Sulam English

Dear Families,

This summer, all rising 9th-12th grade students will be required to read at least one book in preparation for next year’s Sulam English class. We strongly encourage parents to read along with students as a way to model lifelong learning and to help students engage meaningfully. Please select one book from the following list. In addition to reading your selected book, please bring it with you to class during the first week of school. Students will be expected to complete a written assignment related to their summer book during the first week of school. Texts that are bolded are not required reading for our students, but we wanted to include them as options as some of their peers will be reading those books as a Berman required text. 

Alternatively, students may choose a different book, but it must be approved by either Mrs. Scherr Scherra@mjbha.org  and cc Mrs. Houben at houbenl@mjbha.org

Graphic Novel or Sports-Related

American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang

Dragon Hoops, Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)

March, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (graphic novel)

Displacement, Kiku Hughes

The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen

Tumbling, Caela Carter

QB1, Mike Lupica

Game Seven, Paul Volponi

Golden Arm, Carl Deuker

A Map to the Sun, Sloane Leong


The Young Champion’s Mind: How to Think, Train, and Thrive Like an Elite Athlete, by Jim Afremow, PhD (nonfiction)

Mental Toughness for Young Athletes, Moses and Troy Horne (nonfiction)

What If? (Book 1 and/or 2),  Randall Munroe

Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World, Matt Parker

Economic Facts and Fallacies, Thomas Sowell

The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon, Schyffert, Bea Uusma

Alive! Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary People Who Survived Deadly Tornadoes, Avalanches,Shipwrecks, and More, Editors of Readers’ Digest Association 

Memoir or based on true story:

Refugee, Alan Gratz 

The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls

Kent State, Deborah Wiles

The Color of Water, James McBride

Into the Wild, Jack Krakauer

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Home, Saroo Brierly

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, Maya Van Wagenen

Fantasy or Sci-Fi:

The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

The Martian,  Andy Weir

Dragonfruit, Makiia Lucier

Divine Rivals, Rebecca Ross

Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things, Margie Fuston

The Word for World is Forest, Ursula K. Le Guin 

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (*required for incoming 11th/12th graders enrolled in Berman English- Politics & The Art of Persuasion Class)

Realistic Fiction:

We Are Not Free, Traci Chee (*required for incoming 10th graders enrolled in Berman English)

The Chosen, Chaim Potok

Sunrise Over Fallujah, Walter Dean Myers

Frontera, Julio Anta and Jacoby Salcedo

Windfall, Jennifer E. Smith

Destination Anywhere, Sara Barnard

Chloe and the Kaisho Boys, Mae Coyiuto

A Heart in a Body in the World, Deb Caletti

Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson

Thieves Gambit, Kavion Lewis

The Catcher in the Rye

Code of Honor, Alan Gratz

Squirm, Carl Hiaasan

It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini

The Call of the Wild, Jack London

Peak, Roland Smith

*Sulam English students are not required to read the bolded titles. It is only on this list as a possible recommendation in case students want to read the same book as their Berman peers. Berman incoming 9th graders will read 2 graphic novels from a recommended list, while incoming 11th/12th Berman English students enrolled in Film & Literature will read 2 short stories posted on Berman’s Summer Reading site.