Grade 10 Summer Reading
Language and Literature 10 students should read 1 BOOK from the Contemporary Fiction category, and 1 BOOK from the Non-fiction category. It is expected that students will arrive on the first day of class prepared to carry out independent analysis on their chosen texts. For example, students should be able to discuss: the function of literary devices in specific passages, how authors craft theme, and the differences between fiction and non-fiction. New international students may opt to read just one book from the list, if appropriate to their language level.
Adult books are starred.
The Accident by Linwood Barclay
Thriller. Dad’s life falls apart after wife dies in car “accident.” Police say she was drunk. He says not.
*The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay by Michael Chambon
An adventure story of amazing interest, with reference to World War II, comic books, and an escape artist. One of Mr. Lundgren’s and Mrs. Chatterton’s favourites for advanced adventure readers.
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl by Barry Lyga
"I’m a computer geek, a comic book geek, a study geek. Even in the Fast-Track classes, I’m apart." Fifteen-year-old Fanboy is miserable at school. His only relief is to create his own comic book.
Bear Town by Fredrik Backman
Beartown is a small town on the decline—there isn’t much going for it, except hockey—junior hockey. On the night of the semi-finals, a violent crime occurs, and nothing is the same again. Engrossing, and very-well reviewed!
The Beckoners by Carrie Mac
Zoe, unhappy to be moving once again, falls in with the Beckoners, a group of bullies at her new school, but soon finds herself trying to get free from the increasingly violent gang.
Bedtime Story by Robert J. Wiersema
Local Victoria writer. Supernatural thriller meets domestic drama as boy gets trapped inside a novel his father is reading to him.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
A historical detective story with a twist: in 1915, Mary Russell is a fifteen-year-old orphaned heiress who makes the acquaintance of Sherlock Holmes and trails a murderer.
Blood Sucking Friends by Christopher Moore
A vampire novel that’s funny: between vampires there are scenes of punks bowling frozen turkeys on the graveyard shift in a supermarket, or snapping turtles loose in a loft and gnawing on designer shoes.
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
In 1981 Ireland, Fergus finds the ancient body of a murdered girl in a peat bog.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak
An engrossing read in which a German girl saves books from book burning and hides a Jewish man in her family’s basement. Advanced. Mrs. Chatterton’s, Ms. Crossley’s and Mr. Lundgren’s pick!
Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie
Abandoned 14 years ago, Aasmaani thought she knew the story of her mother, Pakistani activist “of blazing eyes and fiery rhetoric who had crowds chanting her name as though she were a religion” and her mother’s lover, beaten to death for his political poetry—but when she receives letters written in their secret code, she is not sure she’s heard the whole tale.
*Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Classic satire from one of the genre’s best writers, “Cat’s Cradle” tells an inter-galactic story of the search for the galaxy’s most dangerous substance.
Caucasia by Danzi Senna
Birdie/Jesse tries to find her niche in this new world of eye shadow and gossip and boys, but she also wants to remain true to herself and find a common ground between her white and black heritage.
Copper Sun by Sharon Mills Draper
A work of historical fiction that imagines a fifteen-year-old African girl’s journey through American slavery.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbour’s dog.
The Deception of Livvy Higgs by Donna Morrissey
The stories of an eighty-year-old woman who has spent years avoiding the painful memories of her youth.
*Downhill Chance by Donna Morrisey
An old-fashioned yarn of love, despair, and family secrets in Newfoundland. A lively read.
*11/22/63 by Stephen King
Al has spent five years in the past, preparing to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Fallen Angels by Dean Myers
The story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for service in Vietnam in the late 1960s when his dream of attending college falls through.
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
The realities of fatherhood come slowly but surely to sixteen-year-old Bobby after the birth of his daughter.
*Five Quarters of the Orange by Julie Harris
Novel set in a small French town during the war, told from the perspective of the children of a French family.
*Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve
Set in the 1890s, a spirited young woman falls into a passionate, illicit affair with an older man—with cataclysmic results.
Funny Little Monkey by Andrew Auseon
A darkly comic novel about fourteen-year-old twins whose relationship is very tense. Arty, an abnormally short fourteen-year-old boy, enlists the help of the “pathetic losers” to take revenge.
*The Girls by Lori Lansens
Moving and engrossing tale of conjoined twins Rose and Ruby. Wonderful read.
*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The year is 1946. London is emerging from the shadow of war, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject.
*The Help by Kathryn Stockett
A novel about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s. Very readable. Mrs. Nielson’s pick.
*High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.
Hornby’s narrator sells albums recorded the old-fashioned way—on vinyl—and is having a tough time making other transitions as well, specifically adulthood.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
This multi-award winning novel is narrated by a teen-aged girl living in the future. Themes involve first love and survival. One of Mrs. Chatterton’s favourites.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
After being caught with her best friend’s Sophie’s boyfriend at a summer party, Annabel Greene is starting her junior year alone and ostracized.
The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
All Keita wanted to ever do was run. This is a gripping story of Keita’s life as a refugee, and a runner. He learns what it means to live as an ‘illegal.’ A read for the runners!
The Keeper by Mai Peet
The now thirty-year-old “El Gato” relates how he developed his skills and won the coveted Soccer World Cup.
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
Lovesick by Jake Coburn
After driving while drunk, Ted York no longer has a basketball scholarship. When a stranger offers him full tuition if he’ll keep an eye on a bulimic freshman for her billionaire father, the teen accepts the deal.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork
Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice.
*Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien
Great story of adventure, friendship, and amazing descriptions of life at sea. Very advanced historical fiction. Mr. Thompson’s pick.
Missing Angel Juan by Lia Francesca Block
In this sequel to Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Witch Baby follows her boyfriend, Angel Juan to New York City and meets the ghost of her almost grandfather.
Nation by Terry Pratchett
In an alternate universe, Mau, a native, and Daphne, a shipwreck survivor, rebuild Mau’s village and combat pirates. Comical.
Natural Order by Brian Francis
A woman, Joyce, looking back on her life and coming to terms with how she failed her gay son.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The tale of a wandering magical circus that is open only from sunset to sunrise.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A novel about memory, magic and survival, but also the power of stories complicated by the darkness inside each of us.
The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin
This story follows three kids through the pressure cooker of inner-city teenage life. A swift, tense, and powerful book.
*The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Set in South Africa, the story of Peekay, an English boy who has a dream of becoming a boxer, armed with his secret weapon, “the power of one.” Great story. Mrs. Nielson’s pick.
Requiem by Frances Itani
Follows cross country journey of Bin who spent childhood in Japanese internment camp in BC. A tale of loss and redemption, of a family torn apart, and searching for solace.
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
Eleven-year-old Tyler’s family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure.
Roads End by Mary Lawson
The powerful tale of a family unraveling in the aftermath of tragedy.
A Room On Lorelei by Mary Pearson
To escape a miserable existence taking care of her alcoholic mother, seventeen-year-old Zoe rents a room from an eccentric woman, but her earnings as a waitress after school are minimal and she fights to survive.
*Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks
Dropout and drug addict, the fourteen-year-old narrator becomes a homeless mall rat. He takes refuge in an abandoned school bus with an illegal alien from Jamaica called I-Man. Advanced.
*Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler
Seventeen-year-old Ian Bedloe blames himself for the accidental death of his older brother.
*The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
A coming of age of a young woman in the early 1960s, set against a backdrop of racial violence and unrest.
*The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
In post-World War II Barcelona, young Daniel is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a massive sanctuary where books are guarded from oblivion. Intriguing adventure. Ms. Crossley’s pick.
Shelter by Frances Greenslade
Coming of age story set in BC’s Chilcotin. Two teenagers searching for their mother learn that you never really know the people you love.
