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.

The courses listed below as ‘College Prep’ were previously identified as “Standard.’ Please consider ‘College Prep’ and ‘Standard’ to mean the same thing for the books on this list.


For Freshmen

All freshmen read this book:

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

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

ENGLISH I COLLEGE PREP: Turtles All the Way Down, John Green,
ISBN: 978-0525555377

ENGLISH I HONORS: I Must Betray You, Ruta Sepetys, ISBN: 978-0593524152

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

WORLD HISTORY COLLEGE PREP: A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Tom Standage,
ISBN: 978-0802715524 (Chapters One to Four only)

WORLD HISTORY HONORS: Prisoners of Geography, Tim Marshall,
ISBN: 978-1501121470

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY: Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser,
ISBN: 978-0547750330 – Please see Guided Summer Reading Questions link located on your Class Page under Summer Reading.

For Sophomores

ENGLISH II COLLEGE PREP: The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien, ISBN: 978-0618706419

ENGLISH II HONORS: Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer, ISBN: 978-0385486804

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

THEOLOGY II COLLEGE PREP: Between Heaven and Mirth, James Martin, ISBN: 978-0062024251

THEOLOGY II HONORS: He Leadeth Me, Walter Ciszek,
ISBN:  978-0804141529

For Juniors

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

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

US HISTORY II COLLEGE PREP: Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, ISBN: 978-1501126413

US HISTORY II HONORS: Mapping America, Jean-Pierre Isbouts and Neil Asbury, ISBN: 978-1948062763

AP AMERICAN HISTORY (2 books): -Book one: Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction, Alan Taylor, ISBN: 978-0199766239
-Book two: Mapping America, Jean-Pierre Isbouts and Neil Asbury, ISBN: 978-1948062763

THEOLOGY III COLLEGE PREP: The Lord Is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-Third Psalm, Harold Kushner, ISBN:978-1400033355

THEOLOGY III HONORS: A Once and Coming Spirit at Pentecost, Raymond Brown, ISBN: 978-0814621547

For Seniors

ENGLISH IV COLLEGE PREP 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 HUMAN GEOGRAPHY: Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, ISBN: 978-0547750330

AP ART HISTORY, No book listed: Please Complete This Summer Assignment

CHRISTIAN SERVICE: Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship, Pope Francis, ISBN: 978-1681927794