Concord High School Recommended Summer Reading 2024

  • We would like to encourage students to read this summer.  Studies show that reading keeps the mind sharp and helps bridge learning gaps in the summer.  The Concord English department recommends the following texts. Recommendations listed below are available at your local library.

     (Students enrolled in AP English (Seminar, Lang, or Lit) - See specific class links on the left of this page)


Recommended Books for Students Entering 9th Grade

  • Refugee (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Alan Gratz Year Published: 2017

    New York Times bestseller!JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

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  • A Long Way Down (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by By Jason Reynolds Year Published:

    In LONG WAY DOWN, Reynolds takes on the timely issue of gun violence through the eyes of 15-year-old Will, whose brother was recently gunned down on their neighborhood streets. The novel is written in verse and takes place in sixty seconds --- the amount of time it takes Will to ride his building’s elevator to the ground floor, where he will find his brother’s murderer and shoot him.

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  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Mark Haddon Year Published:

    Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

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  • The Secret Life of Bees (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Sue Monk Kidd Year Published:

    This book is set in South Carolina in 1964, and tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna.

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Recommended Books for Students Entering 10th Grade

  • The Book Thief (for your pleasure)

    by Markus Zusak Year Published: 2005

    It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

    Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

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  • The Hate U Give (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Angie Thomas Year Published:

    Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. 

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  • The Help (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Kathryn Stockett Year Published:

    If you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird or our unit on Civil Rights, you will love The Help.  Considered a modern classic, The Help is set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights’ movement in Jackson, Mississippi.  It tells the story of the complicated relationships among maids, their often prejudiced employers, and the children they raise together.  You will laugh, you will cry, and you will never look at pie the same way again.  Rising tenth graders will also get great background for many of our units by reading The Help.  Do not just watch the movie!  The book is so much better!

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Recommended Books for Students Entering 11th Grade

  • The Glass Castle (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Jeannette Walls Year Published:

    A remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

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  • Tuesdays with Morrie (Recommended for your pleasure)

    by Mitch Albom Year Published:

    A chronicle of the relationship between Mitch Albom and Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.  Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of a beloved mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.

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Recommended Books for Students Entering 12th Grade

  • In the Time of the Butterflies

    by Julia Alvarez Year Published:

     It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas―“The Butterflies.” In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters―Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé―speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez’s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression.  

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  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    by Khaled Hosseini Year Published:

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

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