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We teach six books each session at three levels of difficulty to accommodate various ages and abilities:

Level I

Our Level I books are typically taught in Grades 7-9 and utilize relatively simple vocabulary and straightforward syntax.  The underlying themes can be nuanced, however, and students will need to learn how to read closely and think deeply to uncover the work's hidden meaning.  These books offer a solid foundation for those students who are still developing the basic skills and knowledge necessary for more advanced literary analysis.

Level II

Level II books are generally taught in Grades 10-11 and contain more advanced vocabulary, challenging syntax, and complex themes.  Students will need to learn how to read between the lines to understand the writer's true intent.  The most widely read classics in American and World Literature fall in this category, and most colleges will expect incoming students to have read these books at some point in their high school careers.

Level III

Level III books are the most challenging that students will read at the high school level.  They are usually reserved for AP classes in Grade 12 and represent the type of books that students will read at the college level.  These books are subtle and complex, often employing difficult syntax that requires careful reading to decipher the underlying themes.  When students are comfortable with Level III books, they know that they are ready for college.

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Derek Bunting
CEO/Founder
Lead Instructor

B.A. English

Dartmouth College


M.A. Education

Stanford University

Course Description

Our four-week intensive courses focus on the fundamentals of literary analysis so students better understand the writer's craft while acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary for success at the college level.  Students will learn how to analyze a complex text through the "four pillars" of literary analysis—diction, imagery, language, and syntax—and how authors use various literary techniques—such as point of view, characterization, setting, and irony—to establish tone and convey theme. 
 
In addition to analyzing and discussing literature, students will also have an opportunity to write three argumentative essays modeled after those found on the AP Literature and Composition Exam: a poetry analysis, a passage analysis, and a literary argument.  To receive guidance during the writing process, students can schedule 15-minute pre-writing and post-writing conferences to receive help organizing their thoughts, finding evidence to support their claims, and receiving constructive feedback on their finished drafts. 

We limit our classes to a maximum of twelve students to ensure all students will have ample opportunity to schedule individual writing conferences and to share their ideas during class discussions.  Each course homepage provides a detailed Daily Agenda with descriptions of every class activity with links to assignments and supplemental material so students will be able to extend their learning independently beyond our scheduled class time.

Session One

June 18 - July 11

Morning Courses

Level I

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

June 18 - July 11

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Lord of the Flies.tif

Publisher's Note:

 

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954 for its startling, brutal portrait of a group of ordinary English boys marooned on a coral island.  Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys begin to forge their own society, exposing the duality of human nature—the dark, eternal divide between order and chaos, intellect and instinct, structure and savagery.

Level II

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

June 18 - July 11

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

The Joy Luck Club II.tif

Publisher's Note:

 

After World War II, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mah jong, and talk.  United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.  With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan’s debut novel—published in 1989 and now widely regarded as a modern classic—examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters.

Level III

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

June 18 - July 11

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

12:00 p.m. - 12:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Brave New World.jpg

Publisher's Note:

 

Aldous Huxley's profoundly important classic of world literature is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order—all at the cost of our freedom, our full humanity, and perhaps our souls.  Huxley’s masterpiece is as relevant today as it was in 1932 when it was published amid the rise of European fascism.

Afternoon Courses

Level I

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

June 18 - July 11

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

The House on Mango Street_edited_edited.jpg

Publisher's Note:

 

The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.  Told in a series of vignettes—sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous—Sandra Cisneros' masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery.  Acclaimed by critics and beloved by readers of all ages, Cisneros’ novel has been taught in schools and universities around the world since its publication in 1984.

Level II

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

June 18 - July 11

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Macbeth.tif

Publisher's Note:

 

No dramatist has ever seen with more frightening clarity into the heart and mind of a murderer than has William Shakespeare in the compelling tragedy of Macbeth.  Fast-moving and bloody, this drama—written in 1606—has an extraordinary energy that derives from brilliant plot devices, replete with treachery and murder, and from Shakespeare’s compelling portrait of the ultimate battle between a person’s ambition and the consequences of guilt and remorse.

Level III

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

June 18 - July 11

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

6:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Beloved.jpg

Publisher's Note:

 

Written in 1987, Toni Morrison’s spellbinding novel won the Pulitzer Prize for its unflinching look into the abyss of slavery.  Sethe escaped to Ohio after being born a slave, but eighteen years later she is still not free.  Sethe has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm in Kentucky where so many hideous things happened.  And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby girl, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. 

Session Two

July 23 - August 15

Morning Courses

Level I

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

July 23 - August 15

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

When the Emperor Was Divine.tiff

Publisher's Note:

 

On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window and learns that her family—along with thousands of other Japanese Americans—have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty incarceration camp in the Utah desert.  In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, written in 2003, Julie Otsuka tells this family’s story from five flawlessly realized points of view.

Level II

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

July 23 - August 15

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

The Great Gatsby.jpg

Publisher's Note:

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, one of the undisputed classics of American literature, was published in 1925 and brings to life the Jazz Age of the Roaring ‘20s.  Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and veteran of the Great War, moves to West Egg, Long Island, eager to leave behind his native Middle West, and rents a small house next to the fabulously wealthy and enigmatic Jay Gatsby, a man who comes to represent both the promise and the corruption of the American Dream.

Level III

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

July 23 - August 15

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

12:00 p.m. - 12:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Frankenstein.jpg

Publisher's Note:

 

Obsessed with creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity.  But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.  Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale, originally published in 1818 and then revised in 1831, remains a devastating exploration of the limits of scientific knowledge and human creativity.

Afternoon Courses

Level I

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

July 23 - August 15

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Of Mice and Men.tif

Publisher's Note:

 

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in John Steinbeck's work, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men in 1937, creating an intimate portrait of two migrant laborers, George and Lenny, who confront a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.  But though the scope of the novel is narrow, the theme is universal: a loyal friendship and shared dream that make an individual's existence meaningful.

Level II

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

July 23 - August 15

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

Their Eyes Were Watching God.jpg

Publisher's Note:

 

A classic of American literature, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937, tells the story of Janie Crawford’s evolving selfhood as a fair-skinned, long-haired, dreamy child who grows up trying to enjoy her life without being one man’s mule or another man’s adornment.  Even though the story does not end happily, it draws to a satisfying conclusion as Janie becomes a woman who refuses to live lost in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams.

Level III

Duration:

Four Weeks

Dates:

July 23 - August 15

Days:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Time:

6:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m. MT

Tuition:

$225

The Kite Runner.tif

Publisher's Note:

 

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of the country's history.  A powerful story of friendship, it is also about the price of betrayal and the possibility of redemption.  Since its publication in 2003, The Kite Runner has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic of contemporary literature.

Scholarships

Literary Focus is committed to having classes that are as diverse as possible.  We want every student who has a desire to attend one of our academic enrichment classes to have that opportunityregardless of that student's financial situation.  If you qualify for the USDA free and reduced lunch program or have other financial concerns, please complete an application with your parent or guardian to receive one of our tuition-free scholarships.
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Is there a book you'd like us to offer in the future?
Please let us know! 

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