Students Entering Grade 10: Recommended/Required Summer Reading List

Recommended Reading 2020

Choose your title and complete your assignment! Check the website for your specific class assignment.
Plus, get a head start on High School English core reading titles listed by course!

  • "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 Gracia 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.

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.

  • "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 fired 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.