Adventure, Exploration & Escape:


Let's Take a Summer Adventure Together

Welcome to the summer reading choices for grades 9-12, comprised of 35 books that span genre and complexity, and include graphic novels, audiobooks, fiction and nonfiction titles. You'll find highly acclaimed books that are suspenseful, candid, compelling, engaging, thoughtful, and gripping.

  • All High School students must choose at least one book from the list to read, and
  • All High School IB and Honors students must choose at least two books from the list to read.
  • Complete the one summer reading assignment, linked below.

Naturally, we encourage students to read as many of the choices as you wish!

Click Below for the HS Summer Reading Assignment

A Note to Incoming Freshman Families

We are cognizant of the fact that for incoming freshman, advancing to high school books may be accompanied by a change in the maturity level of the reading material. With that in mind, we have selected a subset of the full summer reading list. We offer these Fabulous Freshman Reads as a guide. While freshman are not limited to these books, they can provide a smooth transition to reading high school level books if your family chooses to use it. Naturally, students must choose what they feel is the right fit for them in terms of genre, manageable text, interest, and topic appropriateness. *Fabulous Freshman Reads are denoted with an asterisk.

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The Friends of the Library team looks forward each year to hosting the Learning Commons Summer Reading Book Fair--it's a great way to let students browse and choose their summer reading, and all proceeds go toward enrichments like author visits and special collections. This year, our fair will run from Monday, April 18th - Friday, April 22nd. All students in current grades 5-11 will come to the fair during English classes (homeroom for 5th grade). All required and choice titles will be available for students to browse and purchase. Students can pay with cash or credit card (not school credit). It's a great way to get your summer off to a great start!

Adventure, Exploration and Escape Choice List

(Choose at least one)


Himawari House

Harmony Becker

Living in a new country is no walk in the park—Nao, Hyejung, and Tina can all attest to that. The three of them became fast friends through living together in the Himawari House in Tokyo and attending the same Japanese cram school. Though each has her own motivations and challenges, they all deal with language barriers, being a fish out of water, self discovery, love, and family.

*Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero

E. Lockhart

Sixteen-year-old Willow Zimmerman reconnects with estranged family friend and real estate tycoon E. Nigma, but after he helps her earn enough for medical treatments for her mom she is attacked by the monstrous Killer Croc. Upon waking after the fight she gains powers and insight she will need to make the right choices.


(Run series, bk. 1)

John Lewis & Andrew Aydin

Run follows the experiences of late civil rights activist and legislator John Lewis and his co-organizers after the 1965 signing of the Voting Rights Act. The illustrations portray a powerful reminder of what's at stake in the fight for social change and justice despite significant wins in the civil rights movement.

Solutions and Other Problems

Allie Brosh

This book includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.


(Heartstopper series, v. 1)

Alice Oseman

Charlie and Nick quickly become friends when one day they're made to sit together. Soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realized.


You'll Be the Death of Me

Karen McManus

Deciding to ditch school together, former friends Ivy, Cal and Mateo, in one chance move, find their day turning from dull to deadly when another student is murdered right in front of them.

The Firekeeper's Daughter

Angeline Boulley

Daunis defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her grandmother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths. She finds herself struggling to balance her Ojibwe father's family and her mother's wealthy family.

Steel Fear

(Finn novels series, bk. 1)

Brandon Webb and John David Mann

Discovering that there is a serial killer onboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, disgraced Navy SEAL sniper Finn finds suspicion falling on him as a newcomer. He must expose the real killer while searching for redemption.

The Other Merlin

(Emry Merlin series, bk. 1)

Robyn Schneider

In this fresh take on The Sword in the Stone, Emry, the daughter of Merlin, disguises herself as a teen boy to train as a wizard in Prince Arthur’s court, where her secret is punishable by death. She must decide whether to risk everything to become Camelot’s greatest magician.


V.E. Schwab

The author weaves a dark and original tale about the place where the world meets its shadow, and the young woman beckoned by both sides. Olivia Prior has grown up at the grim Merilance School for Girls with no no past except for her one treasure, her mother's journal, so when a letter arrives inviting her to come home to ruinous manor, Gallant, she seizes the chance to find out about her family.

The Other Black Girl

Zakiya Dalila Harris

Tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel is hired until she, after a string uncomfortable events, is elevated to Office Darling, leaving Nella in the dust. After a mysterious note turns up on Nella's desk, warning her to "Leave Wagner Now," she is left questioning who would want her gone.


Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Gabriel García Márquez

The author weaves a story of a fantastic wedding, the return of the bride to her parents, her brothers' resolve to murder her corruptor, and the townspeople's refusal to depart from routine.

And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie

Ten houseguests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion. When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhymes, terror mounts. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale?

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote

In this nonfiction book that reads like fiction, Capote recounts the senseless 1959 murders of four members of a farm family in Holcomb, Kansas, and the search for their killers.

My Antonia

Willa Cather

After the death of her immigrant father, Antonia works as a servant for neighbors in the farmlands of Nebraska. She leaves for an unfortunate affair with an Irish railway conductor, but returns home, eventually marries and raises a large family in true pioneer style.


