Brennan High School

English IV AP/DC Summer Reading

Welcome to AP Literature!

Reading is one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for the challenges of the upcoming school year and beyond. Now more than ever, it is important to sharpen your critical reading skills, expand your vocabulary and enhance your focus and imagination - all in the comfort of your own home. There’s no better way to accomplish this than by sitting down with a good book.

We are asking that you, as an AP Literature student, read at least one novel of your choice this summer from the curated list below. The novels marked by an asterisk indicate those which are on the Northside approved book list. Other titles may contain adult themes and content, so we encourage you to do some research before selecting a title.

You can check out digital books on Sora, Libby, and Overdrive through your school library.

As you read, annotate in your novel or on a separate page/document for the following: ● Consider the relationships in the novel and, if applicable, how they are affected by the cultural or social setting ● Note any passages you find interesting or significant--for any reason at all ● What character resonates with you? ● Plot or character development, thematic ideas, figurative language, etc.

Please finish your book PRIOR to the first day of school!

If you have a question about an alternate selection, email Mrs. Kara Epstein at

Happy reading!


1. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

2. Frankly In Love by David Yoon

3. Jane Eyre* by Charlotte Brontë

4. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

5. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

6. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

7. Pride and Prejudice* by Jane Austen

8. Their Eyes Were Watching God* by Zora Neale Hurston

9. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Sci Fi, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic

1. 1984* by George Orwell

2. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

3. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

4. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

6. The Martian by Andy Weir

7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

8. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

9. Slaughterhouse-Five* by Kurt Vonnegut

10. Station Eleven by Emily St. Jean Mandel

11. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood


1. All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

3. Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime* by Mark Haddon

5. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

6. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

7. Room by Emma Donoghue

8. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Safon

9. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

10. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti


1. Blue Moon by Lee Child

2. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

3. A Headful of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

4. Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

5. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

6. The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters

7. Room by Emma Donoghue

8. Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Historical Fiction

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

3. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

4. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

5. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

6. Refuge by Dina Nayeri

7. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

8. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

9. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nahisi Coates

10. The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

Family Drama

1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

2. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

3. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

4. The Joy Luck Club* by Amy Tan

5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

6. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

7. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

9. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

10. We the Animals by Justin Torres

Books with Strong Female Protagonists

1. A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

2. The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

3. Circe by Madeline Miller

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

5. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

6. Out of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

7. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

8. Their Eyes Were Watching God* by Zora Neale Hurston

9. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

10. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

11. With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Relatable Stories of High School Drama

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

2. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

4. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

5. Tradition by Brendon Kiely

6. The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

7. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Coming of Age

1. The Catcher in the Rye* by J.D. Salinger

2. Dig by A.S. King

3. Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

4. Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

5. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

6. The Kite Runner* by Khaled Hosseini

7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

8. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

9. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

10. Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares

* Indicates vetted, approved titles from the NISD English I-IV Approved Reading List

Printable Summer Reading List

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