*Small Island by Andrea Levy
Story of an independent woman who moves to England from Jamaica. Mrs. Chatterton’s pick.
Swallowing Stones by Joyce MacDonald
When seventeen-year-old Michael discovers that he has accidentally killed the father of a schoolmate, he wrestles with his own guilt until he can no longer keep his terrible secret.
Surviving Sam by Karen Rivers
Sam dies in a climbing accident and his twin sister lives to tell about it. A gritty story about the death of a sibling, and how one girl copes with her grief.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
A young mother in rural China gives birth out of wedlock. She leaves the baby girl on the steps of an orphanage. The baby is raised by an American family, but as she grows up longs to learn about her biological family. Historical fiction.
Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis
With stories within stories, Safia tells stories to servant Lalit about a young unwilling bride in need of rescue.
Tighter by Adele Griffin
Jamie has a pill problem. It started innocently enough with a track injury. Deliciously creepy.
The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson
Lila, the daughter of a Middle Eastern dictator murdered in a coup, doesn’t find out the extent of her late father’s crimes until she, her mother and brother are safely out of the country.
Various Positions by Martha Schabas
Goes inside the world of ballet to explore the idea of boundaries of all kinds.
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her troubled mother go to live in a trailer.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This contemporary story of three adult sisters vying for their aged father’s substantial inheritance, (in the form of a private island with three luxurious summer homes), reads like King Lear with a dose of Gossip Girl.
Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
600-plus pages of romance, harrowing exploits, cinematic backdrops, cliff-hangers, and plot twists. London, 1914. Advanced.
The Wolf by Steven Herrick
Sixteen-year-old Lucy, living in the shadow of her violent father, experiences a night of revelation as she and her fifteen-year-old neighbour, Jake, search for a legendary wolf in the Australian outback.
Adrift by Steve Callahan
In this true-life adventure, Callahan survives 76 days on the Atlantic in a five-foot rubber raft.
Alive by Piers Paul Read
Based on story of 32 rugby players who survived a plane crash and spent 70 grueling days in the Andes.
Chronicles: Volume I by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan shares his personal recollections of his life and career.
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
Schiff’s lucid, engaging biography makes us realize how little we know of Cleopatra.
The Concubine’s Children by Denise Chong
A granddaughter writes about her grandmother’s life in China and BC.
Crazy Horse by Larry McMurty
Crazy Horse became the greatest of all Sioux warriors by defeating Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn
Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You by Misha Glenny
British writer Glenny’s history of how cyber-crime went from the domain of lone-wolf hackers to a highly organized criminal underworld.
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
by Alexandra Fuller
In this book, Alexandra Fuller looks back, with affection and humor, at her unusual childhood.
Driven from Within by Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan makes it clear that the basis for his phenomenal success came from the inside out, thanks in part to those who guided him along the way.
E=mc2 by David Bodanis
Ever wondered what that Einstein was about? This sparky ‘biography’ of the equation weaves together the lives and discoveries of the scientists who led up to Einstein’s work, lending perspective and personality to its uses—from the bomb to nuclear power. For the science-minded and literary lovers alike!
Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho by Jon Katz
Two teenage computer geeks leave their small hometown to seek their fortunes in Chicago.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jennette Walls
Compelling memoir about making it on your own when your parents are homeless.
A Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery
The story of Hogwood, a pot bellied pig. For animal lovers.
The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit and Desire by Tom Zoellner
An exploration of the workings of the diamond industry full of intrigue.
Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier and Marc Lizano
Graphic Novel. Dounia, a grandmother tells her granddaughter the story of her life as a young Jewish girl in Paris. Dounia’s neighbours and friends risked their lives to hide her from the Nazis.
If I Knew, Don’t You Think I’d Tell You? by Jann Arden
The journals of recording artist Jann Arden.
