Please note: Books are rated on a scale of 1-3. Books that are rated with a 1 are at an easier reading level than those rated at a 3. All books may contain mature themes, language, or situations and parents are encouraged to review any books that children read if that is a concern.

Summer Reading for Students Entering English 11/11R/11H

The Adventures of Unemployed Man by Eric Origen, Gan Golan, Romona Fradon, and Rick Veitch.  A funny, engaging comic book satire about our current economic woes and their underlying causes.  It’s smart and provocative. 1 (Only ONE of your choices may be a graphic novel).

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Joe Kavalier, a refugee from Nazi-invaded Prague, and his cousin Sammy Clay make it big creating superhero comic books. 2

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons.  In this futuristic American society, all freedoms have been taken away.  Ember Miller has learned to live under the radar until her rebellious mother gets arrested by Chase Jennings, the only boy Ember has ever loved.  2

Basic Eight by Daniel Handler.  A murderess teen is on a talk show to rehash what happened to create the situation that she’s in. 1

The Big Money by John Dos Passos. This novel employs several narrative techniques as it tells the story of America’s march toward the Crash of 1929. 2

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. A largely autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman's mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. 2

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci. Is it possible that someone goes missing and nobody notices? A mystery, a murder, the search for truth. Written from the recollections of Tory Adams’ experience, two years after a disappearance of Christopher Creed, he becomes fascinated by the missing boy and with the help of two friends they investigate the mysterious disappearance. 1

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  “Secrets of distance running from a Mexican Indian tribe. 2

Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey by Cecil Harris. This is the first book to tell the unique stories of black hockey players including Herb Carnegie, Anson Carter, Mike Grier, Grant Fuhr, Mike Marson, Jarome Iginla, Willie O'Ree and many more. 1

Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. What if The Great Gatsby were not a novel but a true story? Join Laurel as she seeks to discover if a homeless man’s photos provide hints about its truth 2

Duma Key by Stephen King. King’s newest novel takes place in Duma, Florida, a deceptively idyllic place. Unfortunately, its newest resident soon discovers some supernatural powers among its residents. 2

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. A coming of age tale in which Rand al’Thor and his friends are whisked from their village into a world of hidden wars and fragile alliances. Their only guide through this treacherous land, an Aes Sedai named Moiraine, may turn out to be the woman they most need to fear. In the fashion of Lord of the Rings, Jordan spins a timeless tale of the struggle between good and evil. 2

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Takes place in an alternate version of late-20th-century England where cloning has reintroduced extinct creatures and classic literature is part of popular culture. Literary detective Thursday Next must protect the manuscripts of great works from being rewritten by the evil Acheron Hades. 2

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  Not only does this novel draw you in with its excellent characters and engaging story line, it really leaves an impression with its original and thoughtful philosophies.  Howard Roark is an architect that is determined to follow his own vision whether or not anyone else thinks he should build buildings the way he does.  Of course, this leads to many conflicts, but Roark is not someone who easily gives into pressure.  2

A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines - One dead racist farmer, eighteen old men willing to take the blame. Will the sheriff uncover the truth? 2

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland. The reasons that a painting has been hidden for decades unfolds in a series of stories that trace the ownership of the painting back to the moment of the work’s inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner’s hands, not only are secrets illuminated but lives are revealed. An unforgettable story. 1

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bay. After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen- year- old Gemma becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see the spirit world. 1

Growing Up by Russell Baker.  This Pulitzer Prize winning memoir of growing up in American between the two World Wars.  It takes you through his experiences in the mountains of Virginia all the way to a suburb of New Jersey.  2

Happy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi. The narrator and her Korean born parents don’t always understand each other. This hilarious memoir explores family dynamics. 1

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Leo Gursky, an elderly Holocaust survivor, is lonely and isolated. But he wasn’t always. Long ago he fell in love and wrote a book. The book reappears and serves to introduce Leo to family he never knew. 1

House Rules by Jodi Piccoult. A family is torn apart when their autistic son is accused of murder. 1

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. Wondering what college is really like? Wolf’s novel based on trips to over 700 campuses exposes college as it really is. 2

