Have a few extra hours (or days) on your hand this summer and want to read something that’s NOT on your AP English summer reading list?
Here are The Young Leader’s top picks:
On the Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957
Kerouac’s definitive novel, based largely on his own experiences, is the ultimate summer read. The adventure contained in these pages inspired the Beat Generation, and continues to fuel the fire of wanderlusting teens everywhere.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig, 1974
An iconic work of psychological fiction, Pirsig’s Zen sees a father-son duo embark on a 17-day motorcycle ride across the county. This novel explores how we live…and gives us glimpses of the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.
In Darkness, Nick Lake, 2012
This novel is the story of 15-year-old “Shorty,” who is trapped in a collapsed hospital during the Hatian earthquake. As he struggles to survive, Shorty begins to hallucinate- and these hallucinations lead him on a great adventure with Hatian independence leader and former slave Toussaint L’Ouverture!
New Kids, Brooke Hauser, 2011
Take a look inside Brooklyn’s International High School at Prospect Heights, where all students are recent immigrants and are in the process of learning English. An inspiring work of narrative journalism, The New Kids chronicles a year in the lives of teenagers who are each in pursuit of their own American Dream.
Looking for Alaska, John Green, 2005
Best known for his 2012 novel The Fault in Our Stars, John Green’s first novel won the Michael L. Printz Award and the hearts of teenagers across the world. Looking for Alaska follows narrator Miles Halter as he moves away from home to attend an Alabama prep school, and features a slew of quirky, witty, and realistic characters. It’s a quick read, but we recommend you savor it—you won’t want it to end!