Summer Reading 2019


     “We read to know we are not alone.” ~ C. S. Lewis

    Why Summer Reading?

    There are few negatives associated with summer.  No alarms.  No bells.  No 7th hour lunch, or 1st hour P.E..  No quizzes.  No report cards.  But there is one negative aspect to summer—what experts call the “summer slide.” This refers to the loss of learning that occurs over the course of a summer, and it is more dramatic than you might think.  Studies show that choosing to read in the summer may be the difference between the college-bound student and the non-college bound student.  Reading just one book over the course of the summer can minimize the “summer slide,” and keep you on track to reach your potential.

    islma Lincoln Award Check out the Abraham Lincoln Award Illinois High School Readers’ Choice Awards, or even the New York Times Best-Sellers List.  The New York Times even has a Young Adult Best Sellers List.  The important thing is to find a book that appeals to you, and spend some time this summer reading.  As Oscar Wilde observed, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

    Feel free to browse our new digital library at OverDrive, to check out these titles and read them on the go. Learn more about our digital library

    Pick a book and enjoy your summer!

    2019 Required Summer Reading – Honors/AP Students

    Students who are taking E108 Honors Freshmen English will be reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  Please scroll below to see the E108 Summer Reading Assignment.

    Students who are taking E208 Honors Sophomore English will be reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. E208 Reading Packet

    Students enrolled in E319 AP Language and Composition will read The Devil’s Highway  by Luis Alberto Urrea and The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  Please scroll below to see the E319 Summer Reading Assignments/Expectations.

    Students taking E419 AP Literature and Composition will be reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  Please scroll below for the E419 Summer Reading Assignment.

    For those students enrolled in E429 – AP Language and Composition for Seniors, there will be no summer reading this year.

    E108 Summer Reading Assignment

    The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin’s story about a down-on-his-luck bookstore owner who finds love is an alleluia to the power of books!

    A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.

    The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry has a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance, but is at its core a love story: love of books, love of family, love of community. It is as enchanting a book as you will read this year.


    Incoming E208

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Farenheit 451 Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works.[4] The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found.[5] The book's tagline explains the title: "Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns..." The lead character, Guy Montag, is a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role of censoring literature and destroying knowledge, eventually quitting his job and committing himself to the preservation of literary and cultural writings.

    E208 Summer Reading Information

    *If you have additional questions, please email Ms. Micheletto at, Mrs. Serafini at, and Mrs. Strauch at  


    Incoming E319

    2019 AP Language Comp Summer Reading

    E319 Summer Reading Rhetorical Analysis Packet

    The Devil's Highway “In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the ‘Devil's Highway.’ Three years later, Luis Alberto Urrea wrote about what happened to them. The result was a national bestseller, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a ‘book of the year’ in multiple newspapers, and a work proclaimed as a modern American classic.” – Amazon








    The Crucible “One of the true masterpieces of twentieth-century American theater, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving, but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theatre can.” – Amazon

    Additional information if needed can be located on Schoology.
    Schoology Code: GNDP4-MTQD6

    Instructor contact information:




    Incoming E419

    E419 Literature & Composition Summer Reading & Assignments


    The Kite Runner

    Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

    Suggested Titles for Summer Reading

    For this summer, SHS is encouraging all students to pick a book and read.  For most students, there will not be a required reading book.  We’ve included some titles that students have enjoyed in the past, but the best book for summer reading is the book that is interesting to you. 








    The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein The Art of Racing in the Rain

     Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.








    Esperanza Rising


    Esperanza Rising By Pam Muñoz Ryan Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.






    The Glass Castle By Jeanette Walls 

    The Glass Castle The Glass Castle is a memoir written by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls, which details he unconventional childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill. Walls begins the book by explaining what has prompted her to write about her family: after she has “made it” and become a successful writer living in New York, she comes across her mother picking trash out of a dumpster and, in shame, slinks down in her taxi seat and pretends not to see or know her. Later, Walls con-fronts her mother, asking what she is supposed to tell people about her parents, and her mother replies, “Just tell the truth. That’s simple enough.”












    Lockdown: Escape from Furnace By Alexander Gordon Smith

    Lockdown Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. Together with a bunch of inmates–some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers–Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.







    Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    By Laura Hillenbrand

    Unbroken The inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. From his delinquent childhood to the Berlin Olympics to World War 2, Louis Zamperini embarked on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering from hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.









    Blink By Malcolm Gladwell

    Blink Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of “thin slices” of behavior. The key is to rely on our “adaptive unconscious”–a 24/7 mental valet–that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or re-act to a new idea.









    City of Bones By Cassandra Clare

    City of Bones When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. Within twenty-four hours, Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .











    The Enemy By Charlie Higson

    The Enemy In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone sixteen and older is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. Teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food. When a mysterious traveler arrives and offers them a safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across Lon-don. But their fight is far from over—the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it. Full of unexpected twists and quick-thinking heroes, The Enemy is a fast-paced, white-knuckle tale of survival in the face of unimaginable horror.








    The Selection By Kiera Cass

    The Selection For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of a prince. But for America Singer, being selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself – and realizes that the life she had always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.









    Escape from Camp 14 By Blaine Harden

    Escape from Camp 14 North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk. In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother. Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.








    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, looking for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.









    Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

    Monument Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.  









    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

    Peace Like a River Leif Enger’s novel about a father raising his three children in 1960s Minnesota is a breathtaking celebration of family and faith. Through the voice of eleven-year-old Reuben, Peace Like a River tells of the Land family’s cross-country search for Reuben’s older brother, an outlaw charged with murder.  Reuben’s dad, Jeremiah, leads the family in an unforgettable journey marked by tragedy, romance, and the unique magic that can be seen in everyday life.









    The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

    The Testing “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. Cia Vale is eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies’ chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first trust no one. But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.