High School Summer Reading Program (Required)

Required Reading List 

Find the list for the English class you will be enrolled in for the next school year, and read one book that you have not read before from that list. More descriptions can be found on the “Recommended…” list or Amazon.com. Then, read another book of your choosing that meets the basic requirements.

You must submit this brief Summer Reading Report before school begins for EACH of the two books you read!

English 9

  • Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
  • Knowles, John – A Separate Peace
  • Marshall, Catherine – Christy
  • McBride, James – The Color of Water
  • Orczy, Baroness Emmuska – The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Potok, Chaim–The Chosen
  • Dickens, Charles – A Christmas Carol
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. – The Lord of the Rings (any one book from the trilogy)
  • Dickens, Charles – Great Expectations

English 10

  • Alighieri, Dante – The Inferno
  • Buck, Pearl S. – The Good Earth
  • Eliot, George – Silas Marner
  • Orczy, Baroness Emmuska – The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Paton, Alan – Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Sienkiewicz, Henryk – Quo Vadis
  • Ten Boom, Corrie – The Hiding Place
  • Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War* (or read any four of the books to count as one selection)

English 11

  • Buck, Pearl S. – The Good Earth
  • Cather, Willa – My Antonia
  • Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
  • Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms
  • Miller, Arthur – (Read both of these plays to count as one selection) All My Sons; Death of a Salesman.
  • Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath*
  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin

English 12

  • Orwell, George – 1984
  • Austen, Jane - Persuasion
  • Brontë, Charlotte – Jane Eyre
  • Bunyan, John – The Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Dickens, Charles – David Copperfield*
  • Thomas Hardy - The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth – North and South
  • Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
  • Shakespeare, William – Much Ado About Nothing

Students in other English classes (Fundamentals, AP, etc.) see your teacher for requirements and recommendations.

*counts as 2 selections


Summer Reading Program Information

Rationale: Our teachers and administrators realize that we all – including students – need and benefit from the rest and relaxation we get during the summer months. We also recognize the need to keep our minds active. Studies have repeatedly indicated that students who don’t read over the summer not only fail to progress in their language and academic skills, but they decline; students actually “lose ground” academically if they don’t read during their summer break. Standardized test scores are lower for such students in September than they were the previous spring. We desire that our students see reading as something that is done all year round, in any setting, not just for school. In short, we want our students to be “readers.”

Objectives: We are hoping the summer reading program will accomplish the following in our high school students:

  • Help students to keep their minds somewhat active throughout the summer months, so that the return to academics in the fall will not be as difficult an adjustment.
  • Continue and reinforce the enthusiasm for “pleasure reading” that has been encouraged by their teachers.
  • Prepare students for the curriculum/reading material they will encounter in their English classes in the fall.
  • Encourage students who struggle with reading and/or are reading below their grade level to improve their reading skills in a pleasant, non-threatening environment.
  • Guide students toward reading the kinds of books that are considered “classics” while also allowing them to choose books that are just fun for them to read.
  • Reward students who choose to read more than the required amount.

Guidelines and Procedures: Students must abide by the following procedures to get “credit” for the requirement:

  • Summer reading books must be read in English.
  • Students may read their books in hard copy or digital form but may not be an audiobook unless given prior teacher approval as a supplemental aid.
  • Summer reading books must be books that the student has not read before (in any language). [Exceptions may be made for ELL students; discuss this with your teacher.]

Every student who is entering grades 9 through 12 must read two books:

  1. One book must be from the “required” list for his/her grade level or class.
  2. The second book may be any book of the student’s choice, as long as it meets the first two criteria (above), is grade-level appropriate, and is at least 200 pages long.
  3. Students may, but are not required to, choose their second book from a list of “recommended” books that is provided in this packet. (Any book on this list will be an acceptable choice regardless of its length.)
  4. As an added incentive for students to read more than the 2-book minimum, for every additional book they read, they will have a chance to win small treats or prizes.
  5. All high school students who enroll at ICSB prior to July 1 will be required to read both books. Those who enroll on or after July 1 must read only the book from the “required” list for their class. 
  6. All book choices should be approved by parents/guardians.
  7. Students will not be required to write a book report on their books over the summer. However, there will be a large, graded, written assessment during the first week of school in the fall.

Obtaining Books:  Students may read books they have at home, buy or borrow books, go to local libraries (here or in the States), download books they find online at free sites such as Project Gutenberg Free E-books, or check out books from school. It is each student’s responsibility – not the teacher’s – to make sure he/she obtains the books and allows enough time to read them. However, every class’s “required” list will have at least two selections that are available to be checked out here at school.  

The following guidelines will apply to books checked out from the school:

  • Students who want to borrow library books over the summer may during library open hours: Wednesdays, between 10am-12pm.
  • Students who want to borrow books from the high school “classroom library” or borrow a book from one of the “class sets” may do so by seeing Ms. Stowell or Mrs. Curby in their classrooms before the end of the school year. We may also be able to make a few of these books available at the library during summer hours. These books must be returned on the first day of school. Students will be charged for any books that are not returned.