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Summer Reading
Each boy entering the upper school should read three works and write a review of two of them over the summer.

Reading during the summer months broadens a boy’s horizons like few other activities. With this end in mind, I am happy to provide you with the Avalon School’s Summer Reading and Poetry Requirements.

All boys at Avalon will be required to memorize one poem over the summer months to recite in September when school begins. Each poem is likely found on the internet or in many poetry collections.

The reading requirements involve more effort. Each boy entering lower or middle school grades is required to read two of the listed works for the grade he is set to enter in September. No other assignment will be required of boys entering grades 2 through 6, but literature teachers will ask the student which books he read. Boys entering grades 7 and 8 must write a single page, double-spaced review of one of the books read explaining why—or why not—he thinks the book was a worthwhile read during the summer. This essay should be turned in to his English teacher no later than Friday, September 9th.

Requirements for boys entering upper school grades reflect their growing capabilities. Each boy should read three books from the list, and write a review of two of the books. Please note that, while we still require a review of two of the works, we ask for two separate reviews. Each review should be a single page of double-spaced text. Although some summary of the work is necessary, the review should primarily be a critique of what was enjoyable and successful in the work and what was not. These essays should be turned in to his English teacher no later than Friday, September 9th.

If you know of other quality, age-appropriate books that boys will enjoy, we would be happy to keep them in mind for future summer reading lists.

Kevin J. Davern


2nd - 3rd Grade

Aesop's Fables
James and the Giant Peach: A Children’s Story, Roald Dahl
Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
Mr. Popper’s Penguin, Richard and Florence Atwater
Poem: The Frog, Hillaire Belloc -2nd Grade
Poem: The Oak, Alfred Lord Tennyson - 3rd Grade

4th Grade

Boy, Roald Dahl
The Black Stallion, Walter Farley
Sounder, William Armstrong
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, Donald Sobol
The Matchlock Gun, Walter Edmonds
Poem: The Yak, Hillaire Belloc

5th Grade

Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis (Pick one.)
Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare
The Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, John Erickson (Pick one.)
The Raft, Robert Trumbull (This one is expensive.)
Poem: Matilda, Hillaire Belloc

6th Grade

Where the Red Fern Grows, WilsonRawls
Rifles for Watie, Harold Keith
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Robert C. O'Brien
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
Son of Charlemagne, Barbara Willard
Poem: Pied Beauty, Gerard Manley Hopkins

7th Grade

The Scarlet Pimpernel, Barones Orczy Emmuska
Cheaper by the Dozen, Ernestine Carey and Frank Gilbreth
White Fang, Jack London
King Arthur and His Knights
, Howard Pyle
Poem: Casey at the Bat, Ernest Lawrence Thayer

8th Grade

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein (Pick one or two.)
The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain
All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot
Drums Along the Mohawk, Walter Edmonds
Poem: On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, John Keats


Selected Short Stories, O. Henry
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, John Krakauer
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
The Once and Future King, T.H. White
A Study in Scarlet, A. Conan Doyle
Edmund Campion, Evelyn Waugh
Washington's Crossing, David Hackett Fischer
Poem: Sonnet XVIII, William Shakespeare


Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein
The Wright Brothers, David McCullough
Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Case Against Darwin, James Perloff
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
The Spear, Louis de Wohl (available through Ignatius press)
Red Sox Reader, edited by Dan Riley
Poem: Sonnet LXXIII, William Shakespeare


Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
Mr. Lincoln’s War, Bruce Catton
A Stillness at Appomattox, Bruce Catton
Red Dawn at Lexington, Louis Birnbaum
Bridge on the River Kwai, Pierre Boulle
Teammates, David Halberstam
Darwin on Trial, Philip Johnson
Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand
Poem: Sonnet XCIV, William Shakespeare


Disorientation, John Zmirak (required for all seniors)
Brunelleschi's Dome, Ross King (required for AP European History students)
1776, David McCollough
John Adams, David McCollough
The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman
The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman
The Long Walk, Slavomir Racwicz
The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe
Night, Elie Wiesel
The Glory of Their Times, Lawrence S. Ritter
Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay, William Warner
Poem: Sonnet XXIX, William Shakespeare

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