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HHS Summer Reading
Hanover High School Required Summer Reading
Summer Reading
The Summer Reading lists below contain suggested titles, meant to be read in addition to your required text. We encourage you to read as much as you can about your favorite topics! Don't succumb to "Summer Slide"!
Students' Favorites
  • The Alchemist by Paul Coelho is an exciting, fast-paced and easy to read novel that will entice any reader. The main character chases after his dream. Unlike most books read in school, the message of this book is obvious to the reader right off the bat. Ross Jankins

  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The topic, Jacob Jankowski and his journey with the circus, is strange but the story behind it is very interesting. Jacklyn Finnigan

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is about a boy named Charlie who is considered a social outcast…the book is about dealing with high school, friends, and love. It’s short and easy; however at the same time a satisfying read. Julie Fick

  • Running Loose by Chris Crutcher is about a high school football player’s ups and downs. It is a must read for any teenager that considers themselves rebellious, athletic, hard working, innocent, or honest. Tim MacDonald

  • The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. I liked how the author went back and forth between Paul, the healthy twin, and Phoebe the twin born with Down Syndrome. I recommend you read the book when you have plenty of time to devote to it, because you won’t want to put it down. Meg Marvelle

  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda Sordino begins her freshman year of high school with no friends, all because of a party. I would recommend this book to girls in grades ten and up. I found it a great book and very interesting and exciting. Lauren Alfis

  • The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger is fun and easy read. If you enjoy fashion this is the book for you. Lindsey DiTullio

  • Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. This is one of the best novels I ever read. The story is a unique one, told from the point of view of a 16-year-old maid living in Holland in the 1660’s. Emily Conforto

  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen tells the story of Fanny Price, a poor girl who is sent to live with her wealthy and noble cousins the Bertrams on their estate of Mansfield Park. The novel is liberally dosed with Austen’s comic wit…it has a dash of suspense, with the reader wondering who Fanny will end up with at the end…David Chu
  • Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco
    This is a memoir of the author’s life from when she was in 4th grade…it is a quick and easy read…the ending was the best part. Jen McCann

  • No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine High School by Brooks Brown and Rob Merritt. I really enjoyed reading this book…it shows how bullying can become a huge problem if no one does anything about it. Colleen McLaughlin

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This memoir tells about how Jeannette and her three siblings were brought up, with practically no money, by their insane parents…it was an excellent read…I never wanted to put it down. Brittany Graf

  • The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home by George Howe Colt depicts the summers spent by five generations of a family in their summer house. It enables the reader to connect with the experiences that various characters went through. Janelle Bridson

  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.  Morrie Schwartz has been diagnosed with ALS and the author takes a trip from Detroit to Boston to visit his old “coach.” This book was one of the most inspirational books I have ever read. Kristy Nyman
Teachers' Favorites
  • My favorite book is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.  I love this book because it beautifully illustrates the injustices of institutionalization in a very real way.  It heightens awareness while telling a great story.

  • Shattering Glass by Gail Giles This novel was earnestly recommended to me by one of my students.  He was thrilled with the story.  I must say, after reading it, the novel does ring especially true for those experiencing high school.  A group of cool kids decide to make the class nerd their pet project, with disastrous consequences.  This book is a quick read.  I especially like how the beginning of each chapter starts with a quote from one of the characters that foreshadows events, or fills in the blanks. Mrs. Fay

  • The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland. This is a fictional account of the post-Renaissance painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.  Artemisia was one of the only female painters from that era to find fame during her lifetime. Mrs. Curley

  • Disappearances by Howard Frank Moser is the story of Quebec Bill and his son Wild Bill. Quebec Bill is a farmer in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with a checkered past; Wild Bill is actually not very wild. When the severe winter lingers and there is no more hay for the dairy cows and no money to buy any, Quebec Bill goes on a bootlegging expedition to Canada. Wild Bill and his Uncle Henry go along and the adventures begin. The book is populated with great characters and gives great insight into the reality of rural life in 20th century New England.

  • My favorite book is Mr. Emerson's Wife by Amy Belding Brown. I like this book because it brings the life and times of Emerson and his family/friends to life via his wife Lydia.  I loved reading about his wife's perspective of Emerson and their life together.  There is also a question as to the extent of Mrs. Emerson's relationship with Henry David Thoreau. Mrs. Coates

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  The imagery to me was amazing; I can still picture scenes in my mind as if I had just read it.  The book also gives the reader a perspective of the Great Depression that few today can relate to.

  • Of course The Kite Runner was a wonderful read…also A Thousand Splendid Suns both by Khaled Hosseini.  I would also like to recommend The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter - wonderful look at the real meaning of life and family.

  • I too would recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It was interesting to learn about the cultural differences between how women and men are regarded in Afghanistan.  This novel focuses on the relationship between mothers and daughters and the friendship that grows over many years between two women who draw strength and courage from each other in many instances of self-sacrifice.

  • Currently my favorite book is Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. It is a lighthearted book that I like to read when I am having a stressed day. I enjoy a good laugh reading about the main character's adventures with her credit cards and past due bills! I think any girl who has agonized over a pair of shoes she feels she MUST have (but simply can't afford), can relate to this amusing book. Mrs. L. Campbell

  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Take a trip to Spain with Hemingway. Mrs. Gately

  • The Wave by Todd Strasser.  This novel is based upon a real classroom experiment by history teacher, Mr. Ron Jones, of Palo Alto, California.  His classes wondered how the Holocaust could have happened, and he proved to them that indeed, it could happen again if we don’t learn from our past mistakes.  Mrs. Fay

  •  The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffengger. This book is one that definitely makes you think, as a man travels back and forth in time, and meets his wife at different stages in her life, interacting with her at such a young age that by the time she meets him and falls in love with him, she already knows how their story will turn out.

