The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Summer Reading 2021

Summer Reading Grade 9


Independent reading is such an important part of any student’s or adult’s intellectual and emotional growth.  Fay School is a community of readers, illustrated not only across our curriculum but also in shared reading experiences like “One School One Book,” faculty and staff book groups, our themed library collections and displays, and our choice libraries curated by teachers in all divisions.  Our parents and students love to gather and share their collective and independent reading.

What better time to find meaning through reading than the summer?  This year, our Upper-division students (new and returning) will be asked to choose texts from two lists generated by our faculty.  The first list represents a cross-section of contemporary titles from our choice libraries and represents very different disciplines, genres, and voices.  The second list is equally diverse in its cultural and geographical representation, but it consists of more “established” titles, books currently taught around the world in grades 7-12.  By sampling both lists, our students will be able to broaden their experiences, see themselves represented on the page, and prepare themselves for the rigors of future literature courses.  Most of all, we hope that our community of readers finds meaning in the texts they choose.

There are many resources available for finding great books to read, and while these titles represent our effort to generate a thoughtful and accessible set of choices, we encourage you to read as widely as you can this summer.  Please explore this website – The American Library Association’s “Best of the Best” for so many additional summer reading options.  

The lists below represent summer reading options for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders at Fay – Each student should choose books according to the following parameters:
Rising 7th graders:  One title from either list
Rising 8th graders:  Two titles, at least one from each list
Rising 9th graders:  Three titles, at least one from each list

You are certainly not limited to the parameters set for your grade - read as many as you like!  In the fall, your teachers will speak to you individually about the books you chose, and you will share your understanding of your reading in some creative ways.

List of 12 items.

  • 1984 by George Orwell

    1984 by George Orwell
    In a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and controls all thinking, language and even history, one man, Winston Smith, dares to rebel against the authority of Big Brother.
  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
    Michael L. Printz Honor Book, 2004
    In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiancé, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest.
  • Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

    Cat's Cradle is a science fiction novel by American writer Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1963. His fourth novel explores issues of science, technology, and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other targets along the way.
  • Crackback by John Coy

    Crackback by John Coy
    Miles barely recalls when football was fun after being sidelined by a new coach, constantly criticized by his father, and pressured by his best friend to take performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore

    Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    In a world where some people are born with extreme and often feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
  • How To Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster

    How to Read Literature Like a Professor is a New York Times bestseller by Thomas C. Foster, who suggests interpretations of themes, concepts, and possible symbols commonly found in literature. It is a lively and entertaining guide to "reading between the lines."
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green

    Looking for Alaska by John Green
    Michael L. Printz Award, 2006
    Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
  • Of Beetles and Angels: a Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard byMawi Asgedom

    Of Beetles and Angels: a Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard by Mawi Asgedom
    This is the true story of a young boy’s amazing journey. At the age of three, he fled civil war in Ethiopia by walking with his mother and brother to a Sudanese refugee camp.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the suit of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
    Michael L. Printz Honor Book, 2009
    Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.
  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

    The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
    Seventeen-year-old Pancho is bent on avenging the senseless death of his sister, but after he meets D.Q, who is dying of cancer, and Marisol, one of D.Q.'s caregivers, both boys find their lives changed by their interactions.
  • The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu

    The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu
    National Indie Excellence Award, 2015
    With her blonde hair and pale skin, Monserrat Thalia (M.T. for short) is as American as apple pie. And with her impressive grades, she is the perfect candidate for an Ivy League school—except for one thing: she, like her parents, is in the country illegally.

List of 13 items.

  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

    Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
    Stonewall Honor Book, 2015
    This groundbreaking work shares insights into the teen transgender experience, tracing six individual's emotional and physical journey as it was shaped by family dynamics, living situations, and the transition each teen made during the personal journey.
  • First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

    First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
    Chronicles the brutality of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, from the author's forced "evacuation" of Phnom Penh in 1975 to her family's subsequent movements from town to town and eventual separation.
  • Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

    Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
    During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl "passes" for white in order to join the Women Air Force Service Pilots.
  • Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-year-old GI by Ryan Smithson

    Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-year-old GI by Ryan Smithson
    Shortly after 9/11 and when he was just seventeen, Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers march along one GI's tour of duty. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American.
  • Hero by Mike Lupica

    Hero by Mike Lupica
    Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.
  • How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

    How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
    Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 2015
    When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.
  • Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena

    Mexican WhiteBoy's main character is sixteen-year-old Danny Lopez who lives in a wealthy northern San Diego county. He is biracial; his mother is white and his father is Mexican.  Danny loves sports and is a baseball enthusiast.  The book follows his experiences growing up between two cultures.
  • Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

    Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
    When Thomas Peaceful's older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
  • The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

    The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
    In 1936 Berlin, fourteen-year-old Karl Stern, considered Jewish despite a non-religious upbringing, learns to box from the legendary Max Schmeling while struggling with the realities of the Holocaust.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
  • The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
    Michael L. Printz Honor Book, 2003
    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.
  • Unwind by Neil Shusterman

    Unwind by Neil Shusterman
    In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs—and, perhaps, save their own lives.