Summer Reading & Learning

We believe that summer reading should be self-directed learning that is connected to our curriculum and leads to new ideas and ways of thinking. Most importantly, it should have a choice. The list below is a collection of books available in a variety of formats, and podcasts and films to inspire, provoke, and sustain your thinking till we meet you again in the fall.  

For your grade level, read one required book and then choose any combination of two other choices. And, yes, you can read more than one book. 

(If you haven’t read the blog post by Katie Stack, click here.)


Grade Level Selections

Ninth Grade - Immersion

Select One
The Translator, Daoud Hari
Prisoners of Geography, 10 Maps That Explain Everything About the World, Tim Marshall

Select Two
This American Life: Abdi and the Golden Ticket (podcast)
Dirtbag Diaries: The Original Outdoor (podcast)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (film)
He Named Me Malala (documentary)

Expectation for class
Throughout the summer please think about these two pairs of questions and how they relate the materials you explored above:

  1. Who am I in the world? and What do I think about the thoughts and ideas of other people in the world?”
  2. What are the physical features of where I live and how do they shape my actions?
Tenth Grade - Expression

Select One
The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel, Gareth Hinds
The Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordian

Select Two
Radiolab: The Cataclysm Sentence (podcast)
BBC: In Our Time (podcast)
App: The Human Story (documentary)
Human Nature (documentary)

Expectation for class
Throughout the summer please think about these two questions and how they relate the materials you explored above:

  1. What is the relationship between action, responsibility, and forgiveness?
  2. How does human nature influence the ways that culture influences the ways that humans interact, communicate, and resolve conflicts?
Eleventh Grade - Awareness

Select One
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning, Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Nickle Boys,  Colson Whitehead

Select Two
Radiolab: More Perfect (podcast)
1619, from The New York Times (podcast)
Equal Means Equal (documentary)
Columbus in America (documentary)

Expectation for class
Throughout the summer please think about these two questions and how they relate the materials you explored above:

  1. What does it mean to be an American and how has that definition changed over time?
  2. How has the idea of freedom evolved throughout US History? 

AP US History
Mayflower, Nathaniel Philbrick

Expectation for class :
Please annotate and be prepared to discuss the book during the first weeks of the term. 

AP  Language
Originals: How Non­Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant

Expectation for class
As you read, please focus on the process of developing ideas and how each idea originates and develops.

Twelfth Grade - Independence

Select One
Walking to Listen, 4,000 Miles Across America One Story at a Time, Andrew Forsthoefel
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
Impossible Owls: Essays, Brian Philips

Select Two
Go Beyond the Fence (documentary)
Man on Wire (documentary)
Radiolab: The Gondolier (podcast)
Dirtbag Diaries: The Original Outdoor (podcast)

Expectation for class
Throughout the summer please think about these two questions and how they relate the materials you explored above:

  1. How does the evolution of humanity relate or help you to consider the ways you have evolved personally, and how you want to continue evolving?
  2. How can we explore the unknown pockets and passions of ourselves while continuing to work toward being a positive member of our global community? 

AP  Government
The Future History of the Arctic, Charles Emmerson

Expectation for class
As you read, please focus on how the transformation of the Arctic is creating a new arena for global power and competition. Be ready to discuss and write about how the transformation of the Arctic is impacting geopolitics and governance on the first day of class

AP Literature
The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
There There, Tommy Orange

Expectation for class
Please read all three novels and come to the first day of class ready to discuss and write about them.

Dig a Little Deeper
These titles are optional suggestions connected to elective courses. 

Social Class
Mostly Dead Things, Kristen Arnett
Black Faces, White Spaces, Carolyn Finnley

Critical Readings on Genocide
Night, Dawn, and Day by Elie Wiesel
Hotel Rwanda (movie)

Eastern Philosophy
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglass Carlton Abrams

Culture and Identity
All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy

Wilderness Writing and Philosophy
Sometimes a Great Notion, Ken Kesey
The Overstory, Richard Powers

Literature of Adventure and Exploration
TED Talk, Why Bother Leaving the House?, Ben Saunders
The Worst Journey in the World, Apsely Cherry-Garrard

Presenting Technology and Society
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Throughline: Fear the Technology (podcast)

Literature of Ethnicity and Power
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Baseball and Society
Only The Ball Was White, Robert Peterson

Gothic Literature
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

Imaginary Lands
Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman

Banned Books and Films
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury 

Journalism
On the Media: “No News is Bad News” (podcast)
Spotlight (film)