High School summer reading titles
Acevedo, Elizabeth. The Poet X. 361 p.
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.
Arnold, Elana K. Damsel. 309 p.
Waking up in the arms of Prince Emory, Ama has no memory of him rescuing her from a dragon’s lair, but she soon discovers there is more to the legend of dragons and damsels than anyone knows and she is still in great danger.
Caletti, Deb. A Heart in the Body in the World. 355 p.
Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and friends, Annabelle, eighteen, runs from Seattle to Washington, D.C., becoming a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to her recent trauma.
Condie, Ally. Last Voyage of Poe Blythe. 338p.
Poe has vowed to annihilate the river raiders who robbed her of everything two years ago. But as she navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine and realizes there might be a traitor among her crew, she must also reckon with who she has become, who she wants to be, and the ways love can change and shape you. Even–and especially–when you think all is lost.
Hesse, Monica. The War Outside. 318 p.
Teens Haruko, a Japanese American, and Margot, a German American, form a life-changing friendship as everything around them starts falling apart in the Crystal City family internment camp during World War II.
Jackson, Tiffany D. Monday’s Not Coming. 435 p.
Claudia’s friend Monday goes missing and she is the only one who seems to care.
Khorram, Adib. Darius the Great is Not Okay. 314 p.
Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.
Loy Gilbert, Kelly. Picture Us in the Light. 368 p.
When Danny Cheng discovers a taped-up box in his father’s closet, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined. Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family’s blessing to pursue the career he’s always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.
McCoy, Mary. I, Claudia. 418 p.
Over the course of her high school years, awkward Claudia McCarthy finds herself unwittingly drawn into the dark side of her school’s student government, with dire consequences.
McCullough, Joy. Blood Water Paint. 311 p.
In Renaissance Italy, Artemisia Gentileschi endures the subjugation of women that allows her father to take credit for her extraordinary paintings, rape and the ensuing trial, and torture, buoyed by her deceased mother’s stories of strong women of the Bible.
Oshiro, Mark. Anger is a Gift. 464 p.
Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks. Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals in their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration. When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift
Stamper, Vesper. What the Night Sings: a novel. 266 p.
Liberated from Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945, sixteen-year-old Gerta tries to make a new life for herself, aided by Lev, a fellow survivor, and Michah, who helps Jews reach Palestine.
Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. 444 p.
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.
Thomas, Angie. On the Come Up. 464 p.
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons. Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it–she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
Authors We Recommend Always:
- Anderson, Laurie Halse
- Bruchac, Joseph
- Cabot, Meg
- Crutcher, Chris
- Dessen, Sarah
- Green, John
- King, A. S.
- Levithan, David
- Reynolds, Jason
- Sepetys, Ruta
- Strasser, Todd
- Thomas, Angie
- Trueman, Terry
- Zusak, Markus
Non – Fiction
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Shout. 304p.
A memoir that shares the author’s life, covering her rape at thirteen, her difficult early childhood, and her experiences surrounding her publication of ‘Speak.
Brown, Don. The unwanted : stories of the Syrian refugees. 103 p.
Depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.
Fagone, Jason. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies. 464 p.
In this critically acclaimed national bestseller, Jason Fagone brings to light the extraordinary life of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, an unsung heroine who used her genius to hunt Nazi spies, steal enemy secrets during both world wars, and help invent a powerful new science that shaped the course of history.
Harari, Yuval Noah. 21 Lessons For the 21st Century. 400 p.
In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in.
Hendricks, John. The Faithful Spy. 175 p.
Uses text and illustrations to tell the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who spoke out against the Nazi regime.
Johnson, Kirk Wallace. The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century. 320 p.
The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
Krosoczka, Jarrett. Hey Kiddo. 254 p.
In graphic novel format author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka discusses growing up in a family grappling with addiction.
Partridge, Elizabeth. Boots On the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam. 213 p.
An exploration of the Vietnam War from many different perspectives including an American soldiers, a nurse, and a Vietnamese refugee.
Redding, Anna Crowley. Google It: A History of Google. 240 p.
Award-winning investigative reporter Anna Crowley Redding shares an inspiring story of innovation, personal and intellectual bravery, and most importantly, of shooting for the moon in order to change the world.
Westover, Tara. Educated: a memoir. 334 p.
A memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
Williams, Paige. The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy. 432 p.
The Dinosaur Artist illuminates the history of fossil collecting–a murky, sometimes risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur.
Notable Non-Fiction Authors
- Steve Shenkin
- Bill Bryson
- Lawrence Wright
- Jon Krakauer
- Malcolm Gladwell
- Jeanette Walls
- Yuval Noah
- Harari Siddartha Mukherjee
- Elizabeth Kolbert