South High English -- South High Clock Tower

Contemporary Literature

Fall Semester 2003

Ms. Rinaldi
Room 204
(303)698-6100 ext. 21411

Dear Parents and Guardians:

  As we embark on the fall semester and the work for this elective literature course, it is important that I outline the basis for the literature selections.  For the purposes of the course, I am considering literature written in the last 50 years to be “contemporary.”  I have assigned the first novel, and then will allow the students to vote (from a list I provide) for the next 4 or 5 books that we study.   Because of this selection process, the students will be required to purchase their own books.  With this in mind, the selections offered are paperbacks and will cost less than $10 each.  I will order the books through the school library at a considerable discount, and in each case, I will give the students 2 weeks to pay for the books before their reading assignments begin.  I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

  My criteria for book selection are based on literary quality and readability, along with the book’s overall impact when it was published.  While I am certainly keeping an eye on the appropriateness of the content for high school students, these are “mainstream” books, and may or may not contain aspects of sex and violence that you would not normally find in high school-based literature assignments.  I take the responsibility of selecting the literature very seriously, and can assure you that the more controversial aspects of the novels will be handled tastefully and appropriately.  At any time, (as with any course) you have “veto” rights.  If you do not want your child to read a certain novel, please notify me and I will assign your child an alternate selection that meets with your approval.  I want the students to experience the power and beauty of literature, and my ultimate goal with this course is to introduce the students to dynamic and fascinating literature that will “hook” them and make them avid readers for the rest of their lives.  This is an ambitious goal, I know, and I may not succeed with each and every student, but I am committed to the effort.  With this in mind, I am asking for your signature at the bottom of this sheet.  Your signature indicates that you are aware that the novels chosen may not be traditional Denver Public Schools literature choices.  Again, you may choose, at any time, to have your child read an alternate literature selection.  I also encourage you to call me at (303)698-6100, ext. 21411 or e-mail me at to discuss the books covered in this course.


Jennifer Rinaldi
English Department, South H.S.


I understand that my child________________________will be assigned novels in Contemporary Literature that are not limited to the approved DPS selections for high school literature.  I also understand that I retain the right to have alternate reading selections chosen for my child.


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signature of parent/guardian                                             date


Jennifer Rinaldi's Syllabus Page

South English Faculty

South Reading and Writing Center

South High Gargoyle -- Click Here for the History of South High