Summer Reading: Keeping a High School Student's Mind Working Through the Summer

Often, summer is a time for relaxing, but it can also be a good time to pick up a book. This article includes selections from a summer reading list printed by the Washington Post.

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When summer arrives, many students are relieved. Summer is a good time for your student to take a break from the stresses of high school, but he shouldn't become a couch potato for the next three months either! He or she can continue to learn during summer by engaging in summer reading. Try not to make summer reading feel like a chore. Encourage your student to pick their own books so she can maintain or reestablish her interest in reading.

Avid Reader

If your student is an avid reader, he may want to use the time during summer to read ahead. Ask his or her future English teacher for a reading list. Reading ahead can make the reading load somewhat easier during the year because the student will already be familiar with the texts.

Hesitant Reader

If your student doesn't have any ideas for what to read, you can make suggestions. Here is a list prepared by in the Washington Post, in 2004:

  • Fiction
    • All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
    • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    • Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
    • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    • Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
    • Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely
    • El Bronx Remembered by Nicholasa Mohr
    • Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
    • In This Sign by Joanne Greenberg
    • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
    • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
    • Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
    • Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
    • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
    • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • Non-Fiction
    • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
    • Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years by Sarah and Elizabeth Delaney
    • Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America by Nathan McCall
    • My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love after Auschwitz by Livia Bitton-Jackson
    • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
    • Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
    • There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America by Alex Kotlowitz
    • The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy

These titles should be appropriate for most high school aged students, but remember, what your child reads is your responsibility. Review texts that you suspect may contain themes unsuitable for your child.

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