It's Finally May! Which means the school year is winding down to an end and schools are posting their summer reading lists! The Academic Marketing Department finds this an exciting time of year because we can learn what trends are developing and how we are stacking up against the competition on those required summer reading lists.
The exciting trend this summer is for administrators to assign a long list of fantastic titles for their students to pick from and complete their assignments. From these lists, we can see how schools are balancing the entertainment of summer reading with their educational goals.
One of the biggest trends we've seen over the past years is the departure from older, more challenging classic titles to contemporary and popular titles. For instance, most of the big summer movies for 2014 are based on Young Adult novels, including Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Maze Runner and these popular titles have made their way onto many high school required summer reading lists. This spring and summer most of Hollywood's biggest productions are based on novels, so naturally many of the novels assigned have a film counterpart. This works in favor of those modern classics students can already recognize by name, like this year's 12 Years a Slave.
Some of the most popular titles this summer include modern classics like The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Agatha Christie titles, Lord of the Flies, 1984 Animal Farm, Our Town, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Of Mice and Men, The Bell Jar, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Nickel and Dimed. However, the most popular titles were more contemporary, for instance: the New York Times bestselling How To Read Literature Like A Professor, The Alchemist, The Book Thief, Divergent, Speak, The Glass Castle, The Round House, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Enders Game, The Road, First They Killed My Father, The Kite Runner, and even a slight resurgence of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
Here are some examples of required summer reading lists and assignments across the country!
- Walton High School, Marietta, GA: The Alchemist, Brave New World, Native Son
- Bob Jones High School, Madison, AL: The Graveyard Book, How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Miami Beach Senior High School, Miami Beach, FL: The Alchemist, Brave New World
- Valencia High School, Los Lunas, NM: The Alchemist, How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Love Medicine
- Connor High, Boone, KY: Brave New World, Divergent, To Kill A Mockingbird
- Friends Academy, Locust Valley, NY: The Round House
- Athens High School, Athens, AL: How To Read Literature Like A Professor, How To Read Novels Like A Professor, The Poisonwood Bible
- Spring Branch Independent School District, Houston, TX: Brave New World, How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Nation, Never Fall Down, Zorro
- Farmingham High School, Farmingham, MA: An American Childhood, First They Killed My Father
- St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, Fremont, OH: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
- Carlisle Area Schools, Carlisle, PA: The Bell Jar, Brave New World, The Poisonwood Bible
- Nordonia Hills City School District, Northfield, OH: Delirium, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill A Mockingbird
- Masconomet High School, Topsfield, MA: Ariel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Bell Jar, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Poisonwood Bible, Rebecca, Their Eyes Were Watching God
- South High School, Downers Grove, IL: The Art of Racing in the Rain, Orphan Train
- Grier School, Tyrone, PA: Brave New World, The Poisonwood Bible, Rebecca
- Enka High School, Ashville, NC: Brave New World, A Land More Kind Than Home, The Poisonwood Bible, A Walk Across America
- Jefferson County Public Schools: Animal Dreams, The Bean Trees
- St. Andrews Catholic School, Newton, PA: And Then There Were None
- Smyrna High School, Smyrna, TN: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Woodward Academy, College Park, GA: Death on the Nile
- Marist High School, Bayonne, NJ: And Then There Were None, The Bell Jar
- Archbishop John Carroll High School, Radnor, PA: (Page 11) And Then There Were None, The Deadly Sisterhood, The Mousetrap, To Kill A Mockingbird
- James Clemens High School, Madison, AL: How To Read Literature Like A Professor
- University School of Nashville, Nashville, TN: Everything is Illuminated, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love Medicine, The Dispossessed, Native Son, Brave New World, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Martian Chronicles, Prey, Rebecca, The Bean Trees, Black Boy
- Eastern Christian High School, Midland Park, NJ: To Kill A Mockingbird, the Awakening, Our Town, Skin of Our Teeth, Native Son
- Rome High School, Rome, GA: To Kill A Mockingbird, How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA: And Then There Were None, The Bean Trees,
- Kenston High School, Chagrin Falls, OH: Brave New world, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The Awakening, Everything is Illuminated, Animal Dreams, Poisonwood Bible, Black Boy, Don Quixote, Love Medicine, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, Our Town
- Royal Palm Beach, Royal Plam beach, FL: The Poisonwood Bible, Pirate Latitudes, A Prayer for Owen meany, How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Brave New World, Murder on the Orient Express, Divergent