Summer Reading

CHHS 2020 SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENTS (click to download):

If you have any questions, please email me at Happy reading!



These recommendations are mostly based on what students enjoyed reading last year; a few are just books I’ve read and enjoyed recently.

  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (2016) — A hilarious but illuminating memoir from the famous comedian about growing up in South Africa. This is by far my #1 recommendation for English 4 students.
  • There There by Tommy Orange (2018) — A novel in many voices; all of the inter-related stories converge as you get closer to the end. It takes place in present day, and the protagonist is a young Native American man from Oakland, CA.
  • Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (2020) — A nonfiction book for young adults adapted from an earlier book written for adults, this book examines racism, its history, and what you can do to be antiracist.
  • Any book by the author Karen M. McManus: One of Us is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, etc. — I couldn’t keep her books on my shelves last year because students kept borrowing and devouring them! They’re very fast-paced thrillers/mysteries with high school students as the main characters.
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (2018) –– A novel told in verse, this story of a teenage girl finding her way is extremely engaging and the pages turn very fast.
  • Counting Descent by Clint Smith (2016) — A book of poems (wait! come back! CONTEMPORARY poems!) that collectively examine the experience of growing up Black in America.
  • Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez (2018) — Both playful and serious, this is another book of CONTEMPORARY poetry that examines the writer’s experiences as a young American of Mexican descent. Basketball, Chicago, cheese fries, humanity — it’s all in here.
  • Who Put this Song On? by Morgan Parker (2019) — A great YA novel with a female protagonist.
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi (2017) 
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (2012)
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018)
  • Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (2017) 
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988) 

I recommend looking for these or any other books at your local library or favorite independent bookstore as everything starts to open back up, or at You can also see reviews and ratings of the books at

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