10th-12th Summer Reading

Summer Reading General Guidelines

Cornerstone Academy’s teachers and board members are encouraging students to read over the summer. It is our belief that reading good literature is integral to academic achievement and excellence, especially in a classical school. Reading is also very important in building contexts for books and subjects studied in school, and for fostering the love of learning in younger students. While specific numbers and titles are not being required in all classes, it is strongly suggested that each student read at least three age-appropriate works of literature this summer.

We know that summer is, for many students, a time for relaxation, extracurricular activities, and vacations, and a time to escape the pressures of deadlines and assignments. As part of our commitment to classical education, we also believe that the pursuit of knowledge should be a year-round activity, and one that can take place in a variety of settings. Life lessons and practical knowledge can be gained in many settings, and we encourage you and your children to spend time learning in nontraditional ways, at your own paces and while pursuing your own interests. The transition back to school in the fall will also be easier for students who make a habit or reading and studying throughout the summer. While younger students should choose books that meet their specific interests and abilities, older students are required to read books from specific lists tailored to the themes, eras, and objectives of the courses they have recently taken and are about to take.


10th - 11th Grade Readers

Upper school students will find the transition back to school much easier if they have maintained the discipline of reading over the summer. This will help students maintain their current levels of literacy and will benefit their studies in the coming year.

Over the summer, each student entering the 10th grade or 11th grade at Cornerstone Academy is required to read at least one book from the list of books designated for his or her grade. Our Literature and English teachers, Miss Carrier and Dr. Acker, have carefully selected summer reading lists designed to facilitate students’ transitions to more advanced genres and literary concepts. Students will be writing papers or completing projects upon their books in the first weeks of the coming school year, so all required books should be completed by the first day of school in August.

In addition to the books on these lists, we hope that upper school students will also spend time reading age-appropriate books of their own selection.  Older students, such as those in the 7th through 12th grades, should set aside at least one half-hour for reading at least three days a week; even slow readers should be able to complete two or three books during this time. Miss Carrier and Dr. Acker would be happy to recommend specific texts for students entering certain grades or with particular interests, but many students may also wish to visit the public library (or Cornerstone’s library) and choose from an even wider selection of books.

We hope all students and parents will make reading time an opportunity to sit in a quiet environment, free from electronic and other distractions. In this age of instant communication and fast-paced media, challenging books can often be overshadowed by the more instant gratifications of text messages and internet wit. At Cornerstone, we believe it is important to teach our students discipline and perseverance, and making a quiet space in which students can read, and consider their reading, will facilitate this practice.


12th Grade Readers

It is our hope that rising seniors at Cornerstone will spend the summer contemplating topics for their senior theses, and that they will choose books related to their chosen thesis topics (or topics under consideration) during the course of the summer. All rising seniors are required to read a minimum of two topically relevant books over the course of the summer. Seniors are encouraged to consult with a faculty member at Cornerstone for reading suggestions, and to take notes on their reading to facilitate the research process. Seniors will be using their summer reading books in a thesis-related project in the first week of school, so both books should be completed before school begins.





















The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one
on a rainy day who doesn't know how to read.
~ Benjamin Franklin ~




The man who doesn't read good books
has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
 ~ Mark Twain ~