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

Summer Reading

Here you'll find information about summer reading for new and returning Commonwealth students. Each student is asked to select one book from our list of "Summer Reading Discussion Groups" to read over the summer and to discuss with faculty and classmates when school reconvenes. These books, chosen by the faculty member leading the conversation, represent a range of topics and genres, so there should be something for everyone! Some courses may also require additional summer reading, so be sure to pay close attention to the "Required Summer Reading for Courses" list. PDFs of these lists are available for download at the bottom of the page. You will see links to online ordering options for required summer reading titles below; most will also be available at your local bookshop or library. 

Summer break can also be a wonderful time to catch up on your non-required reading—to discover new genres or authors, to re-read old favorites, or to finally tackle a literary classic. We encourage you to explore the titles on the attached recommended reading lists, which include recommendations from the librarian, your teachers, and your classmates. If you liked a book in one of your courses last year, you might want to try another by the same author this summer. When you return to school in the fall, your advisor will be interested to hear what you have read and your responses.

Summer Reading Mission Statement

The aim of Commonwealth’s Summer Reading Program is to encourage our community to read for pleasure outside of school in the hopes of developing lifelong reading skills and interests. The summer reading program will expose faculty, staff, and students to new writers, genres, and reading experiences, all while practicing analytical thinking and group discussion. 

Ideally, summer reading will expose faculty, staff, and students to varied opinions on a text, help us be open to new perspectives, inspire the readers and writers in our community, and encourage reading outside of the classroom. 

It is an utmost priority that students of all levels of ability be able to participate in and gain from this program. Faculty discussion leaders will meet students where they are at, and create an environment for fruitful and respectful discussion. 

Required Summer Reading