Eleventh Grade Summer Reading Lists Program
Students entering eleventh grade may have assigned reading for the summer. If so, make reading goals manageable, allowing them to have time off to enjoy the break. They should still strive to read 40-60 minutes per day from a variety of genres, including magazines and newspapers.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Must Read)
George and Lennie have a complicated friendship. They are migrant workers in California who have a shared dream of one day owning their own farm. George is a father-figure to the simple Lenny, and must help him learn to handle and control his physical strength.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Must Read)
This book is told through the eyes of Holden Caulfield, who leaves prep school and goes off to New York City for three days. Much is left to the interpretation of the reader as Holden's accounts may or may not be fully accurate.
Airframe by Michael Crichton
A midair disaster on a transatlantic flight tests the abilities of a pilot. Fast-paced suspense will engage even the most reluctant reader.
The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston
This non-fiction account reads like fiction, which will appeal to many readers. A deadly virus (Ebola) appears in Washington DC causing panic and special forces to stop its spread.
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
A ten year old girl is assaulted and her father takes justice into his own hands sparking a racial divide in a small Mississippi town. A young defense lawyer, charged with defending the man, must navigate the dangerous racial landscape to save his client's life.
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
This Pulitzer Prize winning novel follows Quoyle, a newspaper hack, as he tries to put his life in order in Newfoundland. A beautifully written story.
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
This is great historical fiction account of the recollections of a 110 year old black woman. She recounts her days as a slave right through the 1960s black militant movements. Very interesting to read.
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
This memoir explores Kaysen's admission to a psychiatric hospital at age eighteen. Her two years there are described in horrific, unflinching detail. It is completely engrossing and brilliant.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
This is a completely unique WWII novel. It is absurd and horrible in a way that no other novel has managed to replicate. At its center is Yossarian, a bomber pilot who simply wants to live, despite the thousands of people trying to kill him.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Tragic and comic, this story of Randle Patrick McMurphy's hell-raising time on a mental ward pits him against Big Nurse. The power struggle is compelling and intense.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Capote takes nonfiction reporting to the level of great literature in this recounting of a murder in 1959. He presents the murder investigation, capture, trial, and execution of the guilty parties.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Sethe was born a slave. She escaped to Ohio, but is haunted by the memory of the child she lost, Beloved.