Summer Reading 12th grade
Galileo Suggested Summer Reading for 12 th Graders
†American Gods, Neil Gaiman/465 p./Fantasy/2001
Shadow sets out on a journey across America fighting old myths and the gods of modern technology and
material obsession when he takes employment with a man named Wednesday — otherwise known as the
Becoming, Michelle Obama/426 p./Memoir/2018
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic
and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the
most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes
her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private.
†The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath/288 p./Fiction/1963
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and
successful, but slowly going under — maybe for the last time.
*Catch-22, Joseph Heller/453 p./Satirical Fiction/1961
Yossarian is a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war,
and his efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he
hasn't even met are trying to kill him.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon/226 p./Fiction/2003
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic
fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret
information about his mother.
*Emma, Jane Austen/474 p./Fiction/1815
Beautiful, clever, rich–and single–Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need
for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of
others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a
suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have
consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle
exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.
*Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel/245 p./Fiction/1995
Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to
a tyrannical rancher, must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother.
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri/291 p./Fiction/2003
A young man born of Indian parents in America struggles with issues of identity from his teens to his
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini/372 p./Fiction/2007
This novel is set against the three decades of Afghanistan's history shaped by Soviet occupation, civil war,
and the Taliban and tells the stories of two women, Mariam and Laila, who grow close despite the horrors
they must endure.
†Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple/330 p. Fiction/2012
When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage
Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her. Fifteen-year-old Bee uses emails,
invoices, school memos, secret correspondence, and other evidence to find her mother after she
disappears due to her intensifying agoraphobia.
*Free online version available.
†Contains mature language and themes.
Summer Reading FAQ
Why do summer reading?
Reading a book (or several books!) over summer will keep your brain active, which will mean you will be
more prepared for the tough academic year ahead.
How do I choose a book?
Read the descriptions of the books on the opposite side of this page. What topics, descriptions, and genres
spark your interest? If you can, visit the library or bookstore and actually look at the books in person –
check out the covers, read a few pages, and read the extended summaries on the inside flap in order to
help you make a decision. Sometimes, reading online reviews will give you an idea if you will like the book
– try www.goodreads.com.
Where can I find these books?
All of these books are available at the San Francisco Public Library. Their website (https://sfpl.org) has
information about which books are available at the branches most convenient for you. If you would prefer
to buy the book, many of these titles can be found at various bookstores – including used bookstores – in
San Francisco and online retailers such as Amazon.com.
What if I want to read a book that’s not on this list?
Go ahead! This list contains only a few suggestions – if there’s a different book that you’ve been interested
in reading, please feel free.
How can I borrow electronic copies of these books and books not on this list?
Using your San Francisco Public Library card, you can access thousands of titles of ebooks, audiobooks,
magazines, movies, and more using hoopla or Libby. Don’t have a library card? Apply for your Scholarcard today and give them your legal name, date of birth, mailing address, name of school. No ID or paperwork required.