2019 Summer Reading List - High School
by Ruta Sepetys
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test. With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
March Book Three
by John Lewis
March Book Three brilliantly and sensitively concludes Representative John Lewis’ story while documenting Americans’ struggle for equal rights and civil liberties. Through all three volumes of March, readers read, see, and feel those struggles first hand. Furthermore, while each part of the trilogy tells a continuing story, that they each can equally stand on their own as solid stories and historical resources. Alone and together, these three volumes relay the struggles, the pains, and the hopes of Black and White Americans in the early 1960s, while highlighting some of this country’s greatest modern heroes.
by Ally Condie
Reached (2012), the third volume of Ally Condie’s young adult Matched trilogy, takes place in a future world where the governing body, called the Society, uses personal data and advanced statistical methods to map out the happiest life for each of its citizens. The Society determines who marries whom, what profession each person pursues, when they die, and more, all with the intent of creating a utopia. In the series’ opening book, Cassia Reyes is seventeen, the age to be matched in marriage. Surprisingly, she’s paired with her longtime friend, Xander Carrow, but a glitch in the system also fleetingly matches her with Ky Markham, causing Cassia to question the infallibility of the Society. Cassia, Xander, and Ky join forces in Reached to undermine their government and gain control of their lives.
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Freedom for one, freedom for all?
That’s the question that burns in Isabel’s mind as she and Curzon forge on through chaos and fear toward the dream that’s kept them alive for so many years: freedom. But her dream of living not as a “runaway” but as a free person with land and a family of her own seems impossibly far away. That dream hinges on one thing: finding her little sister, Ruth. It’s been years since Ruth was stolen from her. Is she even alive? And if Isabel can find her, how will they make it safely through the war between the Patriots and the British that rages on as dangerously as ever, while bounty hunters try to kidnap them at every turn? In the American Revolution, one must pick a side in order to survive. But how can you care about a nation’s freedom when the very same nation has kept you in chains?
by Jason Reynolds
Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.
Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So, while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through crazier than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.
by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.
It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them—everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they must hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and readier for the rest of their lives.
by Emily Brontë
Many people, generally those who have never read the book, consider Wuthering Heights to be a straightforward, if intense, love story — Romeo and Juliet on the Yorkshire Moors. But this is a mistake. Really the story is one of revenge. It follows the life of Heathcliff, a mysterious gypsy-like person, from childhood (about seven years old) to his death in his late thirties. Heathcliff rises in his adopted family and then is reduced to the status of a servant, running away when the young woman he loves decides to marry another. He returns later, rich and educated, and sets about gaining his revenge on the two families that he believed ruined his life.