2015 SHS Summer Reading
Required Accelerated and AP English
Description: A fable about undauntingly following one’s dreams, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being.
Description: Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.
Description: Journalist Schlosser argues that the fast food industry has triggered the growth of malls in America’s landscape, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. He discusses facts about food production and preparation, the ingredients and taste-enhancers in the food, the chains’ efforts to reel in young, susceptible consumers, and other unsettling facts.
Description: Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.
Description: McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity, is admitted to a mental hospital where he challenges the autocratic authority of the head nurse.
Suggested reading for everyone
Description: ixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection–a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea’s prince–but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her.
Description: Sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale is chosen to participate in The Testing to attend the University; however, Cia is fearful when she figures out her friends who do not pass The Testing are disappearing.
Description: Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
Description: Through the voice of 11-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy obsessed with cowboys living in 1960s Minnesota, the story is told of the Land family’s cross-country search for Reuben’s outlaw older brother, who has been charged with murder.
Description: In Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant–in the blink of an eye–that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?
Description: Twenty-seven years ago, Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. This is the story of his escape from this no-exit prison–to freedom in South Korea.
Description: On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
Description: A group of young survivors is offered safety from the roaming packs of zombie-like adults in Buckingham Palace, but, even after they survive their perilous journey through London, the teens arrive only to find their fight is far from over.
Description: Trapped inside a chain superstore by an apocalyptic sequence of natural and human disasters, six high school kids from various popular and unpopular social groups struggle for survival while protecting a group of younger children.
Description: After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
Description: Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Description: When fourteen-year-old Alex is framed for murder, he becomes an inmate in the Furnace Penitentiary, where brutal inmates and sadistic guards reign, boys who disappear in the middle of the night sometimes return weirdly altered, and escape might just be possible.
Description: Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television and by listening closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. On the night before his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through, hoping, in his next life, to return as a human.
Description: In the tradition of Mary Karr’s “The Liars’ Club” and Rick Bragg’s “All Over But the Shouting,” Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.