Twelfth Grade Summer Reading Lists Program
At this stage, students should be reading for enjoyment. They will tackle weighty books during their senior year, so summer is an opportunity to read for fun - keeping their minds active and continuing to stimulate their creativity.
Daily reading continues to be important, with a goal of 40-60 minutes being the ideal. Encourage the student to set aside time to read. Reading before bed is a good way to relax and take some quiet time.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr (Must Read)
This crime novel is set in New York in 1896, when psychology was first being recognized. A reporter works with an "alienist" to assemble a psychological profile of the person who murdered a prostitute.
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (Must Read)
Frank McCourt's memoir details his life growing up in extreme poverty in Ireland. His anger with his parents, his church, and his poverty all come through clearly. His spirit gets him through as he starts his life over in America.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Vampires are always popular in fiction. This is a completely unique approach, with the creatures emerging due to a government experiment gone wrong. This is the first in a proposed trilogy.
The Client by John Grisham
Mark Sway accidentally acquires some dangerous knowledge. Caught between the mob and a rookie lawyer, he is desperate to find a way out. This is a very fast paced thriller.
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
A Brooklyn Private Investigator with Tourette's syndrome has problems. His boss is dead, he has lady troubles, and a compulsion to touch and count things. A very cleverly plotted mystery.
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
Elaine Risley is a controversial artist who is returning home to Toronto for a showing of her work. Her haunting memories of friendships and betrayals will intrigue readers.
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
A successful Wall Street trader is arrested for a hit-and-run in the South Bronx. This is a very interesting look at New York in the 1980s.
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
Winnie Louie offers the secrets of her life to her Americanized, suspicious daughter. The writing in this novel is particularly engaging.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
This is a translation of a bestseller from Mexico. Each chapter is preceded by a recipe which features heavily in the following text. The foods are more about emotion than about sustenance.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The story is presented from the viewpoints of the wife and daughters of a missionary to the Belgian Congo. The writing is nearly lyrical as the compelling story sucks the reader in.
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
For the spy and espionage lovers, this Jack Ryan novel delves into the complicated relationship between Russia and the US as they seek a runaway Russian missile sub.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
When two young boys in Kabul share a horrible experience, they are forever bound by their secrets. This depiction of life in Afghanistan will enlighten readers and pull them into the story of betrayal and redemption.