Students planning to take Spanish AP in the fall need to read Ciudad de las Bestias by Isabel Allende. Durham Public Library has many copies of the book and it is available for purchase at most book stores.
Students will keep a journal of their reading in a spiral notebook or a composition book -- loose-leaf notebook paper is not acceptable. [The notebook may be the one which is used throughout the following year.] The journal should contain a short summary of each chapter, written in Spanish, that will help serve as an overall review, and a list of new vocabulary items and their definitions. Whenever possible, students are encouraged to determine meaning through context before consulting a dictionary.
The journals will be collected for a test-weight grade on the first day of class. The book serves as one of the themes for the first unit of the year so before the unit test, which will include substantial content based on the novel, students will be given an opportunity to ask questions about any section of the book that might have been confusing.
It is recommended that students spread the reading out over the summer rather than trying to cram it all into a week before classes begin. The principal idea behind the reading is keeping Spanish skills
alive over the summer and improving reading speed and comprehension through practice. Students often discover that their writing skills improve substantially as they write the summaries.