High School Recommended Summer Reading

Dear students and families:

Although summer vacation is a time of leisure and recreation, we ask that students read throughout the months of July and August. Whether in fiction or nonfiction, students are asked by the ELA Standards to “analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.”

Summertime allows us to choose books we are interested in and enjoy reading them at our leisure while keeping our analytical minds active. Although I have provided suggestions here to help students choose books to read this summer, feel free to choose a book that interests you. In September, all students will participate in classroom assignments related to their summer reading experiences.

For additional assistance selecting books talk with your friends, parents, teachers, and librarians. Go to our library’s website for more suggestions. Continue to consult your local libraries and bookstores. Very often you will find featured books, discussion groups, volunteer openings, author signings, and recommended reading titles. Go online or stop in and see what books are new and find ways to get involved in the reading community.

Remember that to grow as academic readers it is important to read on a daily basis. I encourage you to delve into topics that interest you, take up some nonfiction text, read for pleasure. Take time to read this summer. We look forward to hearing about your reading choices when you meet your new teachers this fall.


Jean Winkler
English Language Arts & Library Media, K-12

2019 Recommended Summer Reading

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award!

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater

Stonewall Book Award Winner―Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award; YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

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Check out titles online and read or listen offline on PC or Mac®, smartphones, MP3 players, and eBook readers.

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