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AP Literature and Composition

Summer Reading for AP Literature and Composition Students

Summer Reading:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Available through booksellers and libraries everywhere. If possible, get the 1831 edition, but if you end up with the 1818 edition, that’s okay. (I’ll be using the Dover Thrift Edition.) 


  • Please read this book by the first day of school.
  • Annotations or notes are strongly recommended and will be helpful for assignments and assessments once school begins.
  • You should be prepared to discuss and write about the book when class starts. 
  • We will be doing some assignments and assessments based on this book. Specifically:
    • A short assessment within the first few days of school. You should be able to show you understand plot, conflicts, character development, and themes. 
      • Please do not try to rely on internet analyses of the book. Those are not as smart as you are, and they are a waste of your time. They will only give you simplistic answers and impede your own thinking.
    • Passage analysis of literary devices, whole-novel thematic analysis, and connections with our second novel of the year.

Why are we doing this book for summer reading?

AP Lit. is a class that moves quickly and for which you can earn college credit if you do well on the AP exam, so it’s important to get as much literature as we can into the course. We’ll need to start off with our work right away, and coming in with this book already read will allow us to do that. Yes, the book was first published in 1818, but TRUST ME that it is FANTASTIC! Do not let the old-timey language scare you away. You will love it! (Even if you don’t love it right away, you will after we talk about it!) This novel is one that many other more contemporary novels allude to, so it’s a good foundation to have. It can also be used, depending on the actual prompt, as a text for the third free response question on the AP exam.  

Other Texts for AP Lit and Comp:

  • No need to worry about any of this until the fall, but in case you are curious:
  • We’ll use the textbook Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense. 11th ed. checked out from IHS.
  • Other texts, usually 6-7 per year, will be provided using your class fee. Because your class fee pays for the book, you will be able to annotate and keep them. 

I hope you enjoy Frankenstein and that you have a fantastic summer. I’m looking forward to seeing you all in the fall!

Ms. Cerasoli

Room 2302