Independent AP Worthy Reading

What are you reading that's AP worthy independently for preparation for the AP exam?  Post your title of your independent reading selection here and your reactions to your reading. 

Haven't picked an independent AP worthy novel?  As part of this course, you are required to select at least 1 independent novel or play to read during the year.   

Suggested links to help you pick an independent novel:

(Contemporary works), The Booker Prize --Great for the open-ended AP prompt:

(Traditional works) Frequently cited works appearing on the AP literature exam:


  1. What are you reading for your Independent Choice Reading for AP Literature? Post your independent reading selection title here and share a brief summary of what this book is about. Be compelling in your brief book talk to encourage other AP lit readers to read your book.

    1. I chose to read Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises". The book is about a writer named Jake Barnes in 1920's France and Spain. The book is about what not to do in a relationship. Jake Barnes is in a perpetual relationship with a promiscuous woman named Brett who is married and engaged several times in the book. It also holds a strong subplot about what to do as a good friend, Robert Cohn, descends further into a personal oblivion. Throughout this novel, you feel like you are looking into someone else's life due to Hemingway's writing style. He gives you a chapter of exposition on Cohn and then tosses you into Barnes' life. At the end of the novel, you are left with the feeling that you just watched a snapshot of his life due to the number of loose ends that are left hanging.

    2. I read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. This story is told in first person by Jane and is mainly in past tense. At the beginning of the novel we find that Jane is an orphan being raised by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, who wants nothing to do with her. When Mrs. Reed finds that she can put up with Jane no longer, Jane is sent to school. At school Jane meets new people and encounters new circumstances that develop her into a quiet, intelligent, and independent young woman. At the age of 18, Jane advertises for a governess position in the newspaper and is invited to be the governess at Thornfield Hall. Here, Jane meets new acquaintances, but none are as intriguing as the master of the house, Mr. Rochester. Jane and Mr. Rochester fall in love and are about to be married when a secret is revealed that forces Jane to start a new life in another part of England. At the end of the novel, Jane is drawn back to Thornfield to see what became of Mr. Rochester and is shocked by what she finds. This is an excellent novel that challenges caste, women's roles, and social values.

  2. I read the novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. It is about a young boy growing up in the Pre-Civil War South and follows him as he struggles to define his own meanings of right and wrong. The story starts with Huck Finn living with a woman who tries to teach the unruly boy to be "civilized", but soon Huck's father, dubbed Pap, returns and takes Huck away to live with him. Pap is an alcoholic and abusive person, and one night when he tries to kill Huck, Huck decides he needs to run away. Soon, he stages his own death and runs away in a canoe down the Mississippi River. While traveling, Huck finds a runaway slave he once knew, named Jim. The majority of the novel tells of the different sorts of adventures that Huck and Jim get into, including pretending to be girls, living with a couple of frauds who scam people for money, and even trying to steal Jim away when he gets captured for being a runaway slave. Meanwhile, Huck has trials with his conscience. He grew up to believe that African Americans weren't people and that to help one is one of the biggest crimes that could ever be committed, but he finds safety and true friendship in Jim and wants to help him find freedom. This novel is a very creative work that questioned societies values and ideals at the time it was written. Everyone can find hope by reading this book.

  3. I read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte, a novel told in first person by Jane Eyre, hence the title. The story begins with Jane, 10 years old, orphaned and unloved by her remaining family. Her aunt disliked her so much so that she sent her to a religious boarding school called Lowood. Jane grows up there, learning and becoming a woman. At Lowood she finds her calling as a teacher and after a few years of teaching she decides to apply for a governess position in the papers. She receives an answer and takes a governess position at Thornfield Hall. Jane eventually falls in love with the master of the Hall, Mr. Rochester, and shatters her heart when she leaves after discovering his darkest secret. Through a series of ups and downs Jane and Mr. Rochester find their way back to each other. "Jane Eyre" is a love story where beauty can be found on the inside and women have choices too. You have everything to gain reading this novel.

  4. I read the book "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. This book was written in first person through the point of view of the main character, Holden Caulfield. The book begins with Holden ending his short journey at Pencey Prep private school. It is just one of the few schools that Holden has been kicked out of. Throughout the next few days, Holden seems to be doing anything to find someone to spend time with. This varies from a prostitute to his younger sister, Phoebe, and even to a girl from his childhood that has a lot of meaning to Holden. Although this story only tells of a couple of days in Holden's life, we learn a lot about him. He finds many things "phony". He doesn't see the point in anything complicated, and he handles simple tasks much easier. This is a huge factor in the major conflict in the book, which is the struggle of growing up. Holden has a lot of trouble accepting the fact that he has to move on from being a child and has to accept responsibility of himself. The few days in this book lead us through just a few of the struggles that Holden goes through that leads him to his very edge that lands him in a rest home, where he tells the story from. This is a fantastic story that shows the reality of coming of age and the struggle of finding yourself in the adult world.