Suggested Summer Reading for High School Students

The Bonesetters Daughter by Amy Tan. Set in San Francisco and in a Chinese village. This novel is about a San Francisco career woman, Ruth Young, who makes her living by ghostwriting self-help books. Ruths mother, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, had given Ruth documents about a cave where dragon bones are mined, some of which may prove to be the teeth of Peking Man. ISBN: 0399146431

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn. This realistic adolescent novel is about sixteen- year-old Nick who is sent to counseling for hitting his girlfriend, Caitlin, and ordered to keep a journal. He examines his controlling behavior and his turbulent home life with an abusive father. ISBN: 0064472574

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side Of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser. This nonfiction work traces the growth of fast food chains and blames the fast food industry for obesity, widening the gap between the rich and poor, for ruining the environment and for global imperialism. ISBN: 0425149625

Flight for Freedom by Ana Veciana-Suarez. This adolescent novel, part of the First Person Fiction series and written by Herald columnist Ana Suarez, is about the experience of coming to America. Yara Garcia and her family live a middle-class life in Havana but are forced to flee to Miami. This bookpoignantly documents Yaras story of exile and adjustment. ISBN: 0439381991

The Grass Dancer by Susan Power. This book tells the story of Harley Wind Soldier a young Sioux, and several generations of his ancestors. The Sioux of North Dakota are explored through short stories, written from the tradition of oral histories, which tie the Sioux lives together. ISBN: 0425179613

Its Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong. This account of Armstrongs Journey from diagnosis of advanced cancer through treatment and back to competition is filled with nutritional, physical, emotional and spiritual details. ISBN: 0425179613

Krik? Krak! By Edwidge Danticat. This challenging collection of intimate stories by Haitian-American author Danticat is about life under Haitis dictatorships and about those who fled to America to give their children a better life. ISBN: 067976657X

Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands by Susan Carol McCarthy. Based on actual crimes committed by the KKK in central Florida during the 50s, this novel of historical fiction is told through the eyes of twelve-year-old Reesa, in reality the author. ISBN: 0553381032

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. This classic slave narrative was an instant bestseller in 1845 and has remained a must-read. Douglass used real names in the work and had to flee this country for a while. It depicts slavery as an assault on selfhood and focuses on becoming an individual. ISBN: 0312257376

1984 by George Orwell. This classic describes a totalitarian society in which the government, referred to as the Party and ruled by Big Brother, controls behavior and thought of the people. An underground Brotherhood attempts resistance. The National Council of Teachers of English plans a "1984 + 20 Project" in October. ISBN: 0679417397.

The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence Krauss. This nonfiction work by a renowned physicist discusses the current reality of transport beans, warp drives, dilithium crystals, holodecks, tractor beams, wormholes and other concepts frequently incorporated into the various Star Trek television series. ISBN: 0060977108.

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. This nonfiction work is about the world of thoroughbred horse racing and focuses on one of the sports legends during the 1930s and 1940s. This is the universal underdog story. ISBN: 0449005615

Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli. Set in Mica, Arizona, this adolescent novel about the conforming and intolerant culture of the American public high school has won many awards. Stargirl is the new student who attracts much attention because she is very different. ISBN: 037582233X.

The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien. This book depicts a group of soldiers as they march thought Vietnam. They carried such things as malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, each other. They also carry many intangibles. ISBN: 0767902890,

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This novel centers on an African-American woman who tells her life story. Married three times, the protagonist is black, strong, and tender, unusual for female protagonists of the 30s. She goes through much suffering and pain and resultant growth. This book was selected for the 2004 Read Together, Florida initiative. ISBN: 0060931418.

Witness by Karen Hesse. This adolescent novel, written entirely in free verse, depicts the viewpoints of eleven characters who chronicle the events occurring in a 1924 Vermont town after the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan. ISBN: 0439272009.