Summer Reading Rationales, Requirements, and Lists
Fauquier County Public Schools
Rationale for Recommended Reading:
What do we want students in Fauquier County to be able to do as readers? We take our lead from Kelly Gallagher, a nationally recognized expert in the field. Gallagher’s In the Best Interest of Students makes the case for developing readers who read for enjoyment.
Gallagher points out that the standards movement has caused many schools to ignore recreational reading. Sadly, “students who are not given a chance to read for enjoyment are much more likely to become adults who do not read for enjoyment” (145).
As Fauquier County Public School educators, we believe that students learn to read by reading interesting, quality literature and responding to it through reflection, discussion, and writing. However, we also believe that students learn to LOVE to read (and write) when they have high-interest choices and when accountability measures (additional work beyond the reading itself) are meaningful and motivational. Therefore, the majority of our teachers recommend summer reading rather than requiring particular works with lengthy assignments attached.
In addition to reading for pleasure, summer break should provide students with opportunities to read for personal enrichment, as well. Research has shown that students who do not read during the summer months can experience a loss of some of their reading skills. In order to prevent this summer “fall back,” and to prepare students for the coming academic year, Fauquier County English teachers recommend that students choose at least two titles from the lists below for their summer reading or, perhaps, two appropriate works of their own choosing. In the fall, students should let their new English teachers know what their choices were and share a few things they liked and did not like about those choices. Teachers love receiving this information at the beginning of a new school year either through conversations, notes, or letters to them!
Rationale for Required Reading in Honors and AP English:
In addition to the above guidelines, secondary Honors and AP English teachers may publish Council-approved required reading lists and assignments deemed necessary for the success of advanced students preparing for the rigorous AP exams in high school. Students who are preparing for Honors and AP classes should also respond to their reading, both recreational and required, by writing reflective journal entries to be ready for follow-up discussion during the first few weeks of class. Note: Students’ reading comprehension of these books may (or may not) be assessed by their classroom teachers. Teachers should provide easy access to their own specific requirements and necessary materials including novels and books.
Recommended Reading for Middle School and High School:
By link to the Virginia State Reading Association’s Readers Choice 2019-2020 selection
Additional Recommended Reading for High School:
Animal Farm – Orwell
Anthem – Rand
Ender’s Game – Card
House on Mango Street – Cisneros
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Angelou
1984 - Orwell
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court - Twain
Hot Zone - Preston
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Inherit the Wind – Lawrence & Lee
A Lesson Before Dying - Gaines
In Cold Blood – Capote
Johnny Got His Gun – Trumbo
The Devil in the White City - Holmes
Warriors Don’t Cry - Beals
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Hosseini
David Copperfield - Dickens
Dracula - Stoker
Jane Eyre - Bronte
The Joy Luck Club - Tan