Summer Reading

Summer Reading 2020

The all-school summer reading book is The Other Side, by Juan Pablo Villalobos (ISBN 9780374305734). This book was chosen not by the English Department but by a special summer reading committee.

In addition to that book, all students also have a summer reading assignment from their English teacher. Those selections are described below.


For all

You should expect a reading test over your summer book on one of your first days back; this test will represent a significant grade.

If you need help getting a copy of the book for any financial reason, please have contact Mr. Frank Kovarik at as soon as possible. For summer reading only, electronic books are fine as long as they are the same text.


Freshmen (Class of 2024)

  • American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (ISBN 0312384483)
    (please note that this is a graphic novel: it tells the story in comic book-style panels)


Sophomores (Class of 2023)

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon (ISBN 978-1400032716)


Juniors (Class of 2022)

  • Regular: How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster (ISBN 9780062301673)
  • AP / Honors: Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier (ISBN 978-0802142849) and How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster (ISBN 9780062301673)


Seniors (Fall semester courses) (Class of 2021)

  • African-American Voices: Not Without Laughter, by Langston Hughes (ISBN 0486454487)
  • Alienated Hero: Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (ISBN 1537011235)
  • American Lit: Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer (ISBN 9780679428503)
  • Dante & the Modern World: Tales from Ovid, translated by Ted Hughes (ISBN 978-0374525873)
  • Fantasy and Realism in Literature: A Wind in the Door, by Madeleine L'Engle (ISBN 9780312368548)
  • Irish Literature: Long, Long Way, by Sebastian Barry ISBN 978-0143035091
  • Shakespeare: Love's Labor's Lost, by William Shakespeare (ISBN 978-0-7434-8492-3)

Seniors: Once you learn which first semester English class you have been placed in, you should take immediate action to obtain a copy of the book assigned for your fall semester class. If you switch out of one course and into a new one, make sure that you do so far enough in advance that you leave yourself time to read the book for the new course.

Seniors, please also note: These books are selected to fit the content of a particular course, and your teachers intend to spend time discussing them during the first few days of the semester. You should be prepared to do more than just take a test and move on.

Any questions about English Summer Reading? Please contact Frank Kovarik at


Buy Local & Independent

As you are shopping for your summer reading books, including our all-school read, please consider purchasing from a local independent bookseller.

These bookshops are still open for business--all offer shipping and curbside pick up.


Independent bookstores selling new books:

The Book House in Maplewood

Left Bank Books in The Central West End

Main Street Books in St. Charles

Neighborhood Reads in Washington, Missouri

The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves

Subterranean Books in University City

Webster Groves Bookshop in Webster Groves


Independent used bookstores:

Afterwards Books in Edwardsville, Illinois

Dunaway Books on South Grand in St. Louis

Hammonds Books on Cherokee Street in St. Louis