Summer adventure awaits between pages

The English Department and Hassenfeld librarians share their summer reading lists for rising grades K-12 and AP courses. View their suggestions at
By Freya Sachs, English Department Chair

What’s the best book you’ve read this year? What books might our students enjoy? What book would you recommend and why? Why do we ask students to read in the summer at all? What will we ask of them when we return to school in August?

These are some of the questions we ask each year as we compile, edit, revise, examine, and finalize our summer reading lists. We want students to find books they enjoy, discover stories they otherwise might not see, and find pieces of themselves and others in the worlds these books can offer. We hope reading becomes not just practical, but joyful. 

To do this, we ask our community for recommendations — faculty across the school, alumni, students — and the English Department and Hassenfeld Library work together to finalize the lists and to make sure our library has copies accessible for students to borrow for the summer. 

This year, we’ve made a change to the English 9 & English 10 lists: students are asked to read a book from a smaller set of texts that address central questions of the course. In August, students will be able to discuss the texts together, write about them, and start the year with shared language, stories, and experiences. 

We hope you enjoy exploring the lists — one for each grade K-12 and for AP courses — discovering new authors or finding an old favorite waiting for you. If you need recommendations, we’ll be happy to help.

Happy reading!

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University School of Nashville models the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of Metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student’s intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence.