Tier Two (Don't Delete)

Summer Reading

Stevenson requires that all students read during the summer. Summer reading is intended to increase student vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, and also to give all students a common background to draw from during class discussions. Students should have their own copy of each book, which they should annotate as they read, and they should bring the books to class for reference during the beginning of the school year.

In grades 9-12, summer reading is assigned for English and History classes. Most summer reading assignments include one mandatory title and several optional readings.

We recommend students spend about an hour a day reading in order to complete the reading list before the start of school. Students' mastery of the reading is evaluated during the first few weeks of the school year in the form of class discussions, essays, quizzes, and/or tests.

The book lists change each year and are usually published by late April. The following lists are for the summer of 2018.

 

 

 

Summer Reading List for English (2018)

Entering Grade 9 English 1 (two books)

Required: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Plus, students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Entering Grade 10 English 2 or English 2 Honors (two books)

Required: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Plus students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

Entering Grade 11 English 3 or English 3 Honors (two books)

Required: Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead  (click here to download study guide)

Plus students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • March by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Unamericans by Molly Antopol
  • Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  • The Circle by Dave Eggers

Entering Grade 12 English 4 (two books)

Required: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Plus students should read at least one more book from the following list:

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozo Adichie
  • The Unamericans by Molly Antopol
  • Dark at the Crossing by Eliott Ackerman
  • A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Entering Grade 12 AP English (three books)

Required: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison AND
I am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell

Plus students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Atonement by Ian MacEwan
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Summer Reading List for History (2018)

Roots of the Modern World (one book)

Students should read one book from the following list:

  • Salt: A History by Mark Kurlansky
  • Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

Modern World History (one book)

Required: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

For additional reading, students should consider the following list:

  • Genghis Khan And The Making Of The Modern World (2004) by Jack Weatherford
  • The Last Duel by Eric Jager
  • The Warriors Of God by James Reston, Jr.
  • Michelangelo And The Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King
  • The Virgin Queen by Christopher Hibbert
  • Shakespeare’s Restless World by Neil MacGregor

AP World History (two books)

Required: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe AND Genghis Khan And The Making Of The Modern World by Jack Weatherford

U.S. History (one book)

Required: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (“Imagine a runaway slave novel written with Joseph Heller's deadpan voice leashing both Frederick Douglass' grim realities and H.P. Lovecraft's rococo fantasies…Whitehead continues the African-American artists' inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing audacity and razor-sharp ingenuity.” Kirkus Reviews)

AP US History (two books)

Required: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (“Imagine a runaway slave novel written with Joseph Heller's deadpan voice leashing both Frederick Douglass' grim realities and H.P. Lovecraft's rococo fantasies…Whitehead continues the African-American artists' inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing audacity and razor-sharp ingenuity.” Kirkus Reviews)

Plus students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • Confederates In The Attic by Tony Horwitz (A surprisingly light-hearted look at the echoes of the Civil War in the cultural differences of north and south in America.)
  • Voyage Long And Strange by Tony Horwitz (On the trail of the intrepid – and often crazed – explorers who wandered North America in search of gold, glory, and eternal youth in the century between Columbus and the Pilgrims.)
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (A riveting, detailed story that examines the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of its participants and brings the reader onto the field of battle.)
  • The Content Of Our Character by Shelby Steele (In his acclaimed book, Steele—a former Stevenson parent—makes the case that some policies designed to ameliorate racial differences have backfired.)
  • The Quiet American by Graham Green (The English novelist takes us back to Vietnam in 1953 to examine the perhaps-naïve ideology of Americans as we became involved in that conflict and attempted to change the politics of the country.)
  • Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck (The famed local writer travels the US in 1960, recording literary snapshots of the character of various regions of America.)

AP European History (two books)

Required: Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King AND The Borgias and Their Enemies by Christopher Hibbert

AP Art History (two books)

Required: The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland and John Boswell

Plus students should read at least one book from the following list:

  • The Forbidden City by Geremie R. Barmé
  • A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield
  • Vermeer’s Hat: the 17th century and the Dawn of the Global World by Timothy Brook
  • Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King
  • Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store by Joseph Siry
  • Islamic Art (1992) by Barbara Bren

AP Economics (one book)

Required: Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

 

Summer Reading Tips

1. Take Notes While You Read

List the names and identities of each character on the front or back pages of the book or in a notebook. Write a short summary (2-3 sentences) of each chapter on the final page of each chapter or in your notebook. This little bit of extra work will provide you with material for a quick review before writing an essay or taking a test on the book.

2. Study New Vocabulary

Underline new words as you read or keep a small notebook handy to list unfamiliar words while you read. Create a personal vocabulary list and look up these words in a dictionary.

3. Prepare for the Class Discussion, Essay, Quiz, or Test

All students will be evaluated on the summer reading during the first few weeks of classes. If you completed your reading early in the summer, be sure to review the notes and vocabulary lists before the start of school so that they are fresh in your mind.