Concord High School Summer Reading 2020

  • 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.  



        Reading Requirement

    College Prep. English (CP), Honors English


               1 book


    AP English (Seminar, Lang, or Lit)

        See specfic class links on the left of this page


    Optional Assessment for College Prep and Honors: Students can complete an optional reading response for an extra grade in the first marking period.  It will be a short reader response journal assigned by the teacher the first week of school.


    Book Choices: Choose from the list below.



    Book Choices

    Entering 9th Grade

    The Secret Life of Bees  by Sue Monk Kidd

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

    A Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

    Entering 10th Grade

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    Entering 11th Grade

    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

    Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

    Entering 12th Grade

    A Thousand Splendid Suns--Khaled Hosseini

     In The Time of The Butterflies – Julia Alvarez


    Schools will have a limited supply of the assigned books. In addition, we have asked the Claymont (798-4164), Brandywine Hundred (477-3150), North Wilmington (761-4290), and Main Wilmington (571-7400) Libraries to add these books to their collections. Barnes & Noble will also be asked to stock these books. Two websites for new or used books are and; you can buy books at a reduced price plus shipping and handling.


    As you read, take note of the following:


    • Main characters and their traits (personality traits)
    • Character changes throughout the story
    • Character flaws – What limitations, imperfections, etc. affect the character?
    • Conflicts (internal and external)
    • Setting (changes in, importance of, impact of)
    • What are some of the most important events that take place? Why are they important?
    • What is the climax of the story?
    • How is the story resolved? 
    • Theme(s) – What do you think this book says about people or life in general?



Books for Students Entering 9th Grade

  • A Long Way Down

    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

    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

    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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Books for Students Entering 10th Grade

  • The Book Thief

    by Markus Zusak Year Published:

    Narrated by Death himself, this extraordinary novel tells the story of a young girl who falls in love with books while also dealing with the harsh realities of one of the most horrific times in history.  It demonstrates the power of words and their ability to “feed the soul” (Zusak).  Leisel and Rudy will have you cheering and crying, and Death’s observations about human nature will leave you thinking all day!  The movie adapted from the novel is wonderful, but it does not come close to the level this book achieves.  Read the book before you see the movie!  You won’t be disappointed.

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  • The Hate U Give

    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

    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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Books for Students Entering 11th Grade

  • Tuesdays with Morrie

    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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  • The Glass Castle

    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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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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