Into the Wild by John Krakauer
Putting the tragic death of Christopher McCandless, who died alone in the Alaskan wilderness, into a broader perspective.
Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse
by David Brown
Whose idea was it? The human stories and faces behind American scientific and technological innovations and achievements.
Invisible Enemies by Jeanette Farrell
A fascinating chronicle of the facts, superstitions and social conditions surrounding seven diseases that have literally changed the course of history.
In Your Face: The Beauty of Culture and You by Shari Graydon
In an upbeat, casual style, Graydon looks closely at the concept of beauty, never denying the difficulties of resisting current trends as she exposes the “sneaky strategies” behind media hype.
The Joy of Pi by David Blatner
This intriguing little gem explores that many facets of pi.
Katie.com: My Story by Katherine Tarbox
The true story of a young woman who begins an online friendship with a man who is not what he claims to be, and how she fights back.
Klee Wyck by Emily Carr
Carr records her travels to native villages on coastal BC.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Very funny memoir.
Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold
by Michael Benanav
A travel log of the author’s trip from Timbuktu, Mali to Taoudenni, Mali via camel caravan.
Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made
by David Halberstam
The story of one of basketball’s greatest stars.
Once a Dancer by Allegra Kent
The history of a true artist and Prima Ballerina by 16.
Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Elizabeth Crawford
Eight-year old Jeanne struggles to overcome her family’s slaughter during the Rwanda genocide.
Postcards From France by Megan McNeill Libby
A delightfully irresistible, charming account of a young girl’s year abroad.
Pretty Good for a Girl: Autobiography of a Snowboarding Pioneer
by Tina Basich
Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race by Stephanie Nolen
The history of women in aviation and as astronauts is revealed in this compelling story.
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
This is the memoir of a remarkable teacher in the Islamic Republic of Iran, who secretly read banned classic works of literature to seven of her most dedicated students.
Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill
The story of Douglas Bader who, after losing both his legs in an air crash, became one of the great heroes of the Battle of Britain.
The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
This story is told by a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism making it a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine.
Red China Blues by Jan Wong
Memoir. Wong writes of her ‘six-year’ romance with Maosim, and how it crumbled as she learned the harsh realities of Chinese communism.
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
A funny and vivid account of America’s early space program for the first astronauts.
River Town by Peter Hessler
For the first time in half a century, the little Chinese town of Fuling has an American visitor. With a keen eye for cultural ripple effects, Hessler describes his Peace Corps teaching experience in a rural community coming to terms with a conflicted history and facing a future overshadowed by the Three Gorges Dam. Excellent for armchair travellers!
Rocket Boys: A Memoir by Homer H. Hickham
Against overwhelming odds and with little knowledge of rocket science, Hickham and his high school buddies win the National Science Award for rocketry.
Say It Loud! The Story of Rap Music by Maurice K. Jones
From a village in West Africa to a street in Brooklyn, to MTV, rappers make the Scene.
Terrible Hours: The Man Behind the Greatest Submarine Rescue in History by Peter Maas
Chronicles the true story of American sailors trapped aboard a submarine just prior to World War II.
Terry by Douglas Copeland
Published for the 25th anniversary of his remarkable run, this book honors the life of Terry Fox.
They Fight Like Soldiers They Die Like Children by Romeo D’Allaire
Reflections on child soldiers in general and Canada’s foreign policy as it relates to them in particular.
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
Amazing account of the author’s near death experience in the Andes Mountains. According to Mr. Lidstone, everyone should read this book!
Touch the Dragon by Karen Connelly
Connelly writes about her experiences and feelings while an exchange student for one year in Thailand.
Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
A brilliantly written account of a young woman’s odyssey through the deserts of Australia.
Under an Afghan Sky: A Memoir of Captivity by Melissa Fung
Memoir of her 28 days held captive by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the World’s Last Dinosaur
by Carl Safina
This book is Safina’s personal journal of the migration of the leatherback, loggerhead, and green turtles.