• Summer Reading for Rising Freshmen

    COMMUNITY BOOK. You must read the following community book. The community book is one which is read by every member of the class. Parents are also invited to read the community book. During the first week of school, your English teachers will review, conduct, or oversee projects, presentations, and group seminars -- all in an effort to generate a sharing of ideas as a community.



    Sandra Cisneros

    The House on Mango Street. Esperanza (Spanish for Hope) tells her story  of growing up in the barrio of Chicago in a series of short vignettes.  She loves her people and her Chicano/a traditions, but she longs for a life beyond this house on Mango Street.

    INDEPENDENT CHOICE: Read one book from one of the lists of literary prize-winners. Be sure to choose a book which you have not already read for another school assignment. Click the link to the left for more information.

    ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHOICE: You must also read one book from the following list.



    William Barrett

    Lilies of the Fields. Homer Smith, a black ex-GI, has his life changed when he meets a group of German-speaking nuns with a dream.

    Ishmael Beah

    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Twelve year old Ishmael Beah was happily living in West Africa when the R.U.F. (Revolutionary United Front) attacked his village.  He ran for his life only to wander aimlessly for several months before being forced into the horrific life of a child soldier. Beah recounts his tenure as a child soldier and his subsequent rescue by UNICEF with an honesty that is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

    Ray Bradbury

    Fahrenheit 451. The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns. This haunting novel about censorship remains as relevant as ever. A fascinating story about one man's journey and the fate of knowledge in a dystopian world. Exciting and fascinating.

    E.R. Braithwaite

    To Sir, with Love. Set in a London inner city school, this is the inspiring story of a band of schoolroom savages and a teacher who tamed them.

    Arthur Conan Doyle

    The Hound of the Baskervilles. A Sherlock Holmes supernatural, terror-filled classic which takes place on a Scottish moor.

    Clyde Edgerton

    Walking Across Egypt. Humorous and touching story set in a small town in North Carolina. An elderly woman adopts a juvenile delinquent, a teenage boy who grows and changes because of their relationship.

    Kaye Gibbons

    Ellen Foster. A young girl growing up in the South survives many family problems and learns to overcome prejudice.

    Elizabeth Kata

    A Patch of Blue. The story of a blind white girl whose friendship with a black man leads to unexpected complications.

    Barbara Kingsolver

    The Bean Trees. What would you do if someone handed you a baby to hold, then ran away? This event changes Taylor Greer’s life forever as she forms an unconventional family with her new baby.

    John Knowles

    A Separate Peace. The often uncomfortable world of ordinary adolescent boys in New England during the early years of World War II is examined in this fast-paced tragedy of human nature.

     Sy Montgomery and Temple Grandin How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. A compelling autobiography about the life of Temple Grandin, this book gives insight into one woman’s attempts to reckon with her autism and gives readers a look into an extraordinary mind.

    Gordon Parks

    The Learning Tree. A black family in Kansas faces the barrier of society in the 1920’s. A heart-warming and realistic view of life on the “frontier of democracy.”

    Erich Maria Remarque

    All Quiet on the Western Front. Teenage boys in Germany in World War I are drafted out of high school and face all the horrors of war in this realistic novel.

    J.K. Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Number Seven in the series!

    Karen Russell

    Swamplandia! Set in the Florida Everglades, Swamplandia! is narrated by thirteen year old Ava, who is determined to save the family business: an alligator theme park.  A ghost named Louis Thanksgiving and the ethereal Bird Man are just a few of the characters that leave one wondering how much is real, and how much is Ava's imagination.

    Ferrol Sams

    Run with the Horsemen. The first in a trilogy of the hilarious antics and adventures of Porter Osborne, Jr. Enjoy the growing up of a boy in rural Georgia during the 1920’s and 30’s.

    Bram Stoker

    Dracula. A wild tale of vampires, werewolves, and possession emphasizes the real conflict between good and evil. This novel was the inspiration for the “Count Dracula” legends.

    Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanA remarkable true story about a young girl who stood up to the terrorists in order to have access to education.