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Summer Reading

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,

The English Department at Garces Memorial High School is pleased to continue the summer reading program for the upcoming academic year. While summer offers a necessary break from the chaotic pace and academic rigor of the regular school day, it also offers an opportunity to rediscover the joy of reading and to absorb the lazy droll of a summer afternoon with a good book. Much has been written about the “Summer Slide,” where student’s academic skills start to diminish over the summer break, but the good news is that much of the slide can be significantly reduced when students regularly read. Of course, when students are told to read a specific title, it is often met with resistance, so in an effort to more fully engage students in the reading process, the English Department is offering a reading list that will give the students the opportunity to select novels according to their personal preferences.

Before the end of the academic year, students will be given the reading list and this letter outlining the procedures and expectations of the summer reading requirement. When students return to school in the fall, they should have read their selected books and be prepared to take a short reading test in their English class within the first week of school. The reading test scores will be incorporated into the English class, constituting approximately 5% of the first semester grade

The grade level reading expectations are as follows:

  • English 9 (CP) & 9 (Honors) – Must read two selections from the freshman reading list
  • English 10 (CP) – Must read two selections from the sophomore reading list.
  • English 10 (Honors) – Must read Night by Elie Wiesel PLUS two selections from the sophomore reading list.
  • English 11 (CP) - Must read two selections from the junior reading list.
  • English 11 (AP) – Must read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger PLUS two selections from the junior reading list.
  • English 12 (CP) – Must read two selections from the senior reading list.
  • English 12 (AP) – Must read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison PLUS two selections from the senior reading list.
  • English General – Students enrolled in general level English are not required to read any book, but they may read one book from the appropriate grade level list for potential extra credit.


For each selection on the reading list, the English Department has provided a brief summary in order to entice readers and to provide an indication of the subject matter. While the English Department carefully selected the books for grade level appropriateness, readability, and literary merit, the moral barometer is not universal; therefore, we strongly encourage that both parents and students work in collaboration with each other to choose books that are both appropriate and enjoyable based on their standards. This can be done by researching the novel in general or by going to a specific website like Common Sense Media, where various parent reviews and subject matter ratings can be examined.

All books will be made available through Russo’s Books, and some are available at other bookstores and libraries throughout town. Of course, Garces Memorial will continue to offer summer reading classes during summer school, where students can meet the summer reading requirement in a classroom setting, guided by an instructor who will select the books and provide the necessary tests. Feel free to contact the Director of Summer School should you have any questions regarding enrollment in the summer reading classes.

Margaret Fuller once said “today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” This summer the English Department sincerely hopes that you continue on your path to success, and that you do so with a good book in your hand.

Happy reading!

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