Summer reading recommendations for students in grades 9-12

Dear students and parents:

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 below 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.

2018 Recommended Summer Reading

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

New York Times #1 best seller ∙ William C. Morris Award Winner ∙ Printz Honor Book ∙
National Book Award Longlist ∙ Printz Honor Book ∙ Coretta Scott King Honor Book

From Amazon: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

New York Times #1 best seller

From Amazon: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

For Additional Assistance

If you need help 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
Director, English Language Arts & Library Media, K-12