I Wanna Be Where You Are

Kristina Forest

Chloe wants to audition for a diverse ballet program in NYC where her dark skin will blend in, but her mom shuts it down. Determined to keep chasing her dream, Chloe concocts a plan to drive to an audition while her mom is away. Chloe's cute but obnoxious neighbor blackmails his way along for the ride. The end result is an epic road trip accompanied by a fabulous playlist.

I Wish You All the Best

Mason Deaver

Thrown out of their parents' home and moving in with their estranged sister after coming out as nonbinary, Ben De Backer struggles to endure an anxiety disorder and the last half of senior year while bonding with a charismatic new friend.

Girls with Bright Futures

Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman

When Stanford announces it will take only one additional student from the prestigious Elliott Bay Academy, applying to college suddenly becomes very dangerous. Is someone willing to kill for that spot? The authors deftly capture the madness of college admissions season. As secrets unfold, we witness the worst familial behavior in this bracingly vicious portrait of entitlement.

The People We Meet on Vacation

Emily Henry

Vivacious travel writer Poppy once vacationed yearly with straight-and-narrow best friend Alex, but their last vacation left their relationship in shreds. Poppy must talk him into one last trip so they can right the balance. What could possibly go wrong?

Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions

Navdeep Singh Dhillon

Debuting his new look at the prom, Sikh Sunny G, armed with the notebook his late brother left him, finds his night filled with rash, wonderful, romantic, stupid, life-changing decisions when he meets Mindii Vang.

*Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

Jordan Sonnenblick

After an injury ends All Star pitcher Peter Friedman's athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography. Can this one new decision lead him to a girlfriend, new fame as a photographer, and a deeper relationship with his grandfather?


Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment. With the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he's got to do it all alone. Or does he?

Within These Wicked Walls

Lauren Blackwood

Andromeda is an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye--or would be, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. When handsome young heir Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other.

Network Effect

(Murderbot Diaries, bk. 5-standalone)

Martha Wells

Know that feeling when you've had enough, then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge Netflix? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congrats, you're Murderbot. Come for the space battles, stay for the best AI you'll read this century.


Marissa Meyer

Ordered by the king to spin straw into gold or be killed for telling falsehoods, Serilda, known for her fantastical tales, unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to help her...for a price. This is a haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

A Winter's Promise

(Mirror Visitor quartet, bk. 1)

Christelle Dabos

When Ophelia, who can travel through mirrors, is betrothed to an influential member of a faraway clan, she journeys to the towering city of Citaceleste, where she realizes she has become a pawn in a dangerous political game.


Jennifer Donnelly

In this adaptation of Snow White, the huntsman follows the queen's order to kill Sophie, but the princess is brought back to life by the seven men of the woods, who, along with other brave friends, help Sophie overcome the story's true villain and reclaim her throne.


*A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome

Ariel Henley

The first known identical twins to survive Crouzon syndrome, a condition where the bones of the head fuse prematurely, Ariel and Zan underwent many life-saving facial surgeries. In this memoir, Ariel explores identity and beauty, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again.

Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain

David Eagleman

What does drug withdrawal have in common with a broken heart? Why is the enemy of memory not time but other memories? How can a bling person learn to see with her tongue, or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Why do we dream at night, and what does that have to do with the rotation of the Earth? The answers to these questions are right behind our eyes.

Bubbleball: Inside the NBA's Fight to Save a Season

Ben Golliver

A captivating account of the NBA's strangest season ever, from shutdown to championship, from a prominent basketball writer living alongside the teams. Following the pandemic shutdown, after meticulous planning, 22 NBA teams resumed play in a "bubble" at Disney World cut off from the outside world. An entertaining record of an extraordinary season.

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (as told to me) Story

Bess Kalb

Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer Kalb honors her late grandmother, Bobby Bell, in an amusing memoir written in the grandmother’s sassy voice. The book, framed as a love letter to Kalb, contains intriguing family stories about Kalb’s great-grandmother, who, at 12, emigrated to New York from Belarus, alone, to escape Jewish persecution.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl, artfully recounts his life in this memoir. In nostalgic, often humorous anecdotes, he recalls meeting the musicians who inspired him: jamming with Iggy Pop, drumming for Tom Petty on Saturday Night Live, sharing bedtime story duties with Joan Jett. Grohl is a sixteen-time Grammy-winner, musician, singer, songwriter and documentary filmmaker.


Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Melinda Lo

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

The Light in Hidden Places

Sharon Cameron

Sixteen-year-old Catholic Stefania Podgorska has worked in the Diamant family's grocery store for four years, but when the Nazis came to Poland, the Jewish Diamants are forced into the ghetto. Stefania embarks on a dangerous course--protecting 13 Jews in her attic, caring for her younger sister, and keeping everything secret from the two Nazi officers living in her house.

Anatomy: A Love Story

Dana Schwartz

Hazel Sinnett is a medical student in 19th century Scotland who, after being kicked out because of her gender, works with new attractive acquaintance Jack Currer to procure dead bodies to study. They soon discover secrets buried in the heart of Edinburgh society.

*I Must Betray You

Ruta Sepetys

In a country governed by isolation, fear, and a tyrannical dictator, seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He decides to use his position to try to outwit his handler, undermine the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world to what is happening in his country.

Quick Reference Title List (Click Below)


We hope you enjoy summer reading! If you have questions, contact Ms. Melanie Diamond, English Department Chair, at