Shaker High School

Dear Parents and Students:

At Shaker High, we know that reading during the vacation months contributes significantly to a student's academic growth and promotes lifelong reading pleasure and practices. Current research supports the fact that students who read widely during the summer tend to experience a smoother transition when fall classes commence. As a result, we encourage all students to select books that interest them, and to read from a wide array of genres and authors. Specific summer reading expectations for all high school English courses are outlined below:

  • Students enrolled in 9R , 9B , 10R , 10B , 11R , 11B, and senior electives must read two books -either from the suggested list or simply a title that interests them.
  • Students enrolled in 9H , 10H , 11H , must read two books — one required book and one of their choosing.
  • Students enrolled in the Writing Center English internship must read Chapters 1-2 of The Bedford Guide to Peer Tutoring.
  • Students in Advanced Placement Language and Composition must read two required nonfiction works.
  • Students in Advanced Placement Literature and Composition must read two novels – one required and one from a list of works of literary merit (fiction).

The suggested reading list is designed to provide diverse selections of various reading levels and interests. Certainly, not every book will appeal to every reader. As such, we advise parents and students to discuss the options listed here and to select books judiciously. In order for summer reading to be an enjoyable experience, the books chosen should be appropriate for the student both in terms of content and level of difficulty.

Please note that while there is no written assignment to be completed during the summer, students may complete an assignment when they return to school in the fall. Summer reading should be done carefully. Students should note key ideas either directly in their copies of the books or on post-it notes.

Print copies of this reading packet will also be available in the Counseling Center, Media Center, and Main Office at Shaker High School. Please feel free to contact me at, 785-5511, extension 3368 should you have any questions or concerns.


Pamela Burns

K12 ELA Supervisor

Required Reading Lists by Course

Students in the following courses must read the required book(s) listed. In addition, students in these courses must choose one additional book to read. In the fall, students will discuss extensively the required reading and will write a paper in response.

Grade 9 Honors

Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie

Grade 10 Honors

Students may choose one of the three titles listed below:

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, by Frederik Backman

Grade 11 Honors

The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger

Note: Students in either of the following Advanced Placement classes must read two books over the summer. The requirements for each course are listed below:

Advanced Placement Language and Composition

Reader, Come Home, by Maryanne Wolf

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition

  1. Select and read a work of fiction from the list of suggested titles OR select a work of fiction of similar literary merit. Do not merely read for plot; pay attention to how the author uses discrete elements that work together to shape the meaning of the work as a whole.

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho

Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy

Another Country, by James Baldwin Antigone, by Sophocles

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin Beloved, by Toni Morrison

A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Breath, Eyes, Memory, by Edwidge Danticat The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller The Cider House Rules by John Irving

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Gesture Life, Chang-rae Lee The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

Grendel, by John Gardner The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides Native Son, by Richard Wright

No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy No Exit, by John Paul Sartre

Orlando: A Biography, by Virginia Woolf Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James

The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achibe

The Trial, by Franz Kafka The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

2. Choose and read one of the following titles. Essays from the New York Times Book Review are linked to each title so that you can get a sense of each author’s goals in terms of character, theme, and language use. Some of these books include adult subjects and language; please be sure to read the reviews, which provide contexts for the authors’ choices, before you decide upon a book. Each book offers a unique perspective on individual identity within society, which is a topic we will discuss as we start the school year.

Suggested Reading Lists by Grade Level

The lists of titles below provides options for Shaker High School students and their parents/guardians to use in order to begin the process of selecting summer reading books. Students are not limited to selecting from among those titles, nor are they limited to the suggested grade levels of the titles.

This year students and teachers at Shaker High School participated in ProjectLIT - a national, grassroots literacy movement empowering readers and leaders in hundreds of schools and communities across the country. The infographic of the newly published ProjectLIT titles is posted below as part of Shaker High School’s summer reading options.

