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Fun, Smart Summer Reading Lists for Students

Fun, Smart Summer Reading Lists for Students

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

May 20, 2014

Summer may be your chance to take a break from school, but you can still continue your learning over the summer and have fun at the same time.

High school students that read during the summer months are more likely to score higher on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT and AP Exams; and college students will find that the more they read, the greater their engagement in classes upon their return to campus. Plus, the novels included on summer reading lists can provide historical and social context for college students in their other courses.

While literary classics are vital to developing written and verbal skills, contemporary novels can provide just as much help and influence to students preparing for tests as well as classes.

Check out Fastweb’s summer must-reads for high school, college and grad students. Don’t forget to share which was your favorite after the summer!

High School Students

Classics

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
3. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
10. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
11. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
12. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
13. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
14. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
15. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
16. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
17. Selected Tales by Edgar Allen Poe
18. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
19. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
20. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Contemporary

1. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
4. Ethan Frome by Edith Warton
5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
6. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
7. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
8. Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
11. Looking for Alaska by John Green
12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
13. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
14. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
15. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

College & Graduate Students

Classics
1. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
2. Animal Farm by George Orwell
3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
4. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
5. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
7. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
10. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
12. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
13. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
14. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
15. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
16. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
17. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
18. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
19. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
20. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Contemporary
1. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
2. The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein
3. Atonement by Ian McEwan
4. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth by Richard Wright
6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
7. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
8. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
9. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
10. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
11. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
12. Night by Elie Wiesel
13. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
14. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
15. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Don’t let your school year limit what you read – these suggestions are enjoyable at any age – the key is to have fun diving into these classic and contemporary novels this summer!


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