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Students Entering Grade 10: Recommended/Required Summer Reading List

Required Reading:
Incoming Tenth Grade Honors Students

  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines (2014) by Thomas C. Foster
    Foster provides a comprehensive, yet reader-friendly discussion about various symbols, motifs, and constructs in literature. This book serves as a valuable resource to assist students “unlock hidden truths” and to explore “major themes...literary models, narrative devices, and form.

    Students will read chapters one and six from Foster’s book prior to selecting one of the novels listed below. NOTE: If you have an edition of Foster’s book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, published prior to 2014, you should read chapters one and seven.

Select one: 

  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto — of lines of tired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized — is one of the greatest moments in literary history.
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    Chopin’s most famous novel concerns a woman dissatisfied with her indifferent husband. This is a searing depiction of the religious and social pressures brought to bear on women who transgress restrictive Victorian codes of behavior.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Nora Zeale Hurston
    Hurston’s novel is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving self-hood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.

After reading one of the novels listed above, students are to select three additional chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor (either edition). Students should select chapters/topics related to their reading.

Recommended Reading for Honors:

  • An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
    Annie grows up in Pittsburgh and explores, seeks a life of awareness, her eyes wide open to experience. Outstanding writing of childhood and of learning.
  • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
    "Angela’s Ashes" is a memoir by Irish author Frank McCourt that tells the story of his childhood in Brooklyn and Ireland. It was published in 1996 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.
  • The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
    James McBride writes a powerful tribute to his white mother, one by whom he was often embarrassed yet whom he wanted protected. Growing up in an all-black project, McBride dealt with (and writes about) issues of identity, race and acceptance.
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    A black girl suffers brutal treatment at home and is sent off in marriage to a cruel man with children. She learns of possibilities from her sister and from a friend and becomes self-directed and happy.
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
    The four Garcia sisters face a strange, new life in America when they are forced to flee the Dominican Republic because of the political climate. They recall memories of years past spent in their “home” country before coming to America.
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    A muck-raking novel about the problems of industry in America after the turn of the century; reformist.
  • Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon
    A humorous yet serious play about immigrants in New York’s Yonkers and their life. Pulitzer Prize-winner.

If you are having difficulty finding and acquiring a text for summer reading, please click here to email Nancy Aiken in the Curriculum Department.

Recommended Summer Reading List:
Incoming Tenth Grade Academic English Students

  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

  • Heroes by Robert Cormier

Unwillingly, an 18-year-old WWII hero who was disfigured in the war comes home. He immediately begins to plot his revenge. This novel is filled with psychological suspense and leaves readers guessing each of the protagonist’s next moves.

  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

As their worlds change around them, two girls must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy — or as difficult — as it seems.

  • Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan

John and Jenny had just begun their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers

A story told in a screenplay about a young boy in jail — reader must determine his guilt or innocence.

  • Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom

“A Boy’s Remarkable Journey From a Refugee Camp to Harvard” by Mawi Asgedom tells the story of Selamawi Haileab Asgedom or Mawi. He was a refugee who came to America when he was young. Through hard work and his father’s influence, he became a Harvard graduate.

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

A story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the unchartered territory of high school.

  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder is a novel by Raquel Jaramillo, written after an incident getting ice cream with her son and published under the pen name R. J. Palacio in 2012. It tells the story of a young boy with a facial deformity who learns to live and accept who he is after going to a local school.

If you are having difficulty finding and acquiring a text for summer reading, please click here to email Nancy Aiken in the Curriculum Department.