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Summer Reading 2017

Information to guide you in your 2017 Summer Reading

About Summer Reading 2017

Starting in 2017, we are changing how we approach summer reading.  Rather than dictating a specific book to each grade-level, we have created an All-School Summer Reading List of titles to choose from.


There are two main reasons why:

  1. We hope that  it will make the reading process more enjoyable, by giving readers a degree of choice in what they read.
  2. We hope that the theme of the list will be one that will foster discussion between all members of our community

The following list contains a mix of both 20th-century classics and 21st-century Young Adult literature, plus a Graphic Novel and a work of Non-Fiction.  Some titles are satirical or speculative, while others are grounded in reality. All of them have been chosen because they provide excellent material for generating discussion on the theme "Truth(iness), Technology, and Totalitarianism".

We will be upfront about it:  some of the best written, most thematically appropriate, literature contains words and ideas that could make some readers uncomfortable. At the same time, the dangers of institutional censorship are integral to this year's theme.  To that end, we have done our best to identify cases where a book may have strong language, or discuss mature themes that might be a barrier to some readers' enjoyment of the book.  You can find that information on the individual pages for each book.  Take some time in making your choice; we have taken time to make sure there are options for many different kinds of readers on the list.

Note to Parents, Guardians, and other Responsible Adult Caretakers

As much as we would like our students to “own” their choice,  there may be selections on the reading list that you would prefer your student not choose to read. As a parent you have the right to be involved in guiding your student’s selections, and we absolutely respect that right. We worked hard to create a list that should have something to meet every reader’s needs, and our goal is not to force challenging reading, but to foster discussion on the theme.

Quick Choice Guide

Comparison Chart to Help With a Quick Decision

Quick Comparison of Books
BOOK Setting Main Characters Tone Genre Length Notes?
1984 London, 1984 Adults, Male Lead Bleak Speculative 300 All other books connect in some way
Brave New World Earth , 2540 Adults Satrical Speculative/ Sci-fi <300 Satirical Utopia
Fahrenheit 451 Earth, ~2053 Adults Bleak Speculative <200 REQUIRED for Honors I (9th grade honors)

Earth, ~2100

Teens Male, Female Satirical, Serious Sci-fi <250 Strong Language, used for satirical purpose.
Maggot Moon England, 1954

Teen Male (Learning Difference)

Bleak / Heroic Alternate History <300, short chapters  Simply written, but with depth. One violent scene.
Prez, vol 1 USA, 2036 Teen Female Satirical, Humorous Speculative. Comics Format <160,  Illustrated Worth reading twice: first for plot, then for images
UnSpun USA, Modern Day n/a Informative Non-Fiction <200 Examples from 2004, but content still highly relevant
Watched NYC, Modern Day Teen Male (Immigrant) Suspenseful Realistic Fiction <300 Least "Techy", but technology still plays a role.


Why Summer Reading?

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

—Ray Bradbury, The Seattle Times