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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

High School Summer Reading

One Book Lower Merion High School/One Book Harriton High School

The World Language Department has selected the text for the 2019-2020 Academic Year: The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking.

"One Book, One LMSD" creates a reading community through the shared experience of a single text. One Book is a chance to build community and collectively engage around important questions with a common resource and theme. The World Language Department has selected the text for the 2019-2020 Academic Year: The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World's Happiest People by Meik Wiking.

The publisher has created a special paperback edition appropriate for 9th-12th grade readers.   Copies of this edition will be available for purchase for $10 in the following locations: 

  • Harriton High School Main Office (8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)
  • Lower Merion High School Main Office (8:00 a.m. - noon; 1:00-2:00 p.m.)
  • District Office Main Desk Lobby (9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.)
  • Some will be available for purchase via the Lower Merion Library System

Please know the original edition contains language that some readers may find objectionable. This should be considered if you opt to purchase/borrow the original edition of the text.

By reading The Little Book of Lykke students, staff and families will have the opportunity look at a question important to all cultures: What is a life well lived and how do we find happiness?  The book examines: "How you can have a positive impact on your world. On our world. We need more dreamers and doers. We need more creators of kindness, heroes of happiness, and champions of change" (Lykke).

Required Summer Reading for English Courses

*These books are among the first REQUIRED texts of each English course. Students work with and through these texts during the opening weeks of school and they are referenced throughout the first quarter and year. Additional reading is encouraged at every grade and at every level.

  • 9th Grade: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore (or Discovering Wes Moore by Wes Moore)
  • 9th Grade Honors: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore and a student-selected fiction novel
    *excerpts from The Other Wes Moore will be discussed on both levels during the opening days of school.
  • 10th Grade: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • 10th Grade Honors: 1984 by George Orwell and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    *Archetypes and themes related to dystopia will be discussed on both levels during the opening days of school.
  • 11th Grade: The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • 11th Grade Honors: The Round House by Louise Erdrich and student-selected autobiography, biography, or memoir about an American figure worthy of discussion.
    *The American Dream and American Immigration will be discussed during the opening days of school.
  • AP Language: Killers of the Flower Moon by Grann and Just Mercy by Stevenson AND a student-selected nonfiction book related to education or politics.
  • AP Literature: The Dead by James Joyce and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison,
    and Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • 12th Grade Modern and Contemporary Literature: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  • 12th Grade Modern and Contemporary Literature Honors: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and The Color of Water by James McBride
  • 12th Grade Reading and Writing Non- Fiction: The Color of Water by James McBride
  • 12th Grade Reading and Writing Non- Fiction Honors: The Color of Water by James McBride a choice of one additional non-fiction text
  • 12th Grade Heroes and Monsters: Grendel by John Gardner
  • 12th Grade Heroes and Monsters Honors: Grendel by John Gardner
  • IB Literature Part 1: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • IB Literature Part 2: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • IB English B HL 1 and 2: The Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevelier or The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Summer Reading Recommendations from the High School Librarians

Young Adult Fiction Top Ten Picks
2019 What’s New in Young Adult Literature Bureau of Education & Research Conference

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Starr moves between two worlds: her poor neighborhood and the suburban prep school she attends. Her life is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her friend Khalil by a police officer. His death is a national headline. But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
  • Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
    Upon their father's return, the five Dunbar boys, who have raised themselves since their mother's death, begin to learn family secrets. The fourth brother Clay, will build a bridge for complex reasons, including his own redemption.
  • Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
    Evan goes from being a nobody to everyone's hero and a social media superstar. After a chance encounter with Connor, just before his suicide, leads others to believe Evan was his only friend.
  • Dry by Neal Shusterman
    A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions. Alyssa's quiet suburban street is turned into a warzone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
    In a near-future New York City, where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app. They are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.
  • A Heart in a Body In the World by Deb Caletti
    Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and friends, eighteen year old Annabelle runs from Seattle to Washington, D.C. Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist, as people connect her journey to her recent trauma.
  • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
    Washington Black is field slave and Titch is a scientist and an abolitionist. Titch shows Wash a world in which a slave born in chains can embrace a life of dignity. When a man dies mysteriously, a bounty is placed on Wash's head. Titch tries to save Wash by fleeing to a remote outpost in the Arctic. Left on his own, Wash must invent a new life.
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
    This tale of hope and courage is based on the life of Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Lale Sokolov. Lale used the freedom of movement that this position gave him to exchange jewels and money taken from Jewish prisoners for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
    This is the story of a teenage girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
    Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity--and that of his pen pal--will be revealed.