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The books listed below are recommendations from Worcester Academy students and faculty. Choose one of these books to read this summer or select a title of your choice!
All the Bright Places by
This book has two strong narrators whose viewpoints are told in an alternating fashion. Both of them have struggled with mental illness and family issues. They also deal with typical issues of fitting in at school. It has a lot to say about what it is like to live with a mental illness and what it is like to care for someone else who has one. It also has a lot to say about love and the choices we make in life. I haven't met anyone who has read it who didn't love it.
Recommended by Ms. Huff
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very refreshing story of a young boy and his complicated journey throughout high school, and can teach anyone a lesson on growing up and having good friends to do it with.
Recommended by James Marculitis
Thirteen Reasons Why by
It's a book about a girl who committed suicide and left thirteen tapes where she explained why she did it, and whose fault it was. It's an interesting book, and it's not hard, so it will be good for international students.
Recommended by Yuliya Borodavka
I'll Give You the Sun by
I loved this book because it followed dual perspectives and it focused a lot on character development. It also was filled with metaphors and mysteries so it kept me on my toes.
Recommended by Adelyne Reynolds
Million Dollar Arm by
It really is a tremendous novel. Worldwide appeal and not just for baseball fans.
Recommended by Brian Eddy
Signal to Noise by
A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City. Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said "I love you" with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends -- Sebastian and Daniela -- and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love... Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father's funeral. It's hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?
Rats Saw God by
This book allows you to think and it changes between past and present piecing together the story as it goes.
Recommended by Sofia Polletta
The Art of Racing in the Rain by
This book is very insightful and fun to read because it is in the point of view from the dog. I enjoyed it because I love dogs. It is about the life of a more than average dog.
Recommended by Zach Stolberg
Barefoot Dogs by
This is a series of linked short stories that follow the members of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped in Mexico. The narrative follows the Arteagas, a wealthy Mexican family who is forced to expatriate and abandon their ancestral home in Mexico after the patriarch, Jose Victoriano Arteaga, is kidnapped by a drug gang and all their lives face immediate peril. This book challenges stereotypes about who Mexican immigrants are and how families confront the challenges of dealing with a family trauma.
Recommended by Ms. Cotta
The Minds of Billy Milligan by
It tells a fiction based on a real story. It's a story about a multi-personalities patient, who has suffering his whole life. It has many details of discovery of all personalities and his treatment. It is my favorite book this year. Strongly recommend.
Recommended by Chloe Zhang
We should read this book because it tells a great story about a boy finding his will to live in the modern day world.
Recommended by Devin Rochelle
I loved this book because it felt very real and dealt with a lot of important yet sensitive subjects in a respectful way.
Recommended by Nichole Ramirez
The Fault in Our Stars by
It keeps readers interested and wanting to read. It's about a girl with cancer who finds true love.
Recommended by Megan
Everything, Everything by
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black--black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.
It's about the life of a high school boarding student in Massachusetts and dilemmas she faces in facing her identity. -- Recommended by Isha Mayor
The Fountainhead by
This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite...of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy...and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. (publisher's description)
Recommended by Christopher Xiao
It's Kind of a Funny Story by
Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy. At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids; he's just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping-until, one night, he nearly kills himself. (publisher's description)
It is a really strong and moving book that opens the readers eyes about topics that should be well known throughout high school. -- Recommended by Laura Hill
Looking for Alaska by
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "the Great Perhaps" even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same. (publisher's description)
Recommended by Carley Daly
The Truth about Alice by
The book is one that you can't put down. It is page turning novel. It is a book that is perfect for the summer. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys easy summer teenage romance novels. -- Recommended by Michaela Brady
That's Not What Happened by
Students are telling their stories about their experience during a school shooting. People are making assumptions about what happened in the the bathroom with two best friends but only one person knows the truth.
Gray Wolf Island by
Ruby sets off on an adventure to the legendary Gray Wolf Island to fulfill her twin sister's dying wish and to find the treasure rumored to be hidden there. Accompanied by a group of teens from her seaside town, she has only a poem and a treasure map to guide her way.
Recommended by Kat Fechner.
Goodbye Days by
High school student Carver Briggs sends a text to his three driving best friends, the texts lead to a car crash, and ultimately their death. Many people believe that he is their killer, and even more believe that he should face jail time. This beautifully written story shows the journey of a boy as he tries to avoid the truth: he killed his best friends.
Little and Lion by
Suzette went off to boarding school to get away from her stressful family situation -- i.e., her brother, who is grappling with mental illness. To make things even more complicated, she discovers her own sense of self is still in flux when she falls in love with her brother's crush.
Recommended by Ms. Yacono
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Recommended by Grace Rade
The Namesake by
This novel tells the story of an Indian family, after immigrating to the US. The story centers around family's son, Gogol, as he struggles to balance both his American and Indian identities.
All the Light We Cannot See by
This beautiful novel is about two teenagers, a French girl and a German boy, trying to survive WWII. As the war progresses, both are faced with choices that raise the question of to what extent we are in charge of our own destinies and the fate of the world. It is also about how art -- music, stories -- connects us to each other and how history connects us to those who came before us. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2015; its compelling story and dazzling prose will take carry you to a different time while forcing you to ask questions about your own place in history.
Recommended by Ms. Schlesinger
Between Shades of Gray by
It is the story of a girl named Lina who is Lithuanian. This story takes place in 1941 and is the journey of her family and friends getting displaced to Siberian work camps during World War II. Although the topics are quite unpleasant the story is beautiful.
Recommended by Maggie Reiter
The Help by
I enjoyed it had historical significance but not in dull way. It was funny and well paced. The characters were heartwarming and complex.
Recommended by Lucy Ding
The Book Thief by
I'm sure that we're all familiar with the premise of "The Book Thief," but I believe its a book that students will feel affected by and also enjoy reading. The language and situation are what drives it along, and it has subtle social undertones.
Recommended by Daviana Perez
Girl in Translation by
Gives us a real view of how some immigrants have to live in this country and how they make such good use of every opportunity given to them. It is eye opening and inspirational.
Recommended by Isha Mayor
The Revenant by
It's a great book about revenge and about the civil war. Its nonfiction and its a great read.
Recommended by Ethan Student
A Painted House by
Using a young boy as narrator, Grisham explores interactions between rich and poor, races, and people in a fast, easy read with good insight.
Recommended by Mr. Glassmire
War and Peace by
War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men. (publisher's description)
Recommended by Oleksandr Litus
Warriors Don't Cry by
This is a great book regarding the history of integration in Little Rock, Arkansas. -- Recommended by Rohan Krishnan
The Great Gatsby by
This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature. (publisher's description)
Recommended by Nicholas Ng
Elephant Run by
It provides a vivid and magical world the reader can immerse him/herself in and leave the real world behind. And on top of that, it takes place in the midst of WWII, giving the reader insight to portions of the war they might have not known about such as POW camps, the way the military was run, etc. I don't want to spoil it too much for you, person reading this, but this book has everything from adventure to suspense/thriller and, unfortunately, romance (ew). --Recommended by Carlos
The Twelve Chairs by
This book provides some overview of the Soviet period of the late 1920's in Russia. The book has a lot of humor and, in general, common sense about life. -- Recommended by Vasyl Lishchenko
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604