Summer Reading 2021 Byram Hills High School

While shared texts typically populate the landscape of the English classroom, we believe that recreational reading plays an equally important role in the development of critical thinking, empathy, and self-awareness. During the academic year, students make quarterly independent reading selections. Over the summer, we ask that students continue to immerse themselves in high-interest reading material.

Independent Summer Reading Assignment

All BHHS students should complete a minimum of two independent reading selections during the summer vacation. A list of recommended titles appears on the Byram Hills website (additional links provided at the bottom of this page).

We highly recommend that students discuss book selections with teachers, librarians, and parents. During the first week of school, students should be prepared to discuss and/or write about their selections.

Required Texts for Specific Courses

Note: For the following courses, students should read the required text and a minimum of one additional independent reading selection.

English 11 AP: Language and Composition

Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri

English 12 AP: Literature and Composition


Perspectives in Literature

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

Humanities Seminar: Race, Class, and Culture in America

In addition to an independent reading book of your choices, please read at least one of the following:

Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson (NF)

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs (NF)

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (YA)

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

The Crossover, Kwame Alexander (YA)

On the Come Up, Angie Thomas (YA)

Dear Martin, Nic Stone (YA)

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation, Jeff Chang (NF)

The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros


The following links contain numerous suggestions for independent reading. Not all books will be appropriate for all students. We strongly recommend that students make informed decisions about independent reading, considering the content and complexity of each work.


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