Co-ed independent day school in Boston's Back Bay for academically adventurous students in grades 9–12

Course Books

On this page you can find the course book lists for the 2023–2024 academic year. This list is organized by department and by course number. For each book, we have specified whether used or e-book editions are acceptable and included additional notes when needed. The links will show you the correct edition of the book on Amazon (or the best vendor for that course book). Many of these books will also be available from your preferred bookseller. 

We encourage parents and students to review their course book needs as soon as possible to avoid back orders and delays. Some online book vendors, such as AbeBooks, may have high-quality used copies. As to which vendors to buy course books from, that is up to you. Parents and students often order course books online from large book retailers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Local bookstores, such as Brookline Booksmith or The Harvard Bookstore, may have course books in stock, or the ability to order them for you, but be careful to purchase the correct edition and check ISBN numbers. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you do your course-book shopping:

  • If you have a financial aid grant, textbooks are factored into your grant, and Commonwealth will order these books on your behalf. We place book orders in mid-August, and students can pick up their books prior to the beginning of school.
  • Please be very mindful of ISBNs. When purchasing books online, be sure to search for them by ISBN (International Standard Book Number) so you have the correct edition. It is typically better to search for ISBNs on Google to pull up book vendors rather than searching for the ISBN on Amazon, where in some cases the search results list other editions of the book. Different editions of textbooks may have different page numbers, content, or problem sets, so buying the wrong book will make homework a real challenge! If you are buying your books used or from a bookstore, you should be able to double-check the ISBN by looking above the barcode on the back of the book.
  • Several courses include source books, reading packets, or other materials that will be available at school at the beginning of the year; these are noted on the list. This is the case for all English classes. Families who do not have financial aid grants will be billed for these materials at a later date. EDIT: Please purchase your own French books. 
  • There are no required books for computer science or arts courses.
  • Keep in mind that there is an annual textbook exchange sale for course books. Be on the lookout for email updates.

Please address any questions or problems to Director of Operations, Stephanie Poynter, at or Librarian and Registrar, Jake MacDonnell, at

Course Books

Additional Materials