Summer Reading

The CBA Summer Reading Program allows students to explore compelling and topical works associated with the various subject disciplines they will encounter during the school year.

All students will be assessed on their Summer Reading books in the opening weeks of the new school year. This assessment grade will equal 10% of the first academic quarter grade in each of these classes. It is recommended that your son begins reading by July 1 so he can thoroughly read and prepare for his assessments and classroom discussions.

Assessment may be tests or may be other projects or types of assessments. Specific expectations will be explained in September.

ISBN numbers have been provided below to help you locate the correct title. You may purchase whatever format (paperback, hardcover, e-reader, audiobook, etc.) that you prefer to use.


We are confident each student can do well on his assessments if he prepares accordingly:

  1. Review the book list carefully and only read those books that pertain to courses you will take.
  2. Get your books early!
  3. Ask your son regularly about his reading progress.
  4. Encourage your son to take notes for later reference. This is especially important for the first books he reads.
  5. Remember that all fiction and most non-fiction can be reduced to these elements:
    1. PLOT (what is happening?)
    2. CHARACTER (who is making it happen?)
    3. SETTING (where and when is it happening?)
    4. THEME (what is the point of it all?)

Note: Students who change courses over the summer are still responsible for the summer reading for that new course.


For Freshmen

All freshmen read this book:

THEOLOGY I (ACADEMY OATH): Season of Life, Jeffrey Marx ISBN: 978-0743269742

All freshmen read this book:

ENGLISH I STANDARD or HONORS: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Sean Covey, ISBN: 978-1476764665

All freshmen read one of these books, depending on their History placement:

WORLD HISTORY STANDARD or HONORS: A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Tom Standage, ISBN:  978-0802715524

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY: Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, ISBN:   978-0547750330

For Sophomores

ENGLISH II STANDARD: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,  Laura Hillenbrand, ISBN: 978-0812987119

ENGLISH II HONORS: Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger, ISBN: 978-7543321724

AP WORLD HISTORY: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race To Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts,  Joshua Hammer, ISBN: 978-1476777412 

CHEMISTRY STANDARD: This Borrowed Earth, Robert Emmet Hernan, et al, ISBN: 978-0230619838

CHEMISTRY HONORS: Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth, Keith Veronese, ISBN: 978-1616149727

AP CHEMISTRY: The Disappearing Spoon: And Other Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, Sam Kean, ISBN: 978-0316051637

THEOLOGY II STANDARD: This Is Our Exile, James Martin , ISBN: 978-1570759239

THEOLOGY II HONORS: The Day Christ Died, Jim Bishop, ISBN:  978-0060608163

For Juniors

AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE: The Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell, ISBN: 978-0316346627

ENGLISH III STANDARD or HONORS: The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro, ISBN: 978-0307455796

US HISTORY II STANDARD or HONORS: The Devil in the White City, Erik Larsen, ISBN: 978-0375725609

AP AMERICAN HISTORY: It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis, ISBN: 978-0451465641 

THEOLOGY III STANDARD: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis, ISBN: 978-0809149803

THEOLOGY III HONORS: Walking the Bible: A Journey By Land Through the Five Books of Moses, Bruce Feiler, ISBN: 978-0062336507

For Seniors

ENGLISH IV STANDARD or HONORS: Born a Crime, Trevor Noah, ISBN: 978-0399588198

AP ENGLISH LIT: The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead, ISBN 978-0345804341

AP EUROPEAN HISTORY: The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friederich Engels (any edition) and The Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli (any edition)

AP ART HISTORY: Instant Art History; From Cave Art to Pop Art, Walter Robinson, ISBN: 978-0449906989

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY: Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, ISBN: 978-0547750330

Guided Summer Reading Questions (Grade 9)

AP CHEMISTRY: The Disappearing Spoon: And Other Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, Sam Kean, ISBN: 978-0316051637

AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: The World Without Us, Alan Weisman, ISBN: 978-0312427900