Return to Headlines

High School Summer Reading Lists

May 17, 2018

Dear Student and Parents:

Summer can be a blast, full of fun and adventure, but did you know that students can encounter learning losses if they don’t read during the summer? It’s actually called “the summer slide.”

To help stop the slide, the English Department of Beulah High School has created a Summer Reading Program, a requirement for all Beulah High School students in Pre-AP or AP English classes.  Our staff is committed to preparing students for the rigors and competition of high school courses, college admissions, and life in general. Summer reading also serves as an excellent vocabulary and reading improvement program that helps students become better writers and test takers, according to the research of a nationally recognized scholar, Dr. Stephen Krashen of USC. A student’s academic success is directly related to his/her literacy or reading ability.

Every Pre-AP and AP student is required to read one literature selection (novel or non-fiction) appropriate for her/his grade level (list attached) and complete an assignment determined by each grade level teacher (also attached). Every general English student is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to read a book from the grade level list as well.

The core books were chosen for challenging content, stylistic qualities, and entertainment value. They were selected by grade level teachers to support the thematic purposes of their classes. All Pre-AP and AP students must complete an assessment based on the summer reading which will count as part of their English grade. General English students may speak to their teacher in August about bonus incentives for reading their book. These literacy assessments will be completed during the first week of the student’s English course. (Note: All students should have finished reading their books before school starts!) The assignment determined by the teacher will be due during the first week as well. We recommend that students spend the final weeks of summer vacation looking over the book they have read, making notes, and preparing for the assessment.

To help avoid costs, teachers have written grants for the sole purpose of purchasing multiple copies of these required books, so you may want to check them out through our school office. However, you might prefer to borrow the required books from the public library or purchase the book or the electronic version from a bookstore, such as Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, or on-line at Also, while your student is reading, why don’t you pick up a book, too? This is a great way to model appropriate and desired behavior for your student. We have included an additional list just for you!

Beulah High English Department


Caution: All reading should be completed before school begins.

“Six books: That's all it takes. Studies show that when a child reads as few as six appropriately grade-level books, he/she is likely to fend off summer reading loss and maintain the reading gains made during the previous school year. Not to mention the gain in adventure, new discoveries, and fun that a stack of six kid-packed summer books can provide. When a child reads even more, like eight, ten, or twenty books he/she can even gain ground, and return to school in August a more confident reader.”




For Grades 9-12

                                                    Choose one from the appropriate grade level.



9th Grade Pre-AP (General Strongly Encouraged)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Divergent by Veronica Roth


10th Grade Pre-AP (General Strongly Encouraged)

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque


11th Grade AP Language (General English 11 Strongly Encouraged)

See attached list and assignment


12th Grade AP Literature (General English 12 Strongly Encouraged)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

1984 by George Orwell

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood














Use a QR scanner to access an assignment document online or on your phone.  






FOR: STUDENTS RISING TO Pre-AP English 9, Pre-AP English 10, and 12th AP Literature  


  1. To continue student education into the new school year.  
  2. To expose students to different reading they might otherwise not select.  
  3. To assist with transitioning between levels of learning.  



  1. READ THE BOOK, COVER TO COVER.  Take notes on the book as you read it.  OR, simply enjoy it for now.  Be sure to know what the plot of the book is, who the characters are, and what the author might be trying to say to you through the book.
  2. After reading the book all the way through, answer the following questions about it (see below).  BE SURE TO ANSWER WITH A COMPLETE PARAGRAPH.  AEC is preferable (Assertion, Evidence, and Commentary).  The following questions are applicable to ANY BOOK YOU WILL READ THIS SUMMER.  
  3. You will turn in your answers to these questions WHEN YOU ARRIVE to your English class during the 2018-2019 School Year.  IF BY CHANCE, you are a new arrival to this school and you moved during the summer, you can still do this assignment.  



  1. Who was your favorite character in the book?  Please provide a paragraph with who your favorite character was and 3 specific reasons why this character appealed to you.


  1. Write about the PLOT of this book.  Tell what the INCITING INCIDENT was that set the action in motion, tell what the CLIMAX of the book is (the moment where characters must face the ultimate moment of choice) and the RESOLUTION (where the plot winds down to the end of the book). Summarize these moments and explain how you know they are the right events to describe.


  1. What do you think the AUTHOR wants his/her readers to understand, know, believe, or think about after reading this book?  Explain WHY you think this is the theme of the book briefly, using specific examples or quotations from the text itself to back you up in your assertion.  




AP Language and Composition Non-Fiction Reading List and Assignment

FOR STUDENTS RISING TO 11TH AP LANGUAGE (General English 11 Strongly Encouraged)


The writers of the AP exam for Language and Composition expect you, the student, to be a well-read individual with knowledge of your world. On the exam, you are expected to understand and analyze how an author conveys an argument, and to craft your own argument with your own evidence. With that in mind, AP Language students are required to read one non-fiction book from the list below. You will also need to complete the assignment (attached). This will help lay the groundwork for you to answer AP prompts and write at the college level. Some of these books are available at school, but not all. These books should also be available online or at local libraries. Please note that these books are at a college level and may have mature content. If a book’s content disturbs you, please select another book from the list. Documents with more book information and the summer assignment can be found in the Google Classroom for AP Summer Assignments. The join code is jjaffmz



American Sniper by Chris Kyle

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose



Longitude by Dava Sobel

Maphead by Ken Jennings

No Time to Lose by Peter Piot

Plastic by Susan Freinkel

Salt by Mark Kurlansky

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell








The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

1421 by Gavin Menzies

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

Argo by Antonio J. Mendez and Matt Baglio

What was Asked of Us by Trish Wood

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard




Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof

King of the World by David Remnick


True Crime

Columbine by Dave Cullen

The Lynching of Emmett Till by Christopher Metress

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell









AP Language Summer Reading Non-Fiction Assignment

Complete the Following


Title: _____________________________________________________________________________________________


Author: ________________________________________________ Date Publication:______________________


Topic: ____________________________________________________________________________________________


Analysis of Book


Exigence (why is this important now—either when published or today): __________________________________________________________


Intended Audience (who did the author write this for—be specific, go beyond “people who read it”): _____________________________________________________________________________________


Purpose (inform, entertain, persuade, etc. Be specific—i.e. to inform about what):___________________________________________________________________


Primary Claim or Author’s Thesis (the most important statement s/he makes about the topic) ________________________________________________________________________________________




Main Evidence (what kind is used—facts, anecdotes, examples, testimony, etc.): _________________________________________________________________________________________





Passage Analysis

Identify 5 passages from the book you find meaningful, striking, important to the book, etc. The passages must be from the beginning, middle, and end of the book. Create a journal in which you write the page number, the passage (quote), the reasons you selected it, and how you think it fits in the book. Sample questions are provided. You do not have to answer all of the questions for each passage, but at least some should be addressed for each passage.


Page Number

Passage from Book

Why you selected it and how it fits in the book (questions to consider below)


Quote from the book

Why does the passage impress, intrigue, horrify, or puzzle you?


Do you find the author’s use of language appealing or powerful? Does the passage jump off the page as a great descriptive passage?


Does it prompt a strong response from you as you read it? Does it present itself as so well-crafted that you just love the sound of it? Is the language beautiful, descriptive, graphic?


Is it particularly meaningful? Is it a high point in the book?


Do you find yourself in agreement/disagreement with the ideas expressed?


Does the passage remind you of a situation you have lived as well?


Does the passage make you laugh out loud or make you melancholy or make you something else?


Does the author raise intriguing questions or issues?


Does the passage challenge or expand your thinking?