2014 Parkway Summer Reading List
Students Entering Grades 9-12

Summer provides many opportunities for students and their families to enjoy unforgettable books together. Before entering each grade, a Parkway student is encouraged to read at least three of the books listed for that grade. Feel free to substitute other titles by the recommended authors.

You may wish to check your local public library for books on the Parkway Summer Reading List:

St. Louis County Library Catalog St. Louis Public Library Catalog (City)

Ninth Grade Tenth Grade Eleventh Grade Twelfth Grade

Before Entering Ninth Grade


Card: Ender's Game c1985 science fiction
Ender, who is the result of genetic experimentation, may be the military genius Earth needs in its war against an alien enemy.


Cox: Swimming to Antarctica c2004 nonfiction, memoir
Distance swimmer, Lynne Cox, describes her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the mythical act of swimming itself and chronicles some of her more memorable swims.


Crutcher: Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories c1991 short stories
This book is a collection of short stories featuring characters from earlier books by Chris Crutcher.


Deuker: Gym Candy c2007 fiction, sports
Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life.


Dickens: Oliver Twist classic fiction
An orphan in Victorian England finds his true identity through his misadventures.


Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo classic fiction, adventure
Nineteen-year-old French sailor Edmond Dantes is unjustly imprisoned on his planned wedding day, and after fourteen years of solitary confinement, a daring escape, hidden riches on the island of Monte Cristo, and a new identity bring him closer to a reunion with his love, Mercedes, and revenge upon his accusers.


Farmer: The House of the Scorpion c2002 science fiction
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.


Flinn: Beastly c2007 fantasy
A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return.

Franco (editor): Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls c2001 poetry
A collection of poems, stories, and essays written by girls twelve to eighteen years of age and revealing the secrets which enabled them to overcome the challenges they faced.


Franco (editor): You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys c2000 poetry
An anthology of stories, poems, and essays by adolescent boys on issues that concern them.


Forman: If I Stay c2009 realistic fiction
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

Gourley: War, Women and the News: How Female Journalists Won the Battle to Cover World War II c2007 nonfiction
Text, period photographs and news clippings tell the stories of the female journalists who fought to cover World War II and report from the front lines.


Hersey: Hiroshima c1985 nonfiction
The classic tale of the day the first atom bomb was dropped offers a haunting evocation of the memories of survivors and an appeal to the conscience of humanity.


Johnson: The First Part Last c2003 realistic fiction
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.


Krakauer: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster c1998 nonfiction
The author describes his spring 1996 trek to Mt. Everest, a disastrous expedition that claimed the lives of eight climbers, and explains why he survived.


Lord: A Night to Remember c1955 nonfiction
An account of the sinking of the "Titanic," a reputedly unsinkable ship that went down in the Atlantic on April 10, 1912 after hitting an iceberg, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 people.

Oppel: Half Brother c2010 historical fiction
In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project--an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills--he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his thirteen-year-old son to treat Zan like a little brother.


Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin classic, historical fiction
Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree and little Eva: their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South.


Strasser: Boot Camp c2007 fiction
After ignoring several warnings to stop dating his teacher, Garrett is sent to Lake Harmony, a boot camp that uses unorthodox and brutal methods to train students to obey their parents.


Tolkien: Lord of the Rings Trilogy c1954 fantasy
Frodo, the hobbit and his companions set out to deliver the One Ring of Power to the dark land of Mordor in order to destroy the ring in the forge of its creation.


Yang: American Born Chinese c2006 graphic novel
Presented in comic book format, this story alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture.

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Before Entering Tenth Grade


Alexie: Flight c2007 fiction
A teenager in a new foster home wrestles with the anger and injustice of his own situation and contemplates violence before taking a jolting time travel journey to examine the conquest of Native Americans and the consequences of hatred from various viewpoints.


Anderson, Laurie Halse: Twisted c2007 realistic fiction
After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but when life starts to go bad again, he must choose between transforming himself or giving in to his destructive thoughts.


Anderson: Feed c2002 science fiction
People in this futuristic society constantly receive information and commercials from computers implanted in their brains at birth. The story criticizes our consumer-driven society.


Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings c1991 nonfiction, autobiography
Poet Maya Angelou chronicles her early life, focusing on her childhood in 1930s rural Arkansas, including her rape at the age of five, her subsequent years of muteness, and the strength she gained from her grandmother and Mrs. Bertha Flowers, a respected African-American woman in her town.


Bissinger: Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream c2000 nonfiction
The story of a high school football team in Texas and their struggle to win the championship in 1988.


Booth: Tyrell c2007 urban fiction
Fifteen-year-old Tyrell, who is living in a Bronx homeless shelter with his spaced-out mother and his younger brother, tries to avoid temptation so he does not end up in jail like his father.


Bray: A Great and Terrible Beauty c2004 historical fiction, fantasy
Gothic with a touch of the occult and light horror, Bray creates an adolescent heroine with present day sensibilities. The novel also provides a strong depiction of the role of women in Victorian times.


