Twelfth Grade Summer Reading

12th Grade Standard & Advanced

Suggested Novels

  • Adrift by Paul Griffin (mature content)
    Matt and Mike are best friends, just two working-class guys trying to earn some money in Montauk for the summer. When they meet Driana, JoJo, and Stef, three friends who live a much different life of privilege, worlds collide when the group ventures out to sea aboard a small boat that Stef sneaks out from a neighbor’s dock. As the waves rise and the fragile vessel weakens, things go horribly wrong. Adrift at sea for days, who will have what it takes to survive?
    Publishers’ Weekly starred (2015)

  • The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
    Camryn Mahoney, the eighteen year-old daughter of the town’s coroner, becomes an active participant in the investigation into the murder of one of her close friends. She not only gets an inside look into the world of forensic science, she learns valuable lessons about whom to trust. Contains factual details about an autopsy.
    Edgar Award 2007, Heartland Award for Excellence in children’s Literature 2007, Black-eyed Susan Book Award 2008-09 Nominee (Maryland State Reading List)

  • Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks
    When the robotics club and the cheerleaders are both denied funding for their respective organizations on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money that will fund both groups. Nothing can go wrong ... can it? (Graphic Novel)
    Booklist starred (2013), School Library Journal starred (2013)

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect, members of the Sinclair family gather on their private island. We Were Liars is the story of those annual reunions; in particular what happened during a summer that protagonist Cadence is unable to remember. Prejudice, greed, and shifting patriarchal favoritism among the three adult sisters contrasts with the camaraderie and worldview of the teenage cousins and their dear friend Gat. Lazy days of sticky lemonades on the roof and marathon Scrabble games give way to twisty suspense, true love, and good intentions gone horribly wrong.
    Goodreads Choice 2014 winner

  • Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith (mature content)
    Futuristic. Alex, a 14-year-old who has been involved in crime for several years, describes his life in a notorious underground prison a mile below the surface of the earth where he and other teen boys are incarcerated for life. Alex and his savvy cellmate devise an escape plan. Themes: fear, brutallity and loyalty. Students looking for a fast-paced read that deal in the consequences of bad decisions, prison life and survival will be drawn to this book. There are graphic descriptions of the violence of the prison officials, guards and inmates, though none of the scenes are gratuitous. 
    Award winning British author

  • Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19 Year-Old GI by Ryan Smithson (mature content)
    Follows young man’s journey as he joins the reserves following 9-11, his thought process about which service he chooses, and why he marries after boot camp. This mature young man tells the story of deployment to Iraq. Contains mildly graphic descriptions and mildly strong language. 
    Starred Review: School Library Journal

By the second class meeting of the year, complete ONE of these reading response options for EACH reading selection. 

  • Interview: Create your own interview questions for a character in your story. Then, create the answers to those questions based on what you think your character might say.

  • Review: Complete an online book review of the story you read. Go to and create an account to review your book.

  • Graphic Expression: Take a scene or information from your reading and turn it into a graphic novel! Use digital tools, drawing, or overlay photography to create the graphics in your novel.

  • Podcast: Create a podcast based on your reading selection. Discuss the impact your reading has on society and the themes that emerged from the reading.

  • Commercial: Create a commercial for your reading material. Your commercial/movie trailer can be written, or you can actually create a commercial and videotape yourself talking about and selling your summer reading selections!

  • Newspaper Article: Create a front page newspaper story explaining your summer reading choice. Describe your reading selection, give specific details about the reading, and tell what you learned.

  • Report: Answer the following questions in 1-2 well developed paragraphs: Which character is the most believable? Why? Which was the most memorable? Why? How do these characters (or character) propel the plot and theme of the story?

  • Product: Create a visual representation of your reading. It could be a diagram, a drawing, a skit, a storyboard or any other creative idea!

