North Olmsted High School


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Summer Reading




     Students enrolled in English classes at North Olmsted High School are required to read novels during the summer.  Students registered for an honors level class will read the two novels from the right-hand column.  Students not registered for an honors level class may read any one of the novels listed for their grade level, but the novels from the left-hand column are recommended. One week after school begins, the students will be tested on their reading of the novels.  It is imperative that the students read the novels, particularly because their first grades in the classes will be based on the Summer Reading Test and the novels will be used and referred to throughout the year.

Non-Honors Reading List


Ender's Game—Orson Scott Card- Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is considered humanity's best hope for leading Earth to victory over the alien "bugger" fleet.  Officials isolate and test Ender as much as possible to mold him into the effective military leader that they so desperately need.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - "In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel. once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades. but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol."


Ironman - Chris Crutcher - Bo has been at war with his father for as long as he can remember.  The rage he feels gives him the energy as a triathlete to press his body to the limit, but it also translates into angry outbursts toward his teachers.  Now dangerously closed to expulsion from school, Bo has been assigned to Anger Management sessions with the school "truants."  With an electric mix of hard-edged students, Bo may finally have to deal with his long-brewing hatried for his father -- before it eats away at him completely.

Elsewhere—Gabrielle Zevin- Fifteen-year old Liz dies in a car accident and goes to a place called Elsewhere.  She must try to forget her old life and live a new life as she ages backwards until she is ready to return to Earth.


The Glass Castle: A Memoir—Jeannette Walls- This book chronicles the life of writer Jeanette Walls. Her dysfunctional family has a transient existence in which they live briefly in various places around the country. Jeannette and her siblings learn to fend for themselves as they weather their parents' betrayals and inability to take care of their children. Some mature language is included.

As Simple as Snow —Gregory Galloway- The story of a shy high school sophomore's unlikely love for a Goth girl (Anna Cayne) seems simple enough, but everything quickly gets complicated when Anna disappears and the narrator attempts to find out what happened to her. 



Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern  - The circus arrives without warning.  No announcements precede it.  It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.  It is called Le Cirque des Reves, and it is only open at night.  Behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway-a duel betwwen two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein - A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.


Honors Reading List


Nineteen Minutes—Jodi Picoult- Sterling is a small town where nothing ever happens – until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence.  In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. Some mature language is included.   

Rocket Boys (October Sky)—Homer Hickam- Fourteen-year-old Homer Hickam decided in 1957 to build his own rockets. They were his ticket out of Coalwood, West Virginia, a mining town that everyone knew was dying


The Life of Pi—Yann Martel- The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When the ship carrying Pi’s family from India to North America sinks, Pi finds himself in a battle for survival.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel - Robin Sloan The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.



The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway  A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions.

Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand - On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared--Lt.Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor. (Biography)


The Lords of Discipline-Pat Conroy- In this coming-of-age novel, a young man experiences life at a military academy. Some mature language is included.

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini- Amir and his best friend Hassan live a charmed life in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1960s.  Their favorite pastime is summer kite running.  As part of a racial minority, Hassan becomes a victim of a neighborhood bully, which changes the course of his life and Amir’s life forever.