Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program
Photo: Book on a beach, encouraging summer readingPhoto: Image by StockSnap  from Pixabay

Below is a letter from Ms. Valerie Mattessich, supervisor of English, Art, and Libraries announcing the 2019 Summer Reading Program.

June 12, 2019

Dear students, parents and guardians,

We are excited to share the 2019 PVRHSD Summer Reading program details with you!

We have responded to the survey data from last year’s program, which indicated that students and families valued choice in their summer reading selections, by creating a program that allows for curated choice at each grade level/course in keeping with a thematic focus related to each course’s curricula. The details of each course and its corresponding title choices and thematic focus are all delineated on the document below. Students will choose ONE of the titles listed under their given English course as their mandatory summer read.

We have provided direct links to Amazon/Common Sense Media summaries of each title on the list so that students and parents can make fully informed decisions as to which book they will choose to read. Please note that the books vary in terms of maturity of content, use of ‘adult’ language and type of subject matter. The English team worked diligently to ensure that a variety of reading experiences would be available to students so as to engage as many students as possible with this program. We expect that students and families will use the summaries and reviews, and also the free preview of sample chapters/pages available on sites such as Amazon, to make reading decisions that best fit their needs, interests and abilities. Students should feel free to access an audio version of their chosen book if it is available in audio format.

The English teachers will all be administering a graded oral assessment on the books upon students’ return to school, possibly in Socratic Seminar form or one-on-one conference with the teacher. Teachers may elect to then use the summer reading books in more depth as anchor texts throughout the year or in their opening units. There is no summer assignment that accompanies the summer reading other than reading the book in its entirety.

This information will be posted on the district English site for your reference.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.


Valerie Mattessich

Supervisor of English, Art & Libraries

Students in each grade should choose one title to read prior to the first day of school in August.

9th grade

Theme/focus: poetry


Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf

Bull by David Elliott

10th grade


Theme: Archetypes--the Quest/the Hero’s Journey


Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer Smith

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


11th grade


Theme: “Tapestry of American Voices”


Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang


12th grade


Theme: ‘Growing Up, Looking Outward’


CP English IV& Honors English IV

Maid by Stephanie Land

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The Making of A Navy Seal by Brandon Webb

Senior Selective Classes

Sports Literature

No Excuses by Kyle Maynard

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

Good to Go by Christie Aschwanden

Language, Myth & Culture

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Origin by Dan Brown

Lit. of the Holocaust

All But My Life by Gerda Klein

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Mark it with a Stone by Joseph Horn

Every teacher will administer at minimum a Speaking & Listening assessment based on the summer reading books. This can be in the form of a one-on-one conference with the teacher, a Socratic Seminar, or a presentation to the class. Teachers will also use the summer reading texts to launch into the curricular focus at grade level in other ways.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.