Homeschool Summer Reading Lists

Get a jump on next year's reading assignments this summer.

Homeschool summer reading lists can help students keep their reading skills sharp during the warmer months as well as broaden their literary horizons. While the summer months may be a time to kick back and relax, there is no reason why reading books can't be an enjoyable pastime as well. If your homeschooled high school student could use some recreational reading, the following lists include a wide variety of teacher favorites.

Homeschool Summer Reading Lists

Whether your student enjoys adventure, science fiction, classics or history, there is something to please everyone's reading palate below:

Biographies, Autobiographies and Memoirs

  • Black Ice by Lorene Cary
  • Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  • Growing Up by Russell Baker
  • A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Susskind
  • Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez
  • Letters from Nuremberg by Christopher J. Dodd
  • Of Beatles and Angels-A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard by Masar Asgedom
  • A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Historical Fiction

  • The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
  • Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Fraser
  • Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Jubilee by Margaret Walker
  • North and South by John Jakes
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
  • The King Must Die by Mary Renault
  • Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
  • The Source by James Michener


  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  • Flashman: A Novel by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
  • The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Little Big Man by Thomas Berger
  • Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Cultural Contexts

  • Almost a Woman by Esmeralda Santiago
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Flight by Sherman Alexie
  • Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
  • A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiayama
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
  • The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor


  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
  • Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories by Carson McCullers
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  • Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark
  • Cat's Cradle: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Mists of Avalon by Miriam Zimmer Bradley
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • Sphere by Michael Crichton
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
  • The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
  • The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin

Mystery, Suspense and Adventures

  • The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell
  • Devices and Desires by P.D. James
  • The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
  • A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
  • Little Drummer Girl by John LeCarre
  • People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Scold's Bridle by Minette Walters
  • The Widening Gyre by Robert Parker

Non Fiction

  • Alive by Piers Paul Read
  • Common Ground by J. Anthony Lucas
  • The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
  • Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Choosing a few books from homeschool summer reading lists each year will keep students in step with their traditionally schooled peers. It is also hoped that reading books from these lists will instill a lifelong love of books in the reader, no matter which genre they enjoy.

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Homeschool Summer Reading Lists