Here dies another day
During which I have had
Eyes, ears, hands, and the great world round me;
And tomorrow brings another.
Why am I allowed two?
— "At Evening" by G. K. Chesterton

The English courses teach three major strands of English composition and literature—writing using the logic of grammar; speech using memorization selections; and the various literary genres, building students’ vocabulary and imagination. Grammar as the logic of language is the focus for Grade 9, dialectic argument is the focus for Grade 10, and rhetoric is the focus for Grade 11 and 12.

Grade 9 English I – Classical Literature

Grade 10 English II – World Literature

Grade 11 Language & Composition – American Literature

Grade 12 Literature & Composition – British Literature

English Courses Book Lists

9th Genre / Classical Literature

Summer Reading

Swallows and Amazons, Ransome; Trumpeter of Krakow, Kelly

(H) Medea, Euripides


Classical Rhetoric through Structure and Style, Institute for Excellence in Writing

Literature/Vocab Wordly Wise 3000: Book 9; English from the Roots Up Vol I

  1. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles

  2. Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare

  3. The Place Within, St. John Paul II, selections

  4. The Odyssey, Homer

  5. Thomas More’s letter to his daughter Meg

  6. “The Romantic in the Rain”, Chesterton

  7. The Chosen, Potok

Public Speaking

Selections from The Harp and Laurel Wreath, Berquist

“St. Crispin’s Day”, Henry V, Shakespeare

“Give me liberty or give me death”, Henry

10th Excellence / World Lit

Summer Reading

The Long Walk, Rawicz; Song for Nagasaki, Nagai and Glynn; Left to Tell, Ilibagiza

(H) Tale of Two Cities, Dickens

(AP) Things Fall Apart, Achebe


The Elegant Essay, Institute for Excellence in Writing

Literature/Vocab Wordly Wise 3000: Book 10; English from the Roots Up Vol II

  1. Song of Roland

  2. St. Francis or St. Thomas Aquinas, Chesterton

  3. Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso, selections, Dante; trans Esolen / Sayers

  4. Hamlet; (H) Twelfth Night, Shakespeare

  5. Faust selections, Goethe

  6. The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy

  7. Cyrano de Bergerac, Rostand

  8. (H) Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton

11th American Literature / AP Language & Compoistion

Summer Reading:

The Story of My Life, Keller; The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway; Lilies of the Field, Barrett

(AP) Narrative of Frederick Douglass


Windows to the World: An Introduction to Literary Analysis, Institute for Excellence in Writing

Rhetoric, Aristotle

JPII Philologist—Confronting the Language Empowering the Culture of Death

(AP) The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay, Crider


Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student, AMSCO

  1. Macbeth, Shakespeare

  2. (AP) Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare

  3. Joan of Arc, Mark Twain

  4. The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne

  5. Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather

  6. Red Badge of Courage, Crane

  7. Mr. Blue, Myles Connelly

  8. The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald

  9. Twelve Angry Men, Rose

AP English Language Book, Barron’s 7th Edition

12th British Literature / AP Literature & Composition

Summer Reading:

The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien; The Shield Ring, Sutcliff; The Dark Frigate, Hawes

(H) Jane Eyre, Bronte

(AP) The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde


Elements of Style, Strunk and White

Poetics, Aristotle


Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student, AMSCO

  1. Beowulf

  2. Canterbury Tales, Chaucer

  3. Othello, (AP) King Lear, Shakespeare

  4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. Tolkien

  5. L’Morte d’Arthur, Malory

  6. Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Eliot

  7. (AP) Paradise Lost, Milton, selections

  8. Edmund Campion, Evelyn Waugh

  9. A Man for All Seasons, Bolt

  10. Pride and Prejudice, Austen

AP English Literature and Composition, Princeton Review