Sabrina Vircillo-Franke

IB Literature at City Honors School

Summer Reading List

City Honors School Summer Reading 2019 - Entering Grade 12

Required Text

Native Son by Richard Wright
ISBN-10: 9780061148507 or ISBN-13: 978-0061148507

The novel Native Son, by Richard Wright, is the first of two works used for the discussion portion of the IB Part 2 Oral Assessment, the Individual Oral Commentary (IOC), so please read carefully and annotate with this in mind.

ASSIGNMENT: Motif study

Definition of a motif:

In a literary work, a motif can be seen as an image, sound, action, or other figure that has a symbolic significance, and contributes toward the development of a theme.”

See more at


Choose ONE of the following motifs to trace throughout Native Son:

Red | Snow | Eyesight | Sleep | Light/Dark | Violence | Heat/Cold

  • Each time the motif appears, note it in your novel (highlight or use a sticky note).
  • At the end of your exploration of this work, answer the following prompt: How does the motif highlight a particular literary aspect (theme, characterization, etc.)?
    • Your response should be one typed page—double spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins—and will be due the first week of school.
    • Be sure to embed specific textual references from your list.
    • Use MLA-style citations.
    • Your response should follow the standard essay format – introduction, body, conclusion.
    • Be sure to proofread your response carefully.
  • Keep in mind there will be additional assessments attached to this work, so take notes in a journal-type notebook.
  • Have a good summer!

How we will make use of the reading when we return to school:

  • We will work with Native Son in great detail in September as part of our preparation for the IOC (Individual Oral Commentary).
  • The IOC—worth 15% of the two-year IB Language A: Literature grade—is administered at the end of the first semester.

Why we expect you to complete this reading:

Our IB Language A: Literature classes aid students in the development of their ability to engage in close, detailed analysis of literary works, as well as build understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism.

What you should do before you read these texts:

Take some time to acquaint yourself with salient (relevant) information regarding the author and the contextual aspects of the work.

Additional things you need to succeed in English Language Arts for the upcoming school year:

A list of the remaining required texts for the school year will be sent home by the end of September.

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