12th Grade International Baccalaureate (Required)

All Pre-Bac & IB students, along with members of our IB faculty, will be participating in discussions of The Omnivore's Dilemma (Young Readers Edition) by Michael Pollan. In addition to the discussions we will be having in the fall, we encourage families to read and discuss this powerful book together and for students to participate in enrichment opportunities over the summer.

As you read the book, answer the questions (on a separate sheet of paper) using quotes and your own personal thoughts on the situation/relationships.

  1. What are the pros and cons of the industrial food chain?

  2. Visit your pantry. How many and what items contain corn? Choose five quotes from the text that explain how there is corn in those items.

  3. Are grass-fed cows worth the extra cost? Why or why not?

  4. What are the pros and cons of the local-sustainable food chain?

  5. Plan a meal from the hunter-gatherer food chain using the rules Michael Pollan outlines in chapter 22. You must choose an appetizer, meat and a side for the main course, a dessert, and a drink. Research the animals, plants, and minerals that are in our town, and use that information to plan an appropriate meal. Write what you would serve, the ingredients, and where you would get each ingredient. (Imaginary brownie points if you actually fix it!!)

  6. Of the food chains: Industrial, industrial-organic, local sustainable, or hunter-gatherer, which would be the best to sustain a school lunch program? Consider health, cost, prep-time, practicality, etc.

  7. What are some simple changes you can make or have made in your diet since reading this text?

  8. Which enrichment activity did you participate in? What did it cause you to consider?

Enrichment Activity Options

Please consider attending one of our summer enrichment activities. These are not mandatory, but certainly will enhance your understanding of this book beyond the words and help you understand how you can apply what you’re reading. You will need to provide your own transportation.

  • Thursday, July 19, 10:30 am: Cross Brothers Grocery tour & lunch
    If you sign up for this activity, you will receive an email with a lunch order form (optional at extra cost)

  • July 31, 6-8 pm: Sustainable & discussion (Newsong Church)

  • August 9, 6-8 pm: Fed Up & discussion (Newsong Church)

  • Friday, August 17, 10:00 am: Visit Field Station Farms (Rockville, VA)
    If you sign up for this activity, you will receive an email with the address and directions.

Please sign up here no later than two weeks prior to scheduled activity.

12th Grade AP (Required)

Your summer reading will consist of two assignments: First and foremost, you must read How to Read Literature Like a Professor. Then read and annotate A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and complete the graphic organizer assignment below, which is valued as a test grade. This assignment will be due on the second meeting of your AP Lit class in September. You may wish to take detailed notes on A Thousand Splendid Suns as you will be tested on it. It is expected that you work on this assignment alone; therefore, you should not have identical notes to those of any other classmate. If you have questions about the assignment, please send an e-mail to Mrs. Mohr.

Reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor

As the title indicates, this text provides insights that will help you complete a mature reading of any piece of meaningful literature. How to Read Literature Like a Professor is an easy-to-read introduction to the patterns of symbolic meaning in literary texts and is a helpful source for AP Literature. This book will be referenced throughout the year, and it is expected that you are familiar with the themes of all of the chapters.

Graphic Organizer Assignment

In completing the graphic organizer, you must make connections from A Thousand Splendid Suns to at least 10 of the chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor. Assignments may be typed or legibly handwritten in blue or black ink.

Example Entry (Your organizer should be set up just like below)

How to Read Like a Prof. (HTRLP)
Ch. # and Title
HTRLP Page # or #’s
Connection to Your Novel  Novel Page # or #’s
Ch. 10 “It’s More than Just Rain or Snow”
75  McCarthy begins The Road with the following lines: “When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and days more gray each one that what had gone before” (1). The cold, dark, and gray imagery that is so prominent in the opening scene suggests a mood of despair and even death. With each day being grayer than the day before it, the bleak weather and lightless sky contribute to an ominous beginning to the novel. As Foster points out in HTRLP, “weather is never just weather. It’s never just rain. And that goes for snow, sun, warmth, cold” (75).
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 West Corporation. All rights reserved.