Speak Summer Reading Assignment High School

Brighton High School English Students' Summer Reading Assignment
Assignment Due Fall 2015

Below you will find the response journal assignment for summer reading as well as the rubric for the assignment. 
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(If you are interested in these books in e-book form or downloadable audio book form please contact the librarian, Ms. Bates)

Brighton High School English Students’ Summer Reading
Assignment Due Fall 2017
Dear Student,
Summer shouldn't mean taking a break from learning, especially reading. Studies show that most students experience a loss of reading skills over the summer months, but those who continue to read actually gain skills. Students should make an effort to sustain reading skills, practice reading, and read for enjoyment, even though school is not in session (LD Online Newsletter). As part of our Language Arts requirements, each student in Brighton High School’s Language Arts program willbe required to select onebook from the following list to read during the summer. The chosen book may be either checked out from the public library or purchased from a local bookstore, however, students are not required to own the book. Students must have their selected book finished by the first day of the “A-half” of their English class.
Each student will need to select a book from the list for the grade level that he or she will be in during the coming school year. Students will be held accountable for their book through a book test and a response journal assignment uploaded to Canvas during the first two weeks of “A” trimester. Important: if you not have English during the first trimester of school, you may check with the teacher you will have for “A-half” English class at the beginning of the school year to make special arrangements if you would like to take the test before second trimester. You may want to save their response journals in a document to upload to Canvas later.
A.P. English Language (juniors) students should have received a separate assignment: their books are also listed here. If a student did not receive the A.P. Language assignment, please email: kellie.clark@canyonsdistrict.org, or celeste.king@canyonsdistrict.org to request a copy.
A.P. English Literature (seniors) students should also have received a separate assignment: the book list is below and any senior student is welcome to select one of those for their summer reading, even if they aren’t taking the class. If a student did not receive the A.P. Literature assignment, please email: jennifer.mattson@canyonsdistrict.org to request a copy.
If a student is signed up for English 1010, please email karen.larson@canyonsdistrict.org if you did not receive the full assignment.
If a student is signed up for Creative Writing, they will be responsible for the book for their grade level Language Arts class only, and can use the book for both Language Arts and Creative Writing class. If you have a question that isn’t covered by one of the above categories, please email: jennifer.mattson@canyonsdistrict.org. The following list contains the required book choices and brief summaries about each:

Freshman List:
Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Dracula by Bram Stoker – A dreary castle, blood-thirsty vampires, open graves at midnight, and other gothic touches fill this chilling tale about a young Englishman's confrontation with the evil Count Dracula. A horror romance as deathless as any vampire, the blood-curdling tale still continues to hold readers spellbound a century later.
A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury – Before India was divided, three teens, each from wildly different backgrounds, cross paths. And then, in one moment, their futures become irrevocably intertwined. Tariq. Anupreet. Margaret. As different as their Muslim, Sikh, and British names. But in one moment, their futures become entirely dependent on one another's.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers – "Monster" is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the "all clear" to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. The narrative alternates between his screenplay and his journal writings that provide insight into Steve's life before the murder and his feelings about being on trial.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George – Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been unusual. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Based on the Scandinavian version of Cupid and Psyche, or Beauty and the Beast, this is a thrilling tale.

Sophomore List:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – On October 11, 1943 A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows –
In January 1946, London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton, looking for her next book subject, finds it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book. As Juliet and her new friend exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of the “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”— a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—which boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters.
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (both parts 1 & 2) by Art Spiegelman – The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father, all told in comic book form: the Nazis are cats and the Jews are mice. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century's grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek, but of the children who survive even the survivors.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn(The Signet version is the recommended translation.) One day in the life of a fictional political prisoner in a post-WWII Soviet Gulag in Siberia, this is a semi-autobiographical tale that is not only a grim testimonial to life in the Soviet Gulags or a witness to infringed liberties, but also a testimony to the indomitableness of human nature. This story is a searching look at human nature. The biting wind, jagged wire, frigid climate, watery soup, and the warmth provided by an extra pair of mittens or an hour of hard physical labor all find matches in the colorful crowd of characters that parades through this narrative - from the prison guards to the prisoners themselves to the prison director to the turncoat prisoners. (Contains instances of strong language.)

