Summer Reading Program

The New York State Education Department, along with educators across the state, developed the English Language Arts Curriculum for all students. This document is based on shared beliefs, including the belief that English Language Arts students must be exposed to regular and varied opportunities to read (25 books or their equivalent per year), write (1000 words or more per month), listen (daily), and speak (daily).

In an effort to accomplish this goal, the Valley Central English department has created a suggested reading list for high school students.

This list includes a variety of specific titles appropriate for high school level
readers. Please use this as a guide and realize that any age-appropriate reading material is acceptable. Books that are suggested may be found at many area bookstores and at our community libraries. We suggest that each student buy his/ her own copy of the book so that he/she can read at an appropriate pace, take notes on the pages, and underline/highlight important sections while reading.

As a means of rewarding motivated students who choose to take part in the summer reading program, the English department will be offering optional extra-credit during the first quarter for those students who can demonstrate an understanding of the piece that they have read. Grading for the summer reading will be as follows: one of the readings will be assessed through an oral exam to be given within the first five weeks of school. Each student will be required to make an appointment with his/her English teacher for the book discussion on the selected reading. The student will receive extra credit when he/she displays an understanding of the reading.

Please note that students needing any assistance with the Summer Reading Program may call the high school during regular summer hours at
(845) 457-2400 ext. 17525. A teacher will be available throughout the summer to answer any questions.

Here is the Reading List: 

Adams, Richard; Watership Down
Agee, James; A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane; Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane; Sense and Sensibility
Austen, Jane; Emma
Baldwin, James; Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel; Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul; The Adventures of Augie March
Bradbury, Ray; The Illustrated Man
Bradbury, Ray; The Martian Chronicles
Braithwaite, E.R.; To Sir, With Love
Brontë, Charlotte; Jane Eyre
Buck, Pearl S.; The Good Earth
Burgess, Anthony; A Clockwork Orange
Capote, Truman; In Cold Blood
Carrol, Lewis; Alice in Wonderland
Cather, Willa; My Antonia
Cather, Willa; Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chekhov, Anton; The Cherry Orchard
Clarke, Arthur; A Childhood’s End
Clarke, Arthur C.; 2001, A Space Odyssey
Conrad, Joseph; Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore; The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen; The Red Badge of Courage
Dante; Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel; Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel; Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles; Hard Times
Dickens, Charles; Great Expectations
Dickens, Charles; David Copperfield
Dickens, Charles; Oliver Twist
Dickens, Charles; A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor; Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Doyle, Arthur C.; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Doyle, Arthur C.; Hound of Baskervilles
Dreiser, Theodore; An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre; The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George; The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph; Invisible Man
Faulkner, William; The Bear
Faulkner, William; As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William; The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry; Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott; Tender is the Night
Fitzgerald, F. Scott; The Last Tycoon
Flaubert, Gustave; Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox; The Good Soldier
Frank, Pat; Alas, Babylon
Gaines, Ernest; A Lesson Before Dying
Goethe, Johann; Wolfgang von Faust
Golding, William; Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas; Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hardy, Thomas; Mayor Casterbridge
Heller, Joseph; Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest; The Sun Also Rises
Hemingway, Ernest; A Farewell to Arms
Hemingway, Ernest; For Whom the Bell Tolls
Hersey, John; Hiroshima
Hesse, Hermann; Steppenwolf
Hesse, Hermann; Demian
Homer; The Iliad
Houston, Jeanne; Farewell to Manzanar
Hugo, Victor; Les Miserables
Hugo, Victor; The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Huxley, Aldous; Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik; Heddagabler
Ibsen, Henrik; A Doll’s House
Irving, John; The World According to Garp
Irving, John; Ciderhouse Rules
Irving, John; A Prayer for Owen Meany
James, Henry; The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry; The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz; The Metamorphosis
Kerouac, Jack; On The Road
Kesey, Ken; One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Kingston, Maxine Hong; The Woman Warrior
Lawrence, D.H.; Sons and Lovers
Lewis, Sinclair; Babbitt
London, Jack; The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas; The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García; One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman; Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman; Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur; A View from the Bridge
Mitchell, Margaret; Gone With the Wind
Morrison, Toni; Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery; A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene; Long Day’s Journey into Night
O’Neill, Eugene; Morning Becomes Electra
Orwell, George; 1984
Pasternak, Boris; Doctor Zhivago
Paton, Alan; Cry, The Beloved Country
Plath, Sylvia; The Bell Jar
Proust, Marcel; Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas; The Crying of Lot 49
Rand, Ayn; Anthem
Rand, Ayn; Fountainhead
Rostand, Edmond; Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry; Call It Sleep
Shaffer, Peter; Equus
Shaw, George; Bernard Pygmalion
Silko, Leslie; Marmon Ceremony
Sinclair, Upton; The Jungle
Smith, Betty; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander; One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles;Antigone
Sophocles; Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John; Travels with Charlie
Steinbeck, John; Cannery Row
Steinbeck, John; The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis; Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, Robert Louis; Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher; Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Stewart, Mary; The Crystal Cave
Swift, Jonathan; Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William; Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David; Walden ( Complete Version)
Tolkien, J.R. ;Lord of the Rings
Tolstoy, Leo; War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan; Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark; Life on the Mississippi
Twain, Mark ; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain, Mark; Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Verne, Jules; Around the World in Eighty Days
Voltaire; Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.; Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice; Jubilee
Walker, Alice; The Color Purple
Warren, Robert P.; All the King’s Men
Wells, H.G.; The Time Machine
Wharton, Edith; The House of Mirth
White, T.H. ;The Once and Future King
Whitman, Walt; Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar; The Importance of Being Ernest
Wilde, Oscar; The Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilder, Thornton; Our Town
Williams, Tennessee; The Glass Menagerie
Williams, Tennessee; Night of the Iguana
Woolf, Virginia; To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard; Rite of Passage
Wright, Richard; Black Boy
Wright, Richard; Native Son