4
  2. Chapters 5-7
  3. Chapters 8-11
  4. Chapters 12-19

Use this Partial Model of two-column notes to help format your notes.  See front side for specific content details for notes.  Notes in the model below are taken from A Separate Peace.

Characterization and Character Development
  • Gene
    • Unconfident: surprised Finny "chose" him as his best friend (29)
    • Competitive: always wants to be the best/beat Finny
  • Finny
    • Confident: doesn't need to lie about height (16), wears pink shirt (24-25)
    • Really good athlete: blitzball, swimming record, etc.
Conflict (Internal and External)
  • Internal conflict: Gene becomes jealous of Finny for breaking the school swimming record (44) and not telling anyone about it
    • Feels guilty for feeling this way; doesn’t want to admit it even to himself
    • Tries to make himself feel better by bottling up his feelings
  • External conflict: Gene fights Quackenbush after he calls him maimed.
    • “I hit him hard across the face. I didn’t know why for an instant; it was almost as though I was maimed” (79).
    • Gene is very sensitive after what he did to Finny (maimed him by making him fall out of the tree), so he lashes out at any trigger that reminds him of what he did.
Significant Quotations with Explanation

“Naturally. He was my roommate and my best friend” (40).

  • Gene, narrating from the future, how he was feeling in the past
  • Tells the reader that Finny was his best friend, but his actions and thoughts seem to contradict it
  • Seems like he’s protesting
  • “Naturally” mimics Finny’s speech:  shows extent of Finny’s hold on Gene


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