ProjectLIt Book Club infographic

Grades 9 and 10

Austen, Jane Sense and Sensibility

Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights

Doyle, Arthur Conan The Hound of the Baskervilles

Remarque, Erich Maria All Quiet on the Western Front

Smith, Betty A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Verne, Jules 20,000 Leagues under the Sea

Wells, H. G. The Invisible Man

White, T. H. The Once and Future King


Alexander, Kwame Solo

Alvarez, Julia How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent

Anderson, Laurie Halse Fever 1792

Anderson, Laurie Halse Wintergirls

Andrews, Jesse Me Earl and the Dying Girl

Bradbury, Jennifer Shift

Collins, Suzanne The Hunger Games

Demas, Corinne Everything I Was

Dessen, Sarah The Truth about Forever

Dessen, Sarah Just Listen

Donnelly, Jennifer A Northern Light

Donnelly, Jennifer Revolution

Flinn, Alex Breathing Underwater

Forman, Gayle If I Stay

Gantos, Jack Dead End in Norvelt

Green, John The Fault in Our Stars

Green, John Turtles All the Way Down

Griffin, Adele Amandine

Griffin, Adele My Almost Epic Summer

Grisham, John Playing for Pizza

Halpin, Brendan How Ya Like Me Now

Hartinger, Brent Project Sweet Life

Horowitz, Anthony Point Blank Alex Rider Series

Johnson, Maureen 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Leviathan, David Every Day

McCormick, Patricia Never Fall Down

Ness, Patrick The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Oates, Joyce Carol Big Mouth, Ugly Girl

Parker, Robert The Boxer and the Spy

Reynolds, Jason The Boy in the Black Suit

Scott, Michael The Alchemist

Sparks, Nicholas A Walk to Remember

Sturman, Jennifer And Then Everything Unraveled

Thomas, Angie The Hate U Give

Wein, Elizabeth Code Name Verity

Valentine, Jenny Broken Soup

Zoboi, Ibi American Street

Zusak, Markus The Book Thief


Ambrose, Stephen The Wild Blue

Beah, Ishmael A Long Way Gone

Blumenthal, Karen Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different

Halberstam, David Firehouse

Heiligman Deborah Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith

Mah, Adeline Yen Chinese Cinderella

Myers, Walter Dean The Greatest

Nelson, Pete Left for Dead

Roy, Travis Eleven Seconds

Ruhlman, Michael The Making of a Chef

Sides, Hampton Ghost Soldiers

Skloot, Rebecca The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Smithson, Ryan Ghosts of War

Trevor, Noah Born A Crime

Walls, Jeannette The Glass Castle

Worsley, Frank Arthur Endurance: An Epic of Polar Adventure

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Adams, Douglas Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Card, Orson Scott Enders Game Dickinson, Peter The Ropemaker

Gaimon, Neil The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Jordan, Robert Eye of the World

King, Stephen Eye of the Dragon

Odom, Mel The Rover

Paolini, Christopher Eragon

Watson, Renee Piecing Me Together

Wooding, Chris Storm Thief

Graphic Novel

Krosoczka, Jareett Hey, Kiddo

Ness, Patrick A Monster Calls

Ness, Patrick And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Grades 11 and 12

Austen, Jane Emma

Baldwin, James If Beale Street Could Talk

Coetzee, J. M. Slow Man

Eliot, George Middlemarch

Forster, E. M. A Room with a View

James, Henry Daisy Miller

Kerouac, Jack On the Road

McCullers, Carson The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Styron, William Sophie’s Choice

Vonnegut, Kurt Slaughterhouse Five

Walker, Alice The Color Purple

Wharton, Edith House of Mirth


Adichie, Chimamanda N. Half of a Yellow Sun

Baldacci, David The Simple Truth

Barrett, Andrea Ship Fever and Other Stories

Bohjalian, Chris Before You Know Kindness

Bray, Libba Beauty Queens

Brookner, Anita Hotel du Lac

Clancy, Tom Patriot Games

Crichton, Michael Airframe

Crichton, Michael Prey

Cross, Donna Pope Joan

DeRosnay, Tatiana Sarah’s Key

Doerr, Anthony All the Light We Cannot See

Eggers, Dave The Circle

Eggers, Dave What is the What

Esquivel, Laura Like Water for Chocolate

Foer, Jonathan Safran Everything Is Illuminated

Follet, Ken Eye of the Needle

Franzen, Jonathan The Corrections

Golden, Arthur Memoirs of a Geisha

Gruen, Sara Water for Elephants

Gutterson, David Snow Falling on Cedars

Haddon, Mark The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Hamill, Pete Snow in August

