One of my favorite things to do each year as a high school librarian was to put together a list of books for summer reading. Summer is a time when students get to take a break from school and focus on fun.
It’s the perfect time for them to read what they want to read – instead of assigned class reading. But most students don’t know what to read over the summer. That’s why we love putting together lists of book recommendations that we think high school students will love.
We’ve put together this list of summer reading at the 10th grade level so you can encourage your students to do something more than binge-watch Netflix or follow Tiktok trends. (Stay tuned for a few bonuses at the end that will make this super easy for your classroom.)
10th Grade Summer Reading List for High School 2023
Some students may have plenty of their own books that they want to read this summer. But others may need some suggestions.
This 10th grade reading list includes a wide variety of books that will both engage and educate your students over the summer months.
12 Books to Add to Your 10 Grade Summer Reading Lists
1. I Must Betray You* by Ruta Sepetys
Genre: Historical Fiction
In 1989, Romania was a communist nation. You can’t trust anyone. Your best friend, your sister, the weird store owner who’s always staring at you. Anyone could be a communist informer. And any action outside of the communist regulations can lead to destruction.
When Cristian is blackmailed into becoming an informer, he must decide if doing what’s right is worth losing everything.
I Must Betray You is a relevant and chilling tale of a time in history that is often left unknown or forgotten.
2. As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
Genre: Historical Fiction
Salama isn’t worried about a revolution in Syria. She just wants to live a normal teenage life. But when her attempts to leave before her sister-in-law gives birth prove challenging, she begins to see the events around her for what they really are. In As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow, she must decide what role she will play in the revolution of her country.
3. All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
Sal and Noor’s family immigrated to America from Pakistan looking for a fresh start. But when their failing motel is left in the hands of teenagers who have dreams of their own, will it survive or will it tear their family apart? Sal and Noor must decide how much of themselves they must sacrifice for their family.
All My Rage is a sad and gripping tale that you won’t want to put down this summer.
4. The Secret Recipe for Moving On by Karen Bischer
When her boyfriend Hunter dumps her the first day of school, Ellie doesn’t think senior year could get any worse…until it does. Taking a “life skills” class with her ex and his new girlfriend isn’t helped by getting partnered with a group of random kids in the class. Will this year get better?
The Secret Recipe for Moving On is the perfect summer romance for 10th-grade students.
5. What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
Two unlikely teens find their fates’ linked: Jack searches for lost drug money that landed his father in prison. Money he needs to keep his brother out of foster care. Money Ava’s father is looking for as well. The money could change Jack and his younger brother’s life. Jack could change Ava’s life by making her feel like she can love someone: something her father never taught her. Will her loyalty lie with her father or Jack?
What Beauty There Is is a story about stepping out and speaking up.
6. The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
It’s 1994 in Little River, New York, and April has failed high school. She’s working at the local diner and living with her dad in his motorhome: a motorhome without a motor. Performing at an open mic night she drove to in a stolen car, she knows her life can’t continue as it is. She leaves Little River, journeying to find out what her life can be, and is shaped by the eclectic people she meets along the way, writing songs to record her quest.
The People We Keep is a true story about the journey of life and how the people we meet along the way shape us.
7. Chaos Theory by Nic Stone
Shelbi’s a certified genius who’s also struggling with bipolar disorder. Andy’s a troubled teen struggling with addiction and grief.
In Chaos Theory, Andy and Shelbi’s paths cross when Shelbi’s mental health struggles lead to her changing schools. Can these unlikely friends help each other move forward to brighter futures? And can they find love amidst the chaos?
8. Sherwood by Megan Spooner
After the loss of Robin Hood, Maid Marian takes her place in this new twist of the beloved story. Does she have what it takes, or will the terrible Guy of Gisborne take Robin Hood’s place as Marian’s fiance and the Lord of Locksley?
9. Glimpsed by G.F. Miller
Cinderella isn’t the only one who has a fairy godmother. In Glimpsed you’ll meet Charity, a modern fairy godmother who comes from a long line of women granting Happily Ever Afters. By catching glimpses of peoples’ deepest wishes, she’s able to lend a helping hand turning them into dreams come true. But when disaster strikes after she fulfills a girl’s wish to be homecoming queen, she needs help deciphering all the wishes she’s granted before – and what she wishes for in her own life.
10. Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novels
Love the Netflix’s Shadow and Bone series? Demon in the Wood is the origin story of the Darkling. Though, at this point, he’s just called Eryk.
Eryk and his mother have a dark power that must stay hidden. There are those who would kill them and those who would use their power for their own gain. Neither is good for them.
11. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
Genre: Non-Fiction/Graphic Novels
This is the story of George Takei (actor known for Star Trek), who was placed in a Japanese internment camp when he was 4-years-old, during World War II.
They Called Us Enemy recounts George’s first-hand experience as his family was relocated and placed under armed guard for years.
12. Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novels
Fans of Percy Jackson and the Olympians will love this graphic novel series that tells the love story of Hades and Persephone. Wait, what?! A love story? In the Greek myth, Hades kidnaps Persephone. This a retelling that doesn’t exactly go that way.
Interested in fantasy, Greek mythology, and awesome artwork? Lore Olympus is the book for you.
Summer Reading in Your Classroom
Unless you’re an AP teacher and you have an AP summer reading requirement, you may not have much control over assignments for your soon-to-be future or upcoming students. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the idea of a summer reading list fun. Subscribe today to get your free summer reading bookmarks to encourage reading this summer with or without these specific books.