My 11th grade British literature classes read three books as part of a summer reading assignment: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.
The way we typically assess summer reading is to have students complete a test, writing assignment, or project on two of the books without any discussion of the novel. We discuss the third as the first unit of the year. I actually like Dorian Gray the best of the three, but I think Brave New World has meatier discussion material, so I am starting the school year with that text. I have already begun discussions with one class, and so far, I am really intrigued. The way I figure it, I have one of the best jobs in the world because I get paid to discuss literature with smart kids.
I hate to recycle, but we just started back to school, and until I get my rhythm, posting will be light. However, some of you might be interested in checking out the unit plan I wrote for Brave New World, including the final assessment. I had fun with this assignment last year, and I had some students who produced some impressive work.