Bronte: Jane Eyre classic fiction
Jane, a plain and penniless orphan in nineteenth-century England, accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall and soon finds herself in love with her melancholy employer, Mr. Edward Rochester, a man with a terrible secret.


Collins (Editor): Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry c2005 poetry
This book presents a comprehensive anthology of one hundred eighty poems by a number of contemporary poets such as Mark Halliday, Donna Masini, Robert Bly and others.


Dessen: Just Listen c2006 realistic fiction
Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life.


Donoghue: Room: A Novel c2010 fiction
A 5-year-old narrates a story about his life growing up in a single room where his mother aims to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for seven years since she was a teenager.


Draper: November Blues c2007 realistic fiction
Shortly after her boyfriend Josh is killed in a pledging accident, November Nelson learns she is pregnant and fears she has no one to turn to, until she finds solace in the arms of Josh's cousin Jericho.


Du Maurier: Rebecca c1938 classic gothic fiction
Maxim de Winter has married his second wife, who finds it hard to live in the shadow of the first wife.


Fisher: Incarceron c2007 science fiction
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.


Haddon: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time c2003 fiction, mystery
Christopher, a mathematically-gifted but socially challenged autistic teen, uncovers secrets about his own family while investigating the murder of a neighbor’s dog.


Hillman: I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor c2005 nonfiction
The author tells of her experiences in eight concentrations camps as a young Jewish woman in World War II Germany, and shares the story of how she and her husband met and fell in love in spite of their situation, and how they were saved by being put on the list to work at Oskar Schindler's factory.


Huxley: Brave New World c1932 science fiction
A satirical novel about the utopia of the future, a world in which babies are decanted from bottles and the great Ford is worshipped.


Poe: Selected Tales classic fiction
This book presents a detailed chronology of the life and career of author and poet, Edgar Allan Poe, along with seventeen of his classic works, introduction and textual notes.


Satrapi: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood c2003 nonfiction, graphic format
Contains black-and-white comic strip images in which the author shares the story of her life in Tehran, Iran, where she lived from ages six to fourteen while the country came under control of the Islamic regime.


Shusterman: Unwind c2007 science fiction
Three teens embark upon a cross-country journey in order to escape from a society that salvages body parts from children ages thirteen to eighteen.

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Before Entering Eleventh Grade


Austen: Sense and Sensibility classic fiction
This book tells the story of two sisters, one practical and one romantic, and how they share the pangs of tragic love.


Brooks: True Confessions of a Heartless Girl c2003 realistic fiction
A confused seventeen-year-old girl, a single mother and her young son, two elderly women and a lonely man come together to form a community in a small Manitoba town.


Cather: Death Comes for the Archbishop c1927 historical fiction
This book is the story of a French priest who goes to New Mexico and with another priest win the southwest for the Catholic Church. After forty years, he dies the archbishop of Santa Fe.


Collins: Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems c2001 poetry
This book offers a collection of witty, emotional and direct poems by the popular and critically acclaimed poet, including selections from his four previous collections and new works such as "Man Listening to a Disc," about headphones.


Foer: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel c2005 fiction
Follows nine-year-old Oskar Schell as he encounters a number of interesting characters in his search for information about his father who died in the World Trade Tower and tries to find the lock that fits the mysterious key his father had.


Gladwell: Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference c2000 nonfiction
Explains why major changes in society often happen suddenly and unexpectedly and describes the personality types who are natural originators of new ideas and trends.

Hillenbrand: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption c2010 nonfiction
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared--Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve and humor.


Hugo: Les Miserables classic historical fiction
The story of the adventures of Jean ValJean, one of the world’s most beloved escaped convicts, during the French Revolution.


Lahiri: Unaccustomed Earth c2008 short stories
This book contains eight short stories, largely centered on themes of family and friendship, including the title story, "Unaccustomed Earth," in which Ruma, a young mother, is visited by her father in Seattle.

Larson: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America c2003 nonfiction
Tells the parallel stories of Daniel Burnham, the main architect of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and serial killer Henry H. Holmes, discussing the challenges Burnham faced in creating the hugely successful White City, and looking at how Holmes used the opportunities afforded by the fair to lure victims to their deaths.

Levitt and Dubmer: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything c2005 nonfiction
The authors explore the economics of real-world issues often viewed as insignificant, such as the extent to which the Roe v. Wade decision affected violent crime, and examine hidden incentives behind all sorts of human behavior.


Matheson: I Am Legend c1954 fiction
A lone human survivor in a world that is overrun by vampires, Robert Neville leads a desperate life in which he must barricade himself in his home every night and hunt down the starving undead by day.


McCullough: John Adams c2001 nonfiction, biography
Chronicles the life of the second president, John Adams, describing the many conflicts--including international exploits--he faced during his long political career and exploring the love story that was his marriage to Abigail and the complexity of his friendship with Thomas Jefferson.


Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals c2006 nonfiction
Offers insight into food consumption in the twenty-first century, explaining how an abundance of unlimited food varieties reveals the responsibilities of consumers to protect their health and the environment.


Ralston: Between a Rock and a Hard Place c2004, 2010 nonfiction
The author recounts his harrowing experiences of being trapped for six days in Blue John Canyon in Utah and having to amputate his own right arm in order to save his life.


Roth: The Plot Against America c2004 fiction
A novel that imagines what might have happened in America, particularly to one Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, had Charles Lindbergh won the 1940 presidential election rather than Franklin Roosevelt and acted upon his anti-Semitic leanings.

Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks c2010 nonfiction
Examines the experiences of the children and husband of Henrietta Lacks, who, twenty years after her death from cervical cancer in 1951, learned doctors and researchers took cells from her cervix without consent which were used to create the immortal cell line known as the HeLa cell; provides an overview of Henrietta's life; and explores issues of experimentation on African-Americans and bioethics.


Spiegelman: Maus I & II: A Survivor's Tale c1991 nonfiction, graphic format
Memoir about Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and about his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his story, and with history itself. Cartoon format portrays Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.


Stein: The Art of Racing in the Rain c2008 fiction
Enzo, the dog of professional race car driver Denny Swift, recalls the memories of his life and shares his insight into the human condition that he learned from observing his owner.


Walls: The Glass Castle: A Memoir c2005 nonfiction
The author recalls her life growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcohol father and distant mother and describes how she and her siblings had to fend for themselves until they finally found the resources and will to leave home.

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Before Entering Twelfth Grade


Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy c1979 science fiction
After narrowly escaping Earth’s destruction, Arthur Dent travels the galaxy with the help of tour guide Ford Prefect, on a quest to save the universe.


Alexie: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven c2005 short stories
This book contains a collection of twenty-four short stories that chronicle the daily life on a Native American Indian Reservation on Spokane, Washington.


Atwood: The Blind Assassin c2000 fiction
A story within a story in which the memoir of World War II era button heiress, Iris Chase alternates with a science fiction romance about a blind killer who falls in love with a mute virgin.


Chandrasekaran: Imperial Life in the Emerald City c2006 nonfiction
The book examines the activities of Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority in the Green Zone during the first year following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.


Goodwin: No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II c1994 nonfiction
A fascinating account of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt’s marriage and remarkable partnership. The historical context of the World War II era provides insights into American and world history, and the Roosevelt storyline is intriguing. Goodwin’s research is first rate and the book is a Pulitzer Prize winner.


Greene: The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory c1999 nonfiction
Relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind the search for the string theory--the ultimate theory which scientists believe is capable of describing all physical phenomena, large and small and discusses how the theory is impacting human understanding of space and time.


Guterson: Snow Falling on Cedars c1994 historical fiction
A newspaper journalist covering the trial of a Japanese-American accused of murder comes to terms with his own past.


Hosseini: Kite Runner c2003 fiction
A story of mystery, friendship, betrayal and redemption set in pre-war Afghanistan.


Heller: Catch-22 c1961 fiction
Award-winning journalist suggests that the globe is "flattening" with technology binding more and more countries together.


Hughes: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes c1994 poetry
The book gives a complete collection of Hughes's poetry spanning five decades, from the 1920s through the 1960s.


Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go c2005 fiction
Thirty-one-year-old Kathy, along with old friends from Hailsham, a private school in England, is forced to face the truth about their childhood when they all come together again.


Kingsolver: The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel c1998 historical fiction
Saga of a missionary family in the Congo beginning in 1959, as told from the point of view of the various family members.


Mathabane: Kaffir Boy: The Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa c1986 nonfiction
Mark Mathabane describes his childhood in South Africa under apartheid and recounts how he came to America.


Pearl: The Dante Club: A Novel c2003 historical fiction, mystery
In 1865, a series of murders take place, all of them inspired by scenes in Dante’s Inferno. Only an elite group of America’s first Dante scholars—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and J. T. Fields—can solve the mystery.


Picoult: Nineteen Minutes c2007 fiction
How does someone who was known to be so sensitive grow up to shoot 29 people in a high school? This is that high school’s story.


Schlosser: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal c2005 nonfiction
Traces the history of the fast food industry and discusses how it arose in postwar America.


Sebold: The Lovely Bones c2002 fiction
Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, the victim of a sexual assault and murder, looks on from the afterlife as her family deals with their grief, and waits for her killer to be brought to some type of justice.


Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew classic play
William Shakespeare's play about the tempestuous courtship between Katharina and Petruchio, who sets out to calm Katharina's temper and gain her dowry.


Vonnegut: Cat's Cradle c1963 science fiction
In the year 2000, a young man discovers ice-nine, which can set off a chain reaction more deadly than a nuclear bomb and a new prophet whose teachings sweep the world.


Walker: The Color Purple c1982 fiction
The life stories of two African-American sisters, one an African missionary, the other an unhappy wife in the South, is communicated through their letters.

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