Haslett, Adam You Are Not a Stranger Here

Harris, Robert Pompeii: A Novel

Hoffman, Alice Skylight Confessions

Hosseini, Khaled A Thousand Splendid Suns

Huxley, Aldous Island

Ishiguro, Kazuo Never Let Me Go

Ivan, Doig The Whistling Season

Jackson, Shirley The Haunting of Hill House

Jin, Ha The Crazed

Kimmel, Haven The Solace of Leaving Early

Kincaid, Jamaica The Autobiography of My Mother

King, Stephen Misery

Lawson, Mary Crow Lake

Lee, Harper Go Set a Watchman

Lee, Min Jin Pachinko

Livesey, Margot Banishing Verona

McDermott, Alice Charming Billy

McEwan, Ian Atonement

McMillan, Terry Waiting to Exhale

Mitchell, David Black Swan Green

Munro, Alice Runaway

Nemirovsky, Irene Suite Francaise

Ng, Celeste Little Fires Everywhere

O’Nan, Stewart The Good Wife

Patchett, Ann Patron Saint of Liars

Proulx, E. Annie The Shipping News

Quindlen, Anna Blessings

Raleigh, Michael In the Castle of the Flynns

Rand, Ayn The Fountainhead

Roth, Philip The Plot Against America

Russo, Richard Empire Falls

See, Lisa Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Shaara, Michael Killer Angels

Smith, Zadie White Teeth

Sittenfeld, Curtis Eligible

Tan, Amy The Kitchen God’s Wife

Tartt, Donna The Secret History

Tartt, Donna The Little Friend

Turow, Scott Presumed Innocent

Tyler, Anne Saint Maybe

Weber, Katharine The Music Lesson

Werlin, Nancy Double Helix


Buford, Bill Heat

Conover, Ted Rolling Nowhere

Didion, Joan We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction

Durant, Michael In the Company of Heroes

Eggers, Dave A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Ehrenreich, Barbara Nickel and Dimed

Ehrlich, Gretel The Solace of Open Spaces

Foer, Jonathan Safran Eating Animals

Foer, Joshua Moonwalking with Einstein

Frazier, Ian Great Plains

Frazier, Ian On the Rez

Friedman, Thomas The World Is Flat

Fuller, Alexandra Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Gantos, Jack A Hole in My Life

Goodwin, Doris Kearns Team of Rivals

Halberstam, David The Daily Lives of Heroes

Halberstam, David The Best and the Brightest

Hall, Brian I Should Be Extremely in Your Company

Ilibaggiza, Immaculee Left to Tell

Kincaid, Jamaica A Small Place

Krakauer, Jon Into the Wild

McBride, James The Color of Water

McCourt, Frank Angela’s Ashes

Moehringer, J. R. The Tender Bar

Nafisi, Azar Reading Lolita in Tehran

Orlean, Susan The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup

Patchett, Ann Truth and Beauty

Schlosser, Eric Fast Food Nation

Sedaris, David Naked

Sedaris, David Me Talk Pretty One Day

Sullivan, John Jeremiah Pulphead

Vowell, Sarah The Wordy Shipmates

Vowell, Sarah The Partly Cloudy Patriot

Wallace, David Foster A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

Woolf, Virginia A Room of One’s Own

X, Malcolm The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Doyle, Arthur Conan The Lost World

Gibson, William Neuromancer

Goodkind, Terry The Sword of Truth

Haggard, H. Rider King Solomon’s Mines

Herbert, Frank Dune

Huxley, Aldous Brave New World

Jordan, Robert Eye of the World

Rand, Ayn The Fountainhead