Grade 10  Summer Reading for Honors Students


    You are required to read:


    The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath  by John Steinbeck


    This book is  the non-fiction precursor to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel,  The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, which we will begin reading in September.


    The Harvest Gypsies  is a short book with only 7 chapters. It was originally published in 1936 as a series of newspaper articles that Steinbeck hoped would draw attention to the plight  of the migrant workers who had come to California from the Dust Bowl states in the 1930s.  When those news articles did not have the impact Steinbeck had hoped they would, he began writing a work of fiction, The Grapes of Wrath, in 1938 and published it in January 1939.


    If you don’t know about the Dust Bowl, it was an ecological disaster that happened in the Great Plains Region of America in the 1930s. It sent hundreds of thousands of dispossessed people from the Great Plains to the west coast looking  for work. Once arriving in California, many of those people became migrant workers.


    The non-fiction newspaper  articles Steinbeck had written in 1936  about those migrant workers were then later compiled into a pamphlet in 1938 by a non-profit organization, and then as chapters in the form of a book. This book was published in  1988 and called The Harvest Gypsies.


    You will read that book, The Harvest Gypsies,  this summer, so you can come to school in September with a foundational understanding of the struggles those dispossessed people faced in California. Their plight is also the plight of the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath.


    Below is the link you can use to read the book online.




    You can also borrow the ebook from your local library or you can purchase a hard copy from Amazon. If you do either of those things, you may skip the introduction because there are some Grapes of Wrath spoilers in the introduction.


    Happy Reading!  

    Mrs. Ferris/ English 10 Honors