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Upper School Summer Reading List

Summer is a season full of possibilities. While it may not be full of classes, studying, or test prep, the long summer days are perfect for planning your future, exploring a new hobby, and even catching up on a course—or bingable show. 

Lazy days are also an opportunity to leisurely slip between the pages of a book. Delve into a fictional world full of adventure and intrigue. Explore real-life destinations in a story based on true events. Meet classic characters and new best friends. Open another book and unlock the gate to more exciting experiences. 

If this sounds interesting, but you don’t consider yourself a voracious reader, that’s okay! Obviously, there’s a difference between required class reading and reading for pleasure. Summer reading not only allows you to choose the subject, genre, and pace, but it also hones your skills to help make future requirements easier to digest. It also puts you on the same page as your peers when they’re all talking about a whole host of characters you haven’t met yet. Join the conversation. Expand your horizons. Sharpen your skills with a summer reading list. 

Beyond the Books 

Ready or not, books are good for the brain. If you hoped to give your brain a break this summer, reading is good for that, too. While some see reading as more of a chore, they just haven’t found the right book yet. The right one will be a joy to read. It will be an escape from the everyday. It will call to you from wherever you left off, begging you to turn the page! And little by little, it will help make you smarter. 

Of course, reading nonfiction may teach you facts, but no matter what the subject, the act of reading will teach you vocabulary, sentence structure, persuasive dialogue, descriptive settings, and constantly spark your synapses by imagining it all. Reading helps to open the mind and keep it well-oiled. Take it from LSS Academy teacher, Joy Nehr, “Whether you travel or stay at home this summer, please be sure to exercise your brain in journeys of reading to ensure you stay sharp and ready for the next phase of your academic career.” 

Follow the Facts 

Not only is the alternative (not reading) less exciting, but it can also be bad for the brain. LSS English Teacher, Jennifer Moore, should know, and she’s done the research: 

A recent study shows that approximately half of all students lose important reading skills over the summer for five years in a row. However, another study shows that students make gains over the summer if they are carefully reading grade-level appropriate books that they enjoy. Therefore, the solution is simple: find books that you like and pay close attention as you read them. It’s as easy as that! So make a list of books that you’ve been meaning to read, or go find books that sound good, and have fun!”

For a jumpstart on your reading list, check out the various works recommended for 9th to 12th grade English students. Think of these as more than book titles. Each is a rich opportunity for discussion about values, culture, and social relationships.