GLHS Summer 2018 Reading List

For English classes

Each student must read at least one book from the appropriate grade-level list during the summer of 2018.
NOTE: There is no summer reading for dual enrollment classes.

Ninth Grade

The Firm by John Grisham
At the top of his class at Harvard Law, he had his choice of the best in America. He made a deadly mistake. When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought he and his wife, Abby, were on their way. The firm leased him a BMW, paid off his school loans, arranged a mortgage and hired him a decorator. Mitch McDeere should have remembered what his brother Ray — doing fifteen years in a Tennessee jail — already knew. You never get nothing for nothing. Now the FBI has the lowdown on Mitch’s firm and needs his help. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice — if he wants to live.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
This is a gorgeous, heart-warming coming-of-age story that lives up to the hype. It is set in 1964 during the Civil Rights movement. This delightful tale is about one girl's search for her (long dead) mother. At 14 years old Lily Owens does not know much about life. Nor does she know much about her mother, who died in an accident when Lily was just four. When Lily and her nanny run away, the pair is taken in by three black bee-keeping sisters. Here, in the safe arms of three proud women, Lily learns the truth about her mother and the healing, recuperative power of love.
A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz thought he had everything he needed. A successful novelist with more than twenty #1 New York Times bestsellers to his credit, Koontz had forged a career out of industry and imagination, but he had always wanted a dog--had even written several books in which dogs were featured. Not until Trixie, a retired service dog, was he truly open to the change that such a beautiful creature could bring about in him. Trixie was joyful and direct, and she put her heart into everything--from chasing tennis balls, to playing practical jokes, to protecting those she loved.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" — the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

Tenth Grade

All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
The autobiography of Bragg's upbringing in the poor and rural south of the 1960's is moving, tragic, and uniquely American. His story pays homage to the selfless efforts of his mother to raise her three young sons without the assistance of their heavy-drinking and abusive Korean War vet father. Growing up not realizing the sacrifices she has made for them, Bragg feels indebted to his mother for all she has done without in her life. He pushes himself to become a better son and writer, starting out as a sports reporter for a local daily newspaper in Alabama, working his way up to the New York Times, a prestigious fellowship to Harvard, and a Pulitzer Prize for journalism.
Run With the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams
In this coming-of-age story, Porter Osbourne Jr. is a precocious, sensitive, and rambunctious boy trying to make it through adolescence during the Depression. On a red-clay farm in Georgia, he learns all there is to know about cotton-chopping, hog-killing, watermelon-thumping, and mule-handling. School provides a quick course in practical joking, schoolboy crushes, and athletic glory; but it is Porter’s family who teach him the painful truths about growing up strong enough to run with the horsemen.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Good Earth is the classic story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the couple’s fortunes improve over the years. However, success brings with it a new set of problems. Wang soon finds himself the target of jealousy, and as good harvests come and go, so does the social order.

Eleventh Grade

(AP students see separate list below)

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
This book is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished America in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman that he loved there years before.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This book is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished America in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman that he loved there years before.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
In John Knowles's A Separate Peace, scholarly Gene and athletic Finny are best friends at a prep school in the 1950s. Their physical resemblance and complementary personalities make them almost like doubles of each other. A tragic fall from a tree leads to shattered dreams for one boy and self-discovery and maturity for the other. John Knowles's A Separate Peace dramatizes the challenge of growing up to be a truly individual adult in a conformist world.
Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks
This memoir chronicles a three week trip around the world that he took with his brother, Micah. The brothers, then 37 and 38 years old, are the only surviving members of their family. Three Weeks with My Brother works through the untimely deaths of their parents and sibling and tells the story of their family.

Twelfth Grade

(AP students see separate list below)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Published to widespread success in 1847, Jane Eyre catapulted 31-year-old Charlotte Bronte into the upper echelon of Victorian writers. Though it presumably relates events from the first decade of the 19th century, contemporary Victorians, particularly women, identified with Bronte's critique of Victorian class and gender mores.
Grendel by John Gardner
This book is a retelling of Beowulf from the view of one of the most frightening monsters in literature. From this viewpoint the reader comes to know Grendel as more than monstrous: he is searching for meaning and questioning the heroic values that depend so heavily on his own death.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
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.

AP Reading List

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood was written to document the Herbert Clutter murders. Capote does extensive research of these murders and on Clutter himself in order to get his message across. The Clutter family, parents Herb and Bonnie and teens Kenyon and Nancy, are a happy, prosperous, civic-minded, church-going family living on their farm in Holcomb, Kansas. The narrator follows the Clutters through the ordinary event of their last day on earth.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Sometimes it is the journey that matters. In Faulkner"s novel As I Lay Dying, a journey is used to support the greater whole of the novel and the argument that Faulkner makes. As I Lay Dying is a southern gothic novel that embodies the dysfunctional family. The family treks forty miles toward the city of Jefferson with their dead mother in a coffin. This was her last wish. Through calamities the family goes to the city and finally buries her decaying corpse.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave&mdash:"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"—wasn't about dying; it was about living. In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an unforgettable form.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
This is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.