Grade 11 Summer Reading List
Purpose: The Summer Reading Program encourages students to enjoy, think about, and evaluate what they read.
Reading/Writing Requirements: Summer reading is worth up to 10% of your first-quarter grade. Read the book closely and be prepared for an assessment during the first week of school in September.
- CP 1 and CP 2 students choose one book from the list below.
- Honors students choose two books from the list below.
- AP students choose one book from this list and one book from the nonfiction list provided separately.
EXTRA CREDIT: You may earn extra credit by reading a second book from this list and keeping a journal using the summer reading journal assignment. (The journal assignment is handed out in the spring and is also available on the FHS website.)
Benioff, David: City of Thieves (by the director of “Game of Thrones”)
Leningrad, Russia: WWII: two teenage boys thrown in prison. Lev Beniov is caught looting a German’s paratrooper’s corpse. Even though the punishment is execution, Colonel Grechko instead sends him on a mission. He is paired with Kolya, a Russian army deserter, and “they set off on a journey that takes them through a series of nightmarish war zones, populated by cannibals, prostitutes, starving children, and demonic Nazi chess enthusiasts.”(The New Yorker)
Bui, Thi: The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir
An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui. This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
Domet, Sarah: The Guineveres
Four teenagers, each named Guinevere, find themselves under the strict guidance of the nuns at Our Lady of Perpetual Adoration. Although they share a common name, Gwen, Ginny, Win, and Vere all have different and equally heartbreaking reasons for coming to live at the convent. Domet’s debut will lure readers in with well-developed characters, rich language, and small miracles. Recommended for students who are looking for weighty romance novels. --Krystina Kelley, Belle Valley School, Belleville, IL
Egan, Jennifer: A Visit from the Goon Squad
The novel is a collection of linked stories and won The Pulitzer Prize in 2011. “Most of her characters live within popular music: They play it, write it, produce recordings of it or sell it. We follow them from the excitement of high-school punk bands in San Francisco to the disappointment and disillusionments of their New York lives.”
Engles, Brian: Wildball
Set in seaside Nailer’s Cove, Wildball is the story of Shane Monoghan – one of the best collegiate shortstops in the nation. While playing summer ball in the prestigious Cove League, Shane fights for his position both on the field and off. A new novel by a local author and FHS graduate.
Grann, David: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
A twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off.
Gretsky, Wayne, and Kirstie McLellan Day: 99: Stories of the Game
“Arguably the best player in the history of hockey, [Gretzky] has written a warm and enthusiastic collection of memories and stories. This book showcases some of hockey’s best moments through the keen eyes of an avid student, lover, and ambassador of the game. VERDICT: Essential for all hockey fans, old and new.”—Library Journal
Jones, Tayari: An American Marriage
“A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama
McCreight, Kimberly: Reconstructing Amelia
“Kate believes her daughter, 15-year-old Amelia, has committed suicide, jumping from the roof of her private school—until she receives an anonymous text saying simply, ‘Amelia didn’t jump.’ Could she have been murdered?” (Michael Cart)
Moore, Edward Kelsey: The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat
Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana is home away from home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean. Dubbed "The Supremes" by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they’ve weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage and children, happiness and the blues. (School Library Journal)
Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye
John Leonard of The New York Times wrote that this novel “is an inquiry into the reasons why beauty gets wasted in this country. The beauty in this case is black; the wasting is done by a cultural engine that seems to have been designed specifically to murder possibilities; the ‘bluest eye’ refers to the blue eyes of the blond American myth, by which standard the black-skinned and brown-eyed always measure up as inadequate. Miss Morrison’s prose is so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry.”
Ng, Celeste: Everything I Never Told You
“Lydia is dead. From the first sentence of Celeste Ng’s stunning debut, we know that the oldest daughter of the Chinese-American Lee family has died. What follows is a novel that explores alienation, achievement, race, gender, family, and identity--as the police must unravel what has happened to Lydia, the Lee family must uncover the sister and daughter that they hardly knew. Achingly, precisely, and sensitively written.” --Chris Schluep
Rand, Ayn: Anthem
“Equality 7-2521 tells us he is a sinner and criminal. But what crimes has he committed? Being alone, writing, having personal preferences. He is ‘cursed’ with an active, questioning mind in a society where every institution aims to crush independence and instill obedience to the authority of the collective.” (aynrand.org) Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 escape to the forest outside the city where they fall in love and begin to rediscover individualism and free thought.
Simmons, Dan: Hyperion
A science fiction classic. “On the world called Hyperion, beyond the reach of galactic law, waits a creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all” (Booklist)
Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath
“When it was published in 1939, America, still recovering from the Great Depression, came face to face with itself in a startling, lyrical way. John Steinbeck gathered the country's recent shames and devastations--the Hoovervilles, the desperate, dirty children, the dissolution of kin, the oppressive labor conditions--in the Joad family. For this marvel of observation and perception, he won the Pulitzer in 1940. The prize must have come, at least in part, because alongside the poverty and dispossession, Steinbeck chronicled the Joads' refusal, even inability, to let go of their faltering but unmistakable hold on human dignity.” (Melanie Rehak in Amazon.com review)
Tremblay, Paul: Disappearance at Devil’s Rock
For fans of horror and suspense. A family is shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy in this eerie tale. “This tense, quick-moving story, part mystery and part folktale with a dash of police procedural, moves between points of view that offer tantalizing clues and moments of discomfort.” (Booklist Reviews 2016)