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The Academic Department of HarperCollins Publishers is devoted to providing the best in fiction and non-fiction titles and instructor resources for high school and college levels.
We also provide discounted exam copies for educators and are happy to help with desk copy requests through our online form. We hope the resources you’ll find throughout our site, including teaching guides, will help you decide which books are right for you and your students. As always, if you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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With a wide variety of books to spark discussion, HarperAcademic’s selection of First-Year titles is the perfect place to find the common book for your students.
Click here to view our First-Year website where you will find new and featured titles, past NODA and FYE speakers’ presentations, and information on special editions and bulk ordering. We’re happy to provide suggestions and sample copies. Contact us at email@example.com.
Summer High School Reading Report 2018
Just because the summer is starting doesn’t mean students are done learning. Brighton High School states, “Summer shouldn’t mean taking a break from learning, especially reading. Studies show that most students experience a loss of reading skills over the summer months, but those who continue to read actually gain skills. Students should make an effort to sustain reading skills, practice reading, and read for enjoyment, even though school is not in session (LD Online Newsletter).”
This focus on reading for reading’s sake seems to be felt nationwide. In reviewing a random sampling of high school summer reading lists, we found much more flexibility than in previous years. More often than not, it seems, schools are giving students control over their summer reading.
Many schools provide their students with a list of recommended books for summer reading. Some require the students to choose one or more books to read from that list, while others present the list as suggestions only. Some schools have ceased giving summer reading assignments altogether, instead just encouraging their students to read for their own enjoyment and enrichment over the summer and providing lists of recommended titles.
Sometimes, schools present further stipulations: a student may have to read one required book in addition to one book of their choosing, or there may be requirements on whether the reading is fiction or nonfiction. Of course, some courses—particularly upper grade AP or honors courses—stick to set books for students to read.
Summer reading is also expanding beyond simply reading books. Some schools require their students to read nonfiction articles over the summer. One summer reading assignment even required students to listen to a podcast in conjunction with their reading.
Here is a sampling of some summer reading lists:
- Balboa High School (San Francisco, CA): Monster, The Round House
- Clarke High School (Westbury, NY): The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Brave New World
- Falmouth Academy (Falmouth, MA): Love Medicine, Brave New World
- Grace Church School (New York, NY): No One Writes to the Colonel, Brave New World
- High School of Economics & Finance (New York, NY): The Alchemist, The Bean Trees, Rebecca
- Hinsdale South High School (Darien, IL): The Hate U Give, The Round House
- Kent School (Kent, CT): Rebecca, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Another Brooklyn
- Mansfield High School (Mansfield, MA): A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Jane Eyre, The Hate U Give, The Bell Jar
- Oakland High School (Murfreesboro, TN): Their Eyes Were Watching God, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Jane Eyre
- Parkland High School (Allentown, PA): Black Boy, Our Town, The Bell Jar, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Brave New World
- Tomball High School (Tomball, TX): The Poisonwood Bible
- Wando High School (Mount Pleasant, SC): The Hate U Give, Elon Musk, Hillbilly Elegy, Murder on the Orient Express, How to Read Literature Like a Professor
- West Allegheny School District (Oakdale, PA): And Then There Were None, A People’s History of the United States
Several contemporary titles, such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Round House, All the Light We Cannot See, I Am Malala, Hillbilly Elegy, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Kite Runner were commonly assigned across reading lists. Classic staples returning to the lists include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, And Then There Were None, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Catcher in the Rye, Rebecca, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Jane Eyre. Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor was once again a favorite for upper level classes. Many teachers noted on the lists that students should acquire their own copy of the book, as they would be referring to it throughout the school year.
As has been common in recent years, the lists often reflect real-world concerns. Once again, works of dystopian fiction like Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Animal Farm are increasingly being assigned as summer reading.
Wando High School in South Carolina had their summer reading list called into question for two titles that address the issue of police brutality: Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys. As of this report, a “Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials” form has been submitted with the school to challenge the assignment. Neither novel is required reading for the students; rather, they are presented as 2 out of 4 book options for students enrolled in English I and II College Prep. All American Boys is also presented as an option for students in English 1 Honors, which must be read with Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl.