Tag Archives: Summer Reading List

BookSmart, English Summer Reading list for students entering grades 9-12.

To Students Entering Grades 9-12:

This year marks the second annual BookSmart: a book club-style one-day discussion of (mostly) modern literature. This year also marks a strange time for education, but one in which many students, in their own spaces, have started to read more on their own. We hope to encourage the continuation of this new trend.

Students will choose and read ONE of the books on this list and participate in a book discussion about it in September (students taking honors or AP English will have other books to read in addition). While there is great value in the classics, we have chosen books for BookSmart that are more modern, diverse, and speak to different perspectives on the human condition.

Read the descriptions carefully before choosing a book. Feel free to ask any English teacher questions about the books–we can help you choose.

  • Sign up via the Google Form between June 7- June 11.
  • Those who do not choose a book will have one assigned to them by June 15.
  • Every student needs to read at least one book.
  • Please choose a book you have not previously read.
  • The public library has been notified of this list as well, and they plan to order additional copies so everyone can participate easily. **Please email any English teacher if hardship is preventing you from obtaining the text.In September, a member of the GMHS faculty/staff (not just English teachers!) will facilitate discussion and activities on students’ chosen books. We hope that this day will bring students together, build new connections, and get everyone thinking about how stories can play a role in the decisions we make and the lives we lead.Sincerely,
    The English Department*If a student misses the BookSmart discussion, he/she will need to participate in an alternate writing assessment.

Middle and High School Summer Reading Lists

Once you have decided what book to need to read, try using the Commonwealth’s eBook Collection to find and access it.  Instructions how are here.


Here are the books you (high school students) have chosen to read, just in case you forgot. 🙂


For the High School Reading List, click here.


Addendum to Summer Reading for Honors and AP Courses, 2019-2020

In addition to BookSmart Day (the link above), students taking the following courses should read the following books over the summer and be prepared to discuss and write about them…

AP English Literature*

  • Oresteia, Aeschylus
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Eugene O’Neill
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

*Along with the reading of these works, a summer assignment is required, due on the first day of school. There is a mandatory meeting in June to clarify expectations for this assignment.


Honors World Literature

  • The Life of Pi, Yann Martel


Honors English, Grade 11

  • Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain.  Note: Racial slurs are prevalent throughout this satirical novel; however, Twain’s use of them is meant to showcase the hypocrisy of racism. This is one of the seminal works of American literature, and it accurately portrays a specific and pivotal time in history.


Honors English, Grade 10

  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1818 edition is preferable to the 1831 edition)


Honors English, Grade 9

  • CHOICE: A Separate Peace, John Knowles, OR A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith



For the Middle School Reading List, click here.