Summer Reading

Middle School Reading

Summer Reading 2018 • Middle School

Middle school students will be reading at least four books this summer. General expectations are outlined below. 

Each fifth grader will read:

Each sixth grader will read:

Sixth grade students will not be tested on their summer reading, but they should have read these books to the best of their ability, and they should anticipate assignments based on their reading. In addition, each student must write a 100-word summary of either The Cay or So Far from the Bamboo Grove, depending on which novel they choose to read.

Each seventh grader will read:

Seventh grade students should expect September assignments based on The Giver and A Long Walk to Water in their English classes, so we recommend each student have copies to bring to school in September.

Each eighth grader will read:

Eighth grade students should expect September assignments based on summer reading in both their English and History classes, so we recommend each student have a copy of Brown Girl Dreaming (English) and The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World (History) to bring to school in September.

While we have some required titles at each grade level, at least half of the summer reading is free choice. In this way, students will also be able to read what they choose to read, something summer should be for.

We encourage parents and students to explore the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) website, which has terrific resources to help teens find books. The following lists, in particular, are well worth exploring:

Additionally, we’ve compiled separate lists of various award-winning young adult literature in an effort to help make quality titles easier to find. Students' choices do not need to come from these lists. They are only here to help.

Many Thayer students see that summer reading helps them grow, keeps them engaged in the most important academic skill, and provides entertainment. Since we teachers are not working with students over the summer as they complete their reading, we need parent and student support in order to make the summer reading program effective and successful.

Should you have questions or concerns regarding summer reading, please feel free to email or call me.


Brian Cibelli
English Department Head

Young Adult Library Services Association Lists

Award Winners



Upper School Reading

Summer Reading 2018 • Upper School

Students entering all grades must read THREE books: one required for their grade level (under “For All”), one from the “Choose at Least One” list for their grade level, and one of their own selection. Please note that students registered for Honors or AP level English must read a second required text in addition to those three. Please note that the second required text for AP Literature & Composition is different than the second required text for AP Language & Composition.

The optional texts lists are intentionally short so that more students read the same books. We hope this common reading will spark frequent, substantial literary discussions about those texts. A defining characteristic of the Thayer community is that we enjoy sharing with each other—that sharing includes passionate conversations about books!

MEMBEAN: Students’ Membean accounts will stay open and available throughout the summer. We encourage students to continue their work with Membean; frequent vocabulary practice improves reading comprehension (and confidence!) and performance on standardized tests. 9th graders and new 10th and 11th graders will open Membean accounts at the start of the school year.

For All: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
For Honors: The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

For All (choose at least one):
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
The Porcupine of Truth, Bill Konisberg

For All: The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence
For Honors: Micro Fiction, edit. Jerome Stern

For All (choose at least one):
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
Code Name Verity, Elizabeth E. Wein


For All: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
For AP Lit: Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
For AP Lang: Flight, Sherman Alexie

For All (choose at least one):
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore
Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy

For All:
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
For Honors: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
For Voice/Advanced Comp: The Elements of Journalism, edit. by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel

For All (choose at least one):
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

Required reading for French IV Honors
Kiffe Kiffe, Demain par Faïza Guène

Required reading for AP French
Une si longue letter par Mariama Bâ