Junior List:**
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger – This story of Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles, begins in the winter of his 11th year when two schoolyard bullies break into the Lands' house, and Reuben's big brother, Davy, guns them down and is forced to go “on the lam.” Shortly after Davy's escape, Reuben, along with Swede, his younger sister and an aspiring writer of Romantic Western tales, and their father, a widowed school custodian, hit the road too, swerving this way and that across Minnesota and North Dakota, determined to find the lost outlaw, Davy.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – A true crime story of H.H. Holmes, who dispatched somewhere between 27 and 200 people in the churning new metropolis of Chicago; many of the murders occurring during the city's finest moment, the World's Fair of 1893. Larson's breathtaking history is a novelistic yet wholly factual account of the fair and the mass murderer who lurked within it. The author strikes a fine balance between the planning and execution of the vast fair and Holmes's relentless, ghastly activities.
Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos – In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners are eventually apprehended. For his part, Gantos is sentenced to serve up to six years in prison. Gantos – once he is locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell – moves from wanting to be a writer to writing, which helps him endure and ultimately overcome the worst experience of his life.
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart – A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart—he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone—but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of several individuals impacted when a pandemic wipes out nearly ninety-nine percent of Earth’s population. Moving between the days leading up to the event and the twenty years that follow, it begins with one snowy night when Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT in the audience, leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, but Arthur is dead. As Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors.
**ONLY JUNIOR students who possess an IEP may select from the following:
Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonSince the beginning of the school year, Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud. What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute: something else occurred at last summer’s party and she can’t seem to tell anyone the truth. (Contains subtle references to rape.)
Slam! by Walter Dean MyersHarlem is the backdrop for Myer’s tales about “Slam” Harris, a seventeen-year-old boy whose dreams of playing basketball in the NBA overshadow everything else in his life. Although Slam has grandiose dreams of making millions, Slam is on his way to flunking out of high school. It is Slam’s attitude that changes as he reconciles a harsh reality with his dreams.

 A.P. English Language List (A.P. English Language students – juniors – must read one from this list):
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Mark Aronson & Maria Budhos – When this award-winning husband-and-wife team discovered that they each had sugar in their family history, they were inspired to trace the globe-spanning story of the sweet substance and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives. The trail ran like a bright band from religious ceremonies in India to Europe’s Middle Ages, then on to Columbus, who brought the first cane cuttings to the Americas. Sugar was the substance that drove the bloody slave trade and caused the loss of countless lives but it also planted the seeds of revolution that led to freedom in the American colonies, Haiti, and France. With songs, oral histories, maps, and over 80 archival illustrations, here is the story of how one product allows us to see the grand currents of world history in new ways.
Unbroken by Laura HillenbrandIn boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channels his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II begins, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, he answers desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian JungerMeteorologists called the storm that hit North America's eastern seaboard in October 1991 a "perfect storm" because of the rare combination of factors that created it. In The Perfect Storm, Junger conjures for the reader the meteorological conditions that created the "storm of the century" and the impact the storm had on many of the people caught in it. Chief among these are the six crew members of the swordfish boat, The Andrea Gail, all of whom were lost 500 miles from home beneath roiling seas and high waves. Working from published material, radio dialogues, eyewitness accounts, and the experiences of people who have survived similar events, Junger attempts to re-create the last moments of The Andrea Gail as well as the perilous high-seas rescues of other victims of the storm.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik LarsonIn 1933 Berlin, William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

