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Summer Reading: Rising Upper School


Requirements (total of 4 books):

1. Book selected for Upper School: 

     The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

2. The required book for your English Class: 
 • World Literature: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak 
 • American Literature: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
 • English Composition 1: Holes by Louis Sachar
 • British Literature: 1984 by George Orwell
 • Thematic Literature: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri 
 • English Composition 2: Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
 • AP English Language: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
 • AP English Literature: The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
3. One book from the list of titles on this page.
4. One book of choice. (This can be the required book for Global Studies, STEM, or Fine Arts.)

Book Selected for the Upper School

World Literature - Required Book

American Literature - Required Book

English Composition 1 - Required book

British Literature - Required Book

Thematic Literature - Required Book

English Composition 2 - Required Book

AP English Language - Required Book

AP English Literature - Required Book

Required Reading for Global Studies Program

Required Reading for STEM Program

In order to earn STEM points for this summer reading, please submit the following to Mrs. Landry. (You may write it in a Google doc and share with


* a one page (double-spaced) summary of the book

* a paragraph explaining to what field or fields of STEM the book relates and an explanation of why

* a paragraph describing your three favorite parts of the book or three things you found interesting. Please give details. 


Required Reading for Fine Arts Distinction

Select from one of these options:

  • Select an arts-related book of your choice. (get approval from the Fine Arts Department in advance)
  • Do an artistic response for a book of your choice (that may or may not be art related). The response can be in any arts realm (get idea approved by the Fine Arts Department in advance).

Additional Information:

Fine Arts Distinction does not have a designated book.  The fall sessions we have that center around the students' choices are some of the most fun things we do all year so we will definitely keep it as no specific book!  The requirements are the same (from the Google Classroom "assignment"):  

  • Read an arts-related book and use the "Summer Reading Response --Arts-Related Book" assignment to add your responses, thoughts, opinions, etc. 
  • Do an arts-based project for any one of the books you read (the book itself does not have to be related to the arts), and then complete the "Summer Reading Response -- Project-Based Response" assignment. Some examples of projects would be creating a painting; writing a song; translating a passage of fiction to play-format and staging it with notes; acting out or singing something and recording it; etc.  

An arts-related book would be something fundamentally about an art form or the process/experience of being an artist (studio, music, theatre). It can be nonfiction or fiction. 

Something nonfiction would be a biography of an artist or a book about furthering technique or history of something.  Ross King is a great nonfiction author whose books read like fiction.  He wrote a book Dr. Finney recommended one year for summer reading, Brunelleschi's Dome, which was a great read! 

Fiction examples would be things like historical fiction of artists' lives or stories in which the characters interact with art, music, or theatre.  Susan Vreeland and Tracy Chevalier are two authors of arts-related historical fiction books. Some sites/docs with some interesting fine-arts-related book lists are available on Google Classroom.  Please note: none of these books or lists is required or specifically endorsed; they are to give you an idea of what an "arts-related" book would be.  

Our fall FAD meeting at the beginning of school will include sharing with each other what you read and noted/made.

If you have questions about your book or project idea, please let Mrs. Jackson know in advance!


Students will be assessed on summer reading assignments as follows:

  • Upper School Book: Students will take a test on this book during the first week of school.
  • Book Required for English Class: Students will take a test on this book during the first few days of school. In most cases, students will have other assignments, such as essays and journal entries, based on this book.
  • One book from the Upper School Reading List and one book of the student’s choosing: Each English teacher will hold students accountable for having read books in these two categories. Teachers may choose book reviews, essays, brief oral presentations, or other methods of assessment. It is important that the students read the required books thoroughly and completely before the beginning of the school year. Late enrollees need to contact the director of the Upper School for advice regarding their summer reading.


Magical Realism

Contemporary Realistic/Modern Fiction



Science Fiction/Fantasy

Modern Classics

Mysteries/Detective Fiction

Historical Fiction



Short Stories

Biography, Autobiography, and Letters