I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.  Eliza Benedict was abducted when she was 15 years old. She is now an adult leading a good life, with a loving husband and two kids with strong interesting personalities. The main trauma that remains is the question: why did her abductor let her live, when he had killed all his other victims? (Amazon.com) What follows is a twist and turn thrill ride when the kidnapper contacts her. 1

Joe Torre: The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci. Twelve straight playoffs, six pennants, and four world series titles: this is the definitive story of the Yankees with Torre at the helm. 1

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fought at Gettysburg for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other a way of life. This is a re-creation of that battle that gives significant insight into what the war was about and what it meant. 2

The Loop by Nicholas Evans. A pack of wolves makes a sudden savage return to the Rocky Mountain town of Hope, Montana. Shielded by the law as an endangered species, the wolves reawaken an ancient hatred that will tear a family and a town apart. 1

Manhunt by James L. Swanson - A non-fiction account of the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth in the days after Lincoln's assassination. 1

Matched by Ally Condie. Fans of The Hunger Games will find themselves drawn to this dystopian romance. In a future where all choice has been eliminated, Cassia must wait to find out with whom she has been “matched” for life. When a mistake is made, formerly obedient Cassia risks everything for love. (1)

Maximum Ride: Max by James Patterson. Max and her team “The Flock” are asked to investigate the cause of dying fish and disappearing ships off the coast of Hawaii. 1

Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun. In 1980s New York, Joon-Mee, a 12-year-old South Korean immigrant, leaves her dysfunctional Bronx home—including a mentally ill mother and a philandering, alcoholic father—for life on the streets. When she is finally arrested for stealing food, Joon tries to clean herself up. 2

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during WWII, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? 3

My Jim by Nancy Rawles. In her moving retelling of the story of escaped slave Jim from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Rawles shifts the focus to Jim's wife, Sadie, whose unspeakable losses set the tone for Jim's flight. 2

Nat Turner by Kyle Baker. A retelling of the famous 1831 slave revolt in graphic novel form. 1

No Longer At Ease by Chinua Achebe. This is the sequel to Achebe's Things Fall Apart. It tells the story of Okonkwo's grandson, Obi Okonkwo, who struggles with adapting to the Western culture and way of life after leaving his village for a British education and a job in the Nigerian colonial civil service. 2

One L by Scott Turow - Thinking of law school? Join the author in his first year at Harvard Law. 2

The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum. What will happen to the heroine of this story after she breaks up with her fiance? Was this the right decision or not? This popular book was written by a North HS grad. (2)

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  In this very interesting, critically acclaimed non-fiction book, all the different personal and cultural factors that impact success are explored.  2

The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins - The college chase dominates the lives of eight high school students from Bethesda, Maryland. Read their stories and experience the ups and downs of high school life. 2

The Pact by Jodi Piccoult  Until the phone calls came at three o'clock on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily is dead—shot with a gun her beloved and devoted Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet as part of an apparent suicide pact—leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew. 2

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin is drawn into the witchtrials of Salem when she finds a mysterious key in her grandmother’s Bible. The author is related to two women who were tried in 1692 Salem. 2

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt.  A love story/ thriller about a car accident that changes two families forever. 1

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham. When third-string quarterback, Rick Dockery finds himself unable to play football in the USA, he begs his manager to find him a team anywhere . . . anywhere. He manager does, and Dockery soon finds himself playing for the Panthers, the Parma Panthers. That’s Parma, the city in Italy. Join Dockery on his adventures in his unfamiliar surroundings. 1

Pretty Good for a Girl by Leslie Haywood. This is an autobiography about Leslie Haywood's adolescence. As a teen, she wants to be seen for who she is by her parents, her coach, and the boys in her new high school. She writes, "They don't see me. They see some blank girl instead, some chick." Leslie is a talented runner and finds success, surprising friendships, and a sense of purpose by running for the cross country team. Faced with family troubles and sexism, her drive to conquer the sport becomes insatiable, to the point of danger. 1

Prey by Michael Crichton.  This is a story of a scientific experiment gone wrong and threatens the entire world population.  Few weave science and fiction together as well as Michael Crichton, the author of Jurassic Park and other similar thrilling adventures.  1

The Pride of Baghdad by Brian Vaughan and Nico Henrichon. This graphic novel tells the true story of a group of lions which escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during an American bombing raid. This comic explores the meaning of freedom. 1 (Only one (1) of your selections may be a graphic novel.)

