Reading summer school is not something that a lot of students enjoy, however, with the right books, lessons, and interactive materials, students may find themselves enjoying their assignments.
Below is a selection of good and well known books that will likely engage students in a summer reading program.
- “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux
- Sherlock Holmes (the series) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo
- “Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare
The Phantom of the Opera
This book is a great choice for summer reading for several reasons. It’s a classic that is a romance, a detective story, and a tale of murder, and it touches on horror and love. Students can choose the way they look at the story; some may sympathize with one character, like Christine or the Phantom, while others will enjoy thinking of themselves as the detective.
The book is set in France and has some history with other foreign civilizations, so it can be used to introduce world social studies information as well.
Sherlock Holmes books are often found in movies or TV shows, but this can be helpful to teachers who enjoy mixing media. Students can read the stories and then watch the films to get better acquainted with the characters. Teachers may also enjoy teaching more than one book from the series.
Johnny Got His Gun
This is a very serious novel from the 1930s that discusses the violence and danger of war. This book may not be suitable for younger students, but should be OK for older high school students. The story focuses on a World War I soldier who is blown up by a bomb in the war. When he awakens, he realizes that his arms, legs, and all of his face (including his eyes, ears, teeth, and tongue) are missing, and that he is trapped inside his own body.
Romeo and Juliet
This classic love story is very commonly taught to high school students. The story is set in Verona, Italy, so it is possible to tie in history and world information. The story’s poetry can be used to discuss rhyming and tie into some of Shakespeare’s other works. This is also a good book to use for acting, as it will allow the class to be interactive.