This freshman honors English course invites students to explore a variety of diverse and complex texts organized into thematic units. Students will engage in literary analysis and inferential evaluation of great texts, both classic and contemporary. While critically reading fiction, poetry, drama, and literary nonfiction, honors students will master comprehension, use evidence to conduct in-depth literary analysis, and examine and critique how authors develop ideas in a variety of genres. Interwoven throughout the lessons are activities that encourage students to strengthen their oral language skills, research and critically analyze sources of information, and produce clear, coherent writing. In addition to activities offered to students in core courses, honors students are given additional opportunities to create and to participate in project-based learning activities, including writing a Shakespearian sonnet and creating an original interpretation of a Shakespearian play. Honors students will read a range of classic texts, including Homer’s The Odyssey, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” and Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” Students will also read Sue Macy’s full length nonfiction work Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way), and will study a variety of short but complex texts, including influential speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. Contemporary texts by Richard Preston, Julia Alvarez, and Maya Angelou round out the course.