Senior List:
The Bean Trees by Barbara KingsolverMarietta Greer hits the road in her 1955 junker Volkswagen, determined to remake her life, and begins by renaming herself after the first place she buys gas: coasting “into Taylorsville on fumes.” Now “Taylor” Greer, she discovers that car trouble can change more than just her name: when her rocker arm breaks in Oklahoma, she is "given" a baby; when she has two flat tires in Tucson, she limps into “Jesus Is Lord Used Tires,” where she begins to learn that her troubles are minor compared to many other peoples.
**Do not choose this book if you are taking Compelling Non-Fiction**Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant—in the blink of an eye—that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger In this classic coming-of-age novel, Holden Caulfield narrates the story of a couple of days in his 16-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to “phonies” (the two, of course, are not mutually exclusive), capture the essence of the universal teenage experience of alienation. (This book contains strong language.)
The Chosen by Chaim PotokIn 1940s Brooklyn, New York, an accident during a baseball game throws rivals Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a Modern Orthodox Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep, if unlikely, friendship. Together they negotiate adolescence, family conflicts, the crisis of faith engendered when Holocaust stories begin to emerge in the U.S., loss, love, and the journey to adulthood.
The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston – In this nonfiction work, Richard Preston ventures into the heart of Usamriid, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, once the headquarters of the U.S. biological weapons program and now the epicenter of national biodefense. Usamriid went into a state of Delta Alert on September 11, 2001, and activated its emergency response teams when the first anthrax letters were opened in New York and Washington, D.C. The author, Preston, reports, in unprecedented detail, on the government’s response to the attacks and takes us into the ongoing FBI investigation, based on interviews with top-level FBI agents and doctors.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouSent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learns a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These lessons carry her throughout the hardships she endures later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California – where an unwanted pregnancy changes her life forever. (This book deals with rape and teenage pregnancy.)

A.P. English Literature List (A.P. English Literature students must read one from this list):
My Antonia by Willa Cather – Set in Nebraska in the late 19th century, this tale of the spirited daughter of a Bohemian immigrant family planning to farm on the untamed land is told through the eyes of Antonia’s childhood friend, Jim Burden. Jim has been newly orphaned at the beginning of the novel and arrives at his grandparents' neighboring farm on the same night Antonia’s family arrives in this new country. Ántonia represents immigrant struggles with a foreign land and tongue, the restraints on women of the time, and the great courage and determination that marked the earliest settlers on the frontier. Cather opens the novel with Virgil’s phrase "Optima dies ... prima fugit, meaning "The best days are the first to flee.” This could be said equally of childhood and the earliest hours of this country.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – Catch-22 satirizes war in a way at once both outrageously funny and strangely affecting. Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy, its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever even if he has to die in the attempt.) His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly. The unusual cast of characters ranges from Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder, a dedicated entrepreneur (he bombs his own airfield when the Germans make him a reasonable offer: cost plus 6%), to the dead man in Yossarian's tent; from Major Major Major, whose tragedy is that he resembles Henry Fonda, to Nately, in love with a prostitute; from Clevinger, who is lost in the clouds, to the wounded gunner Snowden, who lies dying in the tail of Yossarian's plane.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, when one of the boys hits a foul ball that kills his best friend’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen, after that 1953 foul ball, is extraordinary and terrifying, and haunts his friend, John, into his adulthood. Mixing flashbacks of their growing up years through the ‘50s and ‘60s with his present year of 1987, John narrates this coming of age story which involves comedy and tragedy, friendship and faith.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy – John Grady Cole, finds himself in love at age 16 with a dying lifestyle as he is soon to be cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself: that of a long line of Texas ranchers. To escape a society moving in all the wrong directions, Cole and two companions decide to seek their future in Mexico, a land at once beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized, still a “last frontier.” But what begins as an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, leads, in fact, to a place where dreams are paid for in blood. Within months, one of the boys is dead, and the other two aged beyond their years.
Beloved by Toni Morrison – In the troubled years following the Civil War, the spirit of a murdered child haunts the Ohio home of a former slave. This angry, destructive ghost breaks mirrors, leaves its fingerprints in cake icing, and generally makes life difficult for Sethe and her family. Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this haunting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath traces the life of a young woman, Sethe. The narrative juxtaposes scenes from Sethe's former life as a slave on Sweet Home Farm, her escape with her children, and the tragic events that ensue, with her struggles to deal with the consequent present.

English 1010 Summer Reading Assignment and Book List:
Instructions: The assigned summer reading will help you to prepare for success by introducing and reinforcing many analytical, note-taking, and collaborative skills you will rely upon during the course.  

