Navigating Your Child's Education: Grades 9-12

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Hot Summer Reads for Teens

Jun 13, 2019 11:14 AM

While reading a good book might not be at the top of your teen's summer priorities, summer reading is nonetheless important for continued development of literacy skills, expanded vocabulary, creativity cultivation and success in the coming academic year. The key to encouraging your busy teen to read this summer is to find what interests them.

Here are 10 teacher-recommended books for the best summer reading for teens:

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1. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson - This is part of a series about a young girl who is a slave during the Revolutionary War. Her story is completely consuming and gripping. It follows how she becomes the hero, overcoming intense obstacles and helping to rescue her disabled sister from a tragic situation. Be warned: your teen might not be able to put it down, and may just gain a whole new appreciation and understanding of a significant and often overlooked part of our history.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.46.33 AM2. The Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes - This is a fun and easy book to read, as it is written as slam poetry. It provides insight into the lives of a number of students who attend a New York high school. Hear their stories told through the poetry they write, and be captivated by their stories and lives. This book is especially encouraging for students who have had to overcome difficult challenges and obstacles in their lives.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.47.57 AM3. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder - It's the history of philosophy told in novel.  It's an excellent primer for understanding philosophy without getting bogged down in the minutia that typically drives people away.  It's told in such a way that it engages for understanding the big, broad sweeps of philosophical thought by joining the story of Sophie to the lessons on philosophy that the book is attempting to teach.  

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Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.49.49 AM4. The Chosen by Chaim Potok - Set in New York in the 1940s, this story chronicles the relationship between a father and his sons and its impact on the friendship of the two sons.


Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.50.59 AM5. Calico Joe by John Grisham - Follows the story of Joe Castle, a star baseball rookie, and his journey. This is a moving story about the power of forgiveness, great for baseball fans and young men navigating adolescence and father-son relationships.


Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.52.07 AM6. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom - A captivating tale told from the perspective of the narrator Music of the greatest guitar player to ever live and the lives he changes.


Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.54.33 AM7. Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok - Another classic by Potok, Davita's Harp is the coming of age story of a young girl influenced by her communist parents, her Christian aunt and her mother’s second husband, an Orthodox Jew. It's a beautiful story about how we learn and use faith, how it can fail us, and how it can help us know ourselves.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.55.41 AM8. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson - This non-fiction work is the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need. His story wrestles with some of society's deepest issues. It is currently being made into a film; make sure to check out the book version adapted for young adult readers.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.59.05 AM9. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - This young adult science fiction novel was recently adapted into a feature film by renowned Steven Spielberg. Wade Watts, like most people in the 2040s, spends the majority of his time in a virtual reality called the OASIS. After the creator dies, he and many others search for three keys to unlock an Easter egg within the OASIS. Columbus, Ohio serves as one of the main settings in the novel, making it connect in a unique way. Even reluctant readers might just be sucked in to his gripping story.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 11.00.10 AM10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - Set during WWII, Marie-Laure and her father live in the middle of Paris. When she goes blind at age six, her father builds a model of the city to help Marie-Laure navigate it. Later, Nazis occupy Paris, forcing Marie-Laure and her father to flee. In Germany, Werner grows up an orphan that joins the Hitler Youth. As he travels to Saint-Malo, the stories of both Marie-Laure and Werner intertwine. This novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction. 

Topics: Teens Reading Summer

Worthington Christian School
Written by Worthington Christian School

Founded in 1973, Worthington Christian School (WC) is central Ohio’s leader in Christian education offering a rigorous, college preparatory kindergarten to 12-grade academic program, dedicated to developing the mind of Christ in students through rigorous intellectual, creative, and physical pursuits.