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Not Your Average Book: A Summer Reading List For High Schoolers

Not Your Average Book: A Summer Reading List For High Schoolers

As summer begins, hopefully life can slow down for CMASAS online high school students. May the summer season be a time of exploring, envisioning, getting refocused and refreshed. One great way to spend your summer: diving into a great book. 

At CMASAS, we want to encourage reading as recreation, as a means of personal growth and a way to gain greater understanding of the world around us. We won't be yet another high school to suggest "To Kill a Mockingbird," don't worry. But instead we want to offer 10 titles that we believe will equip, encourage, enlighten and entertain. Happy summer and happy reading. 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - a novel

This humorous, coming of age story with beautiful illustrations follows 14-year-old Junior as he leaves his school on the SpokaneIndian Reservation for a mostly white school in a nearby town. With themes reflecting on the issues of poverty, racism and alcoholism and their impact on Native American communities, Junior goes on a journey of self-discovery and finally finds what it means to live within a tribe.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai  - a memoire 

From a young age Malala and her family have worked tirelessly advocating for education for women in the Taliban controlled territory of Pakistan. When she was fifteen years old Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban and miraculously recovered, becoming a global symbol of peaceful protest and the power of education on society. Malala is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and has inspired others to believe in the power of their voices. 

Pick Me Up: Stuff You Need to Know by Philip Wilkinson - nonfiction

This is no average reference book. Fascinating, entertaining, educational and witty, this book is full of creative entries of a myriad of topics. Cross referenced entries make it easy to get lost in this book, almost like surfing the web, jumping around topics and learning so much along the way. 

When Elephants Fight by Eric Walters - nonfiction

In nations plagued by war, children are often the people who are most affected. This book shares the personal stories of five children and a brief history and explanation of the geopolitical conflicts that have affected their nations. The stories offer enlightenment and awareness for readers of all ages, teaching that if wars are going to end, change must start in the lives of children. 

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by  Tanya Lee Stone - nonfiction

This is the story of the women of Mercury 13, a team of astronauts who didn’t make it into space but did not fail at empowering young people, especially women, to chase their dreams. As true pioneers of the space age, these women’s stories point to the wonders of science, the fight for gender equality and the global hope and excitement of a new frontier explored. 

Stick by Michael Harmon - a novel

Stick is a high school football super star while Preston is the outcast geek. Stick puts on his football “costume” each week to please others though he has lost his passion and interest for the sport while Preston dons a different costume, acting as a superhero righting the wrongs of his town. When the two become friends, things change, and no one has to pretend anymore. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - a novel

When Hazel is diagnosed with cancer, she is so focused on battling growing tumors, that she never expects to fall in love. When she meets Augustus Waters, her hope is renewed, and a beautiful romance unfolds, inspiring faith in humanity and the treasure of every living day. 

Smile by Raina Telgemeler - nonfiction

Tragedy strikes for 6th grader Raina when she trips and breaks her two front teeth. Going through much of middle and high school with braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear and retainers with fake teeth, Raina learns a thing or two about how beauty is often seen as skin deep, but what actually maters is one’s character and heart. In this beautiful memoire, Raina shares how to find self-assurance and inspire others to love themselves too. 

First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race by Tim Grove - nonfiction

Over the span of 150 days in 1924, a team of American aviators embarked on a race to circumnavigate the globe. They faced many trials including terrible weather, mechanical failures, and agonizing disappointments. This historically accurate, incredibly funny and inspiring story shares the power of perseverance and the wonder of the world. 

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw - nonfiction

Shane Burcaw uses humor and hope to endure living with spinal muscular atrophy. With a sharp wit, Burcaw inspires others to have a positive attitude in the midst of their challenging circumstances. His essays are thought-provoking and encourage others to find the simple joy in everyday life while paying attention to others and being sensitive to their unique struggles.