  • I loved The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is an easy read; great for kids who have dreams…encouraging them to do whatever they can to realize them. Everyone should read The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer. Unfortunately, in our country, people don't realize the importance of Greek Literature (epic poetry) until they go to college but in Europe, it is a must in the secondary schools. After all, as Plato said,  "Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom.” Mrs. Katsiliersi
  • For me I'd have to say The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown...I know it's kind of popular, but I absolutely loved it. Mr. Patch

  • The DaVinci Code was great but I think Angels and Demons by Dan Brown is even better.

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy--Can anything be positive in a bleak post-apocalyptic landscape populated by starving humans desperately scavenging for food? Yes, the love between a father and son--two "good guys" who traverse a blasted world in search of the smallest spark of hope. Mr. Hopkins

  • One of the most exciting was P. D. James’ Devices and Desires. What an exciting end to that book!  It is part of the Adam Dalgliesh Mystery Series.  I have since read the remainder of those and ones that have followed after having read this book.  She is an excellent writer!  Mrs. Davis

  • My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King. I found The Stand to be long but tough to put down as the suspense and intense storyline pulled me in. This book brings to light many questions about mankind and how humanity would react if biological weapons wiped out society. These questions get asked as the survivors of the Apocalypse prepare for the final battle between good and evil. Mr. Decie

  • The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I read the first book in this series against my better judgment, as I've never been one for science fiction or fantasy. This story was incredible, a Romeo and Juliet love story between a normal human teenager and a vampire trying to fight his evil side. There's witty humor, and great action scenes as well. The first three books, Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse are out now, and the fourth and final book, Breaking Dawn, will be released in August.
  • The Math Instinct: Why You’re a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs) by Keith Devlin. It’s about how animals have built in abilities to do advanced math.  Describes different scenarios in different species, goes over the biology and the math.  Example:  If you’re on the beach playing fetch with a dog, and you throw the stick in the water at a diagonal away from the dog, it optimizes its travel to be shortest in time.  Since its speed on land and speed on water are different, there is an optimal point to jump in the water, and they always get it right.  To solve it mathematically is a college level calculus problem.

  • My favorite book is The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. I like this book because it brings the beginning of World War I to life in a suspenseful way. Mrs. McCusker

  • Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families by J. Anthony Lukas is my favorite book because it gives the reader a broad historical perspective of Boston. It is a non-fiction book but it reads like a novel. I have even met some of the people depicted in the book.

  • An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales by Dr. Oliver Sacks
    This is a collection of stories relating to neurological problems that people may have including such issues as autism, Tourette’s syndrome, ocular problems, etc. Dr. Sacks takes a very poignant perspective as he tells stories about these afflictions and how the individuals he writes of manage their lives. Dr. Sacks is a caring and benevolent person and writer who views the soul of his patients as he discusses the problems they face.

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, a fabulous book for those who love gardening, nature and eating healthy (organic, environmentally friendly eating!).  All of Kingsolver’s books are wonderful!

  • If I had to choose just one book that touched me more than any other, it would be Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett.  It is the true story of the author’s incredible friendship with Lucy, her college roommate, who was born with a severe craniofacial deformity, yet became an award-winning author.  Their friendship endures despite the challenges of drug addictions, promiscuity, bad marriages, surgeries, motherhood and much more. Mrs. Gately
  • I would recommend Values of the Game by Bill Bradley. This is a look at how a United States Senator uses his experiences as an athlete to succeed in life after sports. Mr. Molloy

  • The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam. This book gives the reader a behind the scenes look at the life of the New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.  The book discusses his years studying the sport of football under his father as a young boy at the United States Naval Academy, to his days as a student-athlete at Wesleyan College, and to his rise through the NFL. Mr. Rodday

  • Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World by Yang Erche Namu and Christine Mathieu. I really enjoyed this autobiographical novel because it sheds light on a matriarchal society that exists deep in the mountains of China. It is a story of a young woman raised in this society and her journey that takes her away from her homeland as she aspires to become a singer. This novel is beautifully written and one I could not put down. A must read for high school girls!

  • I recommend Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Relin." Every once in a while, a book comes along that stands out...a story that you want to buy hundred copies of and hand out to everyone you see and put in every school...because its message that education, kindness, and generosity are the true and lasting building blocks of peace and understanding is so needed in our world" (Chinaberry). This is the book!
Fantasy/Science Fiction
  • The Once and Future King by T.H.White. A friend of mine recommended this book to me when I was in high school. I wasn't really in to fantasy novels, but I trusted my friend's judgment and therefore borrowed the book. After reading a couple chapters of the first of four stories, The Sword in the Stone, I couldn't put the book down!

  • Harry Potter (series) by JK Rowling. Reading these books is a wonderful way to take your mind away from a busy schedule and transport yourself to a magical vacation! Ms. McHenry

  • I have enjoyed Wicked and the sequel, Son of a Witch by Gregory McGuire. I never know what to read so this is a great idea. Mrs. Turocy

  • One of my favorite books written by Michael Crichton is Timeline. It is suspenseful, historical, scientific, and dramatic. Mrs. K Campbell

  • More books and reviews are available on the John Curtis Free Library Teen Page at http://www.hanovermass.com/library/teens.htm.