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Summer 2015 Independent Reading

Jump to a section: [Rising Learning Village 1-4]  [Rising Learning Village 5-8]  [Rising Upper School]

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For Rising Learning Village Grades 1-4

Students who read during the summer months are more likely to continue to make progress in the areas of fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. It is important, therefore, that students continue to explore the wonder of books during summer vacation. Below you will find some helpful resources for summer reading.  Happy Reading!

American Library Association:
2015 Summer Reading List
2015 Book Lists

Mrs. Gray’s Blog:

Optional Book Log:
Click here for book log.


For Rising Learning Village Grades 5-8

  • To develop the habit of reading, students are expected to read a minimum of three hours per week. They may draw their reading from a variety of sources of their choosing (e.g., books, newspapers, magazines, journals, essays, and poetry).
  • Students may choose to keep a log of their summer reading. Click here to download the optional log.
  • Please click here to view the Summer 2015 list of suggested titles.

American Library Association: Library Service for Children Booklists:
Recommended Books from ALSC

Carnegie Library:
Great Books for Middle Readers

Newbery Book Award Lists:
Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922-Present

The Next Generation of Children’s Classics
Popular Middle School Books

Girls in Sports

Boys Read:
Best Books



For Rising Upper School

Summary of Summer Reading Requirements for Upper School English/Humanities Classes: 

  • For each Humanities course in the Upper School, students will read two or three common books. (See list below)
  • In addition to these common books, students should read at least two other books of their choice.
  • To develop the habit of reading, students should try to read on a daily basis. We suggest 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Over the summer students are welcome to start reading for the 2015-2016 Renaissance Reading program. Athough the required reading assigments below do not count towards this program, students are encouraged to choose their independent reading from the 2014-2016 Renaissance Reader List that contains current faculty suggestions.

For rising freshmen: 

  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe ISBN: 0385474547
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ISBN: 1451673310

For rising sophomore Humanities 10:

  • Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse ISBN: 978-0553208849
  • Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger ISBN: 978-0316769174
  • In addition to the require books above, students wishing to receive Honors for Humanities 10 must read A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens ISBN: 1403739102

For rising sophomores in STAB Lab:

  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Honors: A Passage to India, E. M. Forster andThe Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The summer chemistry assignment will consist of a short reading with some questions to be handed in at the beginning of next year as well as one project selected from a short list. Details will be provided at the STAB Lab website.

For rising juniors in American Studies and Honors American Studies:

  • Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer* ISBN: 0-385-48680-4
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald ISBN: 0-7432-7356-7
  • The Crucible, Arthur Miller ISBN: 0-14-243733-6  
  • In addition to the required books above, students wishing to receive Honors must read The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume B. ISBN: 0-393-92993-0

*Recommended but not required for students wishing to earn the Honors designation for American Studies.

For students in Honors European History:

  • A World Lit Only By Fire, William Manchester ISBN: 0316545562

For rising seniors in Humanities 12/English 12:

  • This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff ISBN: 978-0802136688
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby ISBN: 978-0375701214

For rising seniors in Honors Humanities 12/English 12:

  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens ISBN: 0140439269
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard ISBN: 0061233323
For all ESL students:
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury ISBN-10: 1451673310
  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe ISBN-10: 0385474547

Summary of Summer Reading Requirements for Advanced Placement (AP) classes:

AP Biology

Read the first 5 chapters in Biology text: Campbell Biology (9th Edition)

AP Chemistry

Use the following links to download THREE important documents:

Please read them all carefully and be in touch with Mrs. Van Liew (  if you have any questions.

AP French Language and Culture

Please click here to download the summer reading assignment.

AP Latin

Please click here to download the Essential Vocabulary List (required on DAY ONE).

Please click here to familiarize yourself with the required readings, grammar, and rhetorical devices for the AP Latin course according to the College Board.

A suggested (but not required) summer reading book is Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin (Amazon link: HERE). It provides a fun and accessible introduction of the Aeneid as a modern novel. A great way to jump-start your Renaissance Reading!

AP Spanish Language

Please click here to download the summer reading assignment.

Why We Ask Our Students to Read

One of the goals of summer independent reading at St. Anne’s-Belfield School is to create for students an opportunity to make reading a rich, positive, and enjoyable experience. To achieve this goal, students must first get into – or not fall away from – the habit of reading. We believe students should be encouraged to follow the interests and passions they have developed over the course of their lives. In addition, they should be encouraged to read widely, both to explore new territory and to encounter minds and worlds they might not otherwise have sought out on their own.

In The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen reviews research on reading going back over 100 years. He reports that in study after study the research is consistent on one thing: when students are engaged in free voluntary reading—that is, when they have choice over the material they select—the benefits are profound. He concludes that such students will “acquire a large vocabulary, develop the ability to understand and use complex grammatical constructions, develop a good writing style, and become good (but not necessarily perfect) spellers.” In addition, “their reading comprehension will improve, and they will find difficult, academic-style texts more comprehensible. Their writing style will improve, and they will be better able to write prose in a style that is acceptable to schools, business, and the scientific community.” Perhaps most importantly, these benefits accrue to students no matter what reading material they select. The significant variable is their development of the habit of reading. The goal is for reading to become a natural rather than an alien activity for students. If this habit develops, there is a far greater likelihood that students will associate reading with pleasure rather simply with academic obligation.  

Body. Mind. Heart. Soul.

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