Summer Reading List 2012

Webb Freshmen Summer Reading


Here is a list of books united by the theme of journeys. Some are fiction, some non-fiction. Pick one from this list to read before school begins in August. Or read one and keep going--there are two stories of young women sailing the world; a pair of climber stories; two tales of immigration to the United States. The key is to find a book that interests you. Whether by word-of-mouth recommendation or by reading a few reviews online, pick the book that sounds most promising. Enjoy!

2012 Summer Reading List

1. Ted Conover, Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America's Hoboes (Amherst College student takes a year off to see a world that fascinates him.)

2. Ted Conover, Coyotes (Author makes an illegal crossing of the Mexico/U.S. border.)

3. Lance Armstrong, It's Not About the Bike (Story of the World Champion cyclist's journey through cancer, back to the top of his sport.)

4. Jessica Watson, True Spirit (Australian teenager sails alone and unassisted around the world.)

5. Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake (A young couple--one pregnant, one about to attend M.I.T.--moves from Calcutta, India to Cambridge, MA.)

6. Lori Alvord and Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt, The Scalpel and the Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing (Author traces her path from the Navajo Nation, through Dartmouth College and Stanford University to a career in surgery.)

7. Milton Murayama, All I Asking For Is My Body (Japanese-American immigrant family in Hawai'i during World War 2. Written in English, with Pidgin dialect.)

8. Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (travel through space and time after last-minute rescue from earth's destruction--a spoof of sci-fi, as well as being sci-fi.)

9. Ray Bradbury, Martian Chronicles (a futuristic collection, written in the 1940s, that imagines the humans and colonization of Mars through the year 2026.)

10. Neil Gaiman, American Gods (North American road-trip story, with a twist--Titans and other European / Norse gods are here.)

11. John Krakauer, Into Thin Air (Climber-journalist's account of a disaster during an ascent of Mt. Everest.)

12. Joe Simpson, Touching the Void (Another climber's story, surviving a broken leg at 21,000 feet during an Andes Mountains expedition.)

13. Tania Aebi, Maiden Voyage (Father makes a deal with his daughter--college tuition or an ocean-ready sailboat. She sails around the world.)

14. Amy Tan, Joy Luck Club (Starting with migration from China to San Francisco in 1949, this novel follows the lives of four mothers and four daughters.)

Webb Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Summer Reading


10th grade – The White Tiger; Aravind Adiga ; ISBN-10: 9781416562597

11th Grade – On The Road; Jack Kerouac ; ISBN-10: 9780140283297

12th Grade – The Bell Jar ; Sylvia Plath ; ISBN-10: 9780061148514 (except Postmodernism -- see below)

Any students enrolled in Mr. Potash’s Postmodernism course will read:

Ceremony; Leslie Marmon Silko ; ISBN-10: 0143104918 in place of The Bell Jar.

Other Summer Work

There are also very brief summer work packets for students enrolled in AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Science. Students should have picked these up from Ms. Chou and Mr. Lawrence before leaving campus. There should be no other formal assigned work over the summer.
Priya Patel '12
Priyanka Patel '12 winner of the Birge Book Award 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.