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High School Summer Reading List

The best way to build vocabulary skills and become a good writer is to be an avid reader. To encourage intellectual pursuits during the summer, high school students are required to read 2-3 books during their vacation. They are required to discuss and write an essay about their summer reading on the first day of English class.

Incoming Freshmen (Entering 9th Grade)

Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.

  • Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  • Growing Up by Russell Baker
  • The Human Comedy by William Saroyan
  • I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • The #1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Profiles in Courage by John Kennedy
  • Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Incoming Sophomores (Entering 10th Grade)

Read Lord of the Flies by William Golding, one selection from the following list and one individual selection.

  • At Risk by Alice Hoffman
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allenhoe
  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
  • Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  • Ironweed by William Kennedy
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathebane
  • The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Incoming Juniors (Entering 11th Grade)

Incoming juniors will read three books over the summer. All juniors must read In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall, one book from the junior section of this reading list (see below) and one book of your choice. On the first day of class, all juniors should be prepared to be tested on their summer reading.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • Grendel by John Gardner
  • The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
  • Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Night by Elie Weisel
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Tracks by Louise Erdrich
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

Incoming Seniors (Entering 12th Grade)

Seniors have two options. Option A is to read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and one selection from the following list. Option B is to read Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy and two books from the following list.

  • The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin
  • The Color of Water by James McBride
  • Roots by Alex Haley
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez,
  • And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcom X
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  • A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Cider House Rules by John Irving
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • A Doll’s House & Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Steppenwolf: A Novel by Hermann Hesse
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
  • Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
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