Step I: The first thing you need to do is to choose one novel from the list below.
Step II: Join our Google Classroom to see expectations, writing samples, and the reading assignment by following these steps:

1.     Sign in to Classroom at classroom.google.com
2.     On the Home page, click +

3.     Enter the following code in the box, 9hol33, and click Join
Step III: Once you have made your selection, email the following to Mrs. Larson at Karen.Larson@canyonsdistrict.org
·       If you were to write an autobiography, what would you title it?  (Explain)

·       Which book have you selected to read? (List)
·       Take a selfie of you reading the book somewhere unique or interesting and attach the photo. (Attach)
Be sure to put your full name and class period in the subject line and be sure that you have your teacher’s email address correct.  This email will need to be sent on or before June 20th.  
I’m a Stranger Here Myselfby Bill Bryson – After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children. They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, 24-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item. Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but is also an extended, if at times bemused, love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.
Reading Lolita in Tehranby Azar Nafisi – Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azar Nafisi, a bold and inspired teacher, secretly gathers seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. Some come from conservative and religious families, others are progressive and secular; some have spent time in jail. They are shy and uncomfortable at first, but soon they remove their veils and begin to speak more freely–their stories intertwining with the novels they are reading by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. As Islamic morality squads stage arbitrary raids in Tehran, as fundamentalists seized hold of the universities and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the women in Nafisi’s living room speak not only of the books they are reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments.
Lab Girlby Hope Jahron – Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Summer Reading Assignment 2016

Westmoor High School





  • Jennifer Lawrence, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-stars?”

The actress opens up about Hollywood's wage gap.


OCT 14, 2015

When Lena first brought up the idea of Lenny to me, I was excited. Excited to speak to Lena, who I think is a genius, and excited to start thinking about what to complain about (that's not what she pitched me, it's just what I'm gonna do). When it comes to the subject of feminism, I've remained ever-so-slightly quiet. I don't like joining conversations that feel like they're "trending." I'm even the asshole who didn't do anything about the ice-bucket challenge — which was saving lives — because it started to feel more like a "trend" than a cause. I should have written a check, but I forgot, okay? I'm not perfect. But with a lot of talk comes change, so I want to be honest and open and, fingers crossed, not piss anyone off.

It's hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren't exactly relatable. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with [a penis], I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need. (I told you it wasn't relatable, don't hate me).

But if I'm honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn't say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn't want to seem "difficult" or "spoiled." At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being "difficult" or "spoiled." This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I'm sure it's both. But this is an element of my personality that I've been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don't think I'm the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We've only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I'm seriously asking — my phone is on the counter and I'm on the couch, so a calculator is obviously out of the question. Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn't "offend" or "scare" men?

A few weeks ago at work, I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, "Whoa! We're all on the same team here!" As if I was yelling at him. I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.

I'm over trying to find the "adorable" way to state my opinion and still be likable! [Forget] that. I don't think I've ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It's just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I'm sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share. Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn't completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a "spoiled brat." For some reason, I just can't picture someone saying that about a man.

Jennifer Lawrence is an Academy Award–winning actress.




  • After viewing and/or reading from the lists above, choose one of the following writing assignments, and based on the sources provided (consider the above information from the “sources” for your news article or personal narrative)...

1.  Write a news “article” (500 word minimum) about gender inequality from the

viewpoint of a gender that you do not identify with

  • For the purposes of this assignment, your news article will be fictional -- you may want to present it as an interview, for example -- but it should follow an expository format.  Watch this YouTube video for tips on writing a news article:  https://youtu.be/P9wjZBin0lM


2.  Write a “personal” narrative (500 word minimum) where you discuss your

experiences with gender inequality from the viewpoint of a gender that you do not

identify with

  • As you know, a personal narrative is written about an actual event in a person’s life.  For the purposes of this assignment, of course, your “personal” narrative will be fictional.  Watch this YouTube video for tips on writing personal narrative:  https://youtu.be/XTVWUKBjp1o


  • This is a graded assignment and is DUE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

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