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  In 1995, a female professor in Iran forms a book club to discuss great Western literature in her home.  This memoir of this secret book club is an engaging novel about the prejudices women have to face in other parts of the world.  2

Reversal by Michael Connelly. Characters undergo reversals in this mystery by noted author Connelly. The plot is jumpstarted when a convicted murderer is exonerated by DNA evidence.  Hailed one of the year’s best novels when it was published in 2010. 2

The Rivals by Daisy Whitney.  Alex is the head of a group of students called Mockingbirds, whose mission is to protect victims of abuse at her boarding school.  When she runs up against a prescription drug ring, however, the battles she must fight against the people she loves and herself surprise her more than she ever thought it would.  2

Room by Emma Donoghue.  “In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue's Room is rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enter Room will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time.” 2

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult. In this novel, which parallels the events of the Salem witch trial, four teenage girls make allegations against a former teacher. 1

Second Heaven by Judith Guest. It is Judith Guest's second novel which was published in 1982 and deals with some of the same themes as her first novel, Ordinary People. At the heart of the book is a troubled teenager who is struggling to escape his abusive father with the help of his lawyer and a recently divorced woman who takes him in.  This novel has mature themes.  2

Sharp Objects OR Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Read either one of these unique murder mysteries. Your spine will tingle and you will be amazed by the surprise outcomes. 2

Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts.  A murder mystery set in the South—a story of dashed hopes, love, and shocking acts. Nicky Jack was presumed dead….thirty years later, he turned up very much alive. 2

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. What causes 14 year-old Skippy’s death? Read about Skippy and his collection of eccentric friends as they navigate school in the time leading up to the hero’s death in a doughnut shop. 2

Songcatcher by Sharyn McCrumb. A young, successful folk song writer goes back home for a last chance to reconcile with her stubborn and difficult father and her own family history. 2

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O’Nan. Kim Larsen suddenly disappears from her small town one afternoon on her way to work. How will her family cope? How long should they continue to search for her? 1

Starters by Lissa Price.  “In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it.”  This book is very similar to Hunger Games with its futuristic, dystopic setting.  2

State of Fear by Michael Crichton. Forbes magazine calls this a “can’t-put-it-down novel,” “a first-of-a-kind thriller.” Chrichton attacks the notion of global warming in this blend of science and suspense. 2

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. Trudi Montag is born during World War I in Burgdorf, Germany. Being a dwarf, Trudi yearns to grow up to be like others. Being a purveyor of secrets, Trudi chooses to keep some secrets and reveal others, but most of all she becomes the collective voice of those who have always tried to fit in. 2

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.  After his arrival on Earth from his home on Mars, Valentine Michael Smith becomes the founder and pastor of a new religious sect. 2

The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield - A mysterious writer hires a woman to write her biography and an odd story it is. If you like twists and turns, this is for you. 2

The Three Miss Margarets by Louise Shaffer - Thirty years ago the three Miss Margarets did something extraordinary, clandestine, and controversial. Little does the rest of the Georgia town know that beneath the irreproachable facades of these three honorable women lies an explosive decades-old secret that is about to be revealed. An irresistible, page-turning exploration of the past and present. 2

Wish You Well by David Baldacci. A story of a young New York City girl and her brother who tragically and suddenly lose their parents and must go to live with their only living relative, their great-grandmother, a tough mountain woman who lives in the hills of Virginia. 1

The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin.  A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the master wizard. 2

You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier.  Here is a non-fiction read by the computer genius who coined the term “virtual reality”.  In this manifesto, he argues against Web 2.0 and how the way we anonymously express ourselves on the web is really a terrible thing for mankind.  2