Summer Reading List

With no homework or school to worry about, summer can be the perfect time for kids and teens to crack open a great book. And while beach reads can be a fun escape, sometimes they're more style than substance. That's why we've compiled this list of books frequently featured on teachers' summer reading lists. These must-read books are classics for a reason: They tell compelling stories with unforgettable characters. Whether they're in middle school or high school or just getting started on chapter books, kids, tweens, and teens can use this list to get a jump start on the year ahead. And parents can use it to learn more about the books teachers are assigning their kids over the summer and throughout the school year. 

 

For more great reads, check out our picks for the hottest books of summer 2020

Browse Summer Reading List

Charlotte's Web Book Poster Image
Gentle, much-loved barnyard classic delights all ages.
By E.B. White
(2006)
(1952)
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The Wind in the Willows Book Poster Image
Timeless classic about Toad's adventures and his friends.
By Kenneth Grahame
(2003)
(1908)
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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Classic Narnia tale has exciting battles, Christian themes.
By C.S. Lewis
(2005)
(1950)
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The Hobbit Book Poster Image
Brilliantly written, inventive pre-LOTR tale.
By J.R.R. Tolkien
(2011)
(1937)
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The Secret Garden Book Poster Image
Classic novel inspires love of nature.
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
(2004)
(1911)
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A Wrinkle in Time Book Poster Image
Classic sci-fi story still inspires and gets kids thinking.
By Madeleine L'Engle
(2003)
(1962)
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Esperanza Rising Book Poster Image
Historical fiction at its best in story of '30s farmworkers.
By Pam Munoz Ryan
(2011)
(2000)
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Treasure Island Book Poster Image
Boy and pirates hunt buried treasure in thrilling adventure.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
(2009)
(1883)
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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Book Poster Image
Inspiring wartime journal reveals teen's inner life.
By Anne Frank
(2011)
(1947)
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The Red Badge of Courage Book Poster Image
Compelling Civil War novel questions morality of battle.
By Stephen Crane
(2016)
(1895)
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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Poster Image
Compelling tale of family facing racism in '30s Mississippi.
By Mildred D. Taylor
(2004)
(1976)
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Great Expectations Book Poster Image
Fast-paced, moving Dickens classic of reversed fortune.
By Charles Dickens
(2011)
(1893)
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Lord of the Flies Book Poster Image
Gripping story of marooned schoolboys and their savagery.
By William Golding
(2011)
(1954)
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My Antonia Book Poster Image
Writing shines in pioneer saga of friendship and struggle.
By Willa Cather
(2010)
(2011)
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The Old Man and the Sea Book Poster Image
Man vs. marlin story a challenging, introspective read.
By Ernest Hemingway
(2010)
(2011)
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The Outsiders Book Poster Image
Story of ostracized kid a timeless fave of teens, preteens.
By S. E. Hinton
(2003)
(1967)
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Animal Farm Book Poster Image
Classic satirical allegory about the abuse of power.
By George Orwell
(2010)
(1945)
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Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe Book Poster Image
Collection highlights horror stories and romantic poems.
By Edgar Allan Poe
(2011)
(2007)
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The House on Mango Street Book Poster Image
A poetic -- and classic -- coming-of-age story.
By Sandra Cisneros
(2005)
(1991)
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Jane Eyre Book Poster Image
Strength of character triumphs in Bronte's masterpiece.
By Charlotte Bronte
(2011)
(1900)
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A Raisin in the Sun Book Poster Image
Explosive play shows hopes, struggles of urban black family.
By Lorraine Hansberry
(2011)
(2004)
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Romeo and Juliet Book Poster Image
Tragic teen love story stands the test of time.
By William Shakespeare
(2011)
(2004)
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Black Boy Book Poster Image
Moving autobiography reveals brutality of Jim Crow South.
By Richard Wright
(2011)
(2007)
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Brave New World Book Poster Image
Satire of ultimate consumerist society still packs punch.
By Aldous Huxley
(2011)
(1932)
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The Catcher in the Rye Book Poster Image
One of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
By J. D. Salinger
(2005)
(1969)
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Frankenstein Book Poster Image
Classic of scientist haunted by his creation still timely.
By Mary Shelley
(2011)
(2011)
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The Great Gatsby Book Poster Image
American classic captures romance, debauchery of Jazz Age.
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
(2011)
(1925)
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Poster Image
Poetic autobiography reveals impact of racial prejudice.
By Maya Angelou
(2011)
(1969)
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The Joy Luck Club Book Poster Image
Sweeping story of bicultural mother-daughter friction.
By Amy Tan
(2010)
(1989)
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The Odyssey Book Poster Image
Essential, epic poem of Greek gods, monsters, and heroes.
By Homer
(2011)
(1998)
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Pride and Prejudice Book Poster Image
Masterpiece of romance and manners entertains at any age.
By Jane Austen
(2010)
(1813)
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Sense and Sensibility Book Poster Image
Classic novel is rich in romance and humor.
By Jane Austen
(2011)
(1811)
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The Sun Also Rises Book Poster Image
Hemingway's masterpiece salutes Spain and Lost Generation.
By Ernest Hemingway
(2010)
(2006)
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A Tale of Two Cities Book Poster Image
Immortal romance is set against violent French Revolution.
By Charles Dickens
(2011)
(1894)
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For Whom the Bell Tolls Book Poster Image
Profound novel offers brutal view of Spanish Civil War.
By Ernest Hemingway
(2011)
(1940)
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Wuthering Heights Book Poster Image
Classic story of love and revenge still captivates.
By Emily Bronte
(2010)
(2005)
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Beloved Book Poster Image
Haunting Pulitzer Prize winner about slavery's impact.
By Toni Morrison
(2005)
(1987)
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The Grapes of Wrath Book Poster Image
Gritty Steinbeck classic brings Great Depression to life.
By John Steinbeck
(2010)
(2002)
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Slaughterhouse-Five Book Poster Image
Vonnegut's time-travel classic makes strong anti-war case.
By Kurt Vonnegut
(2007)
(1969)
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The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts Book Poster Image
Provocative memoir blends history with legend.
By Maxine Hong Kingston
(2011)
(1975)
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1984 Book Poster Image
Classic dystopian novel about life under constant scrutiny.
By George Orwell
(2010)
(1949)
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Native Son Book Poster Image
Gritty novel of violence and race best for older teens.
By Richard Wright
(2010)
(1940)
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Song of Solomon Book Poster Image
Brilliant but mature classic explores racism, gender, power.
By Toni Morrison
(2005)
(1977)
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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Book Poster Image
Kesey's great madhouse epic best for older teens.
By Ken Kesey
(2011)
(2002)
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