Course Books

Below is an updated list of required course books for the 2019-20 school year. This list is organized by department and by course number. Currently, this list reflects full-credit courses; course book information for most electives will be added in August (these electives are noted below). 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; most of these books will also be available from your preferred bookseller.

As we did last year, we are asking families to purchase required books from their preferred bookseller. Parents are also encouraged to attend the Parent Textbook Exchange event at the school in late August, which you will receive an email about shortly; books that may be bought and sold at this event are starred (★).

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

  • If you receive financial aid, textbooks are included in your grant. Commonwealth will order these books on your behalf at no upfront charge to your family. We will be placing book orders in mid-August and students will be able to pick up their books prior to the beginning of school.
  • Please be very mindful of ISBNs.
    If you are purchasing books online, you can search for them by ISBN to ensure that you are buying the correct edition. 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.
  • Students will receive additional English book assignments for their required English classes when they receive their section placements at the end of August, as each section has a slightly different reading list. There are no English course books that you will need on the first day of class.
  • 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. Full-pay families will be billed for these materials at a later date.

  • There are no required books for Arts or Computer Science courses.

Please address any questions or problems to Emma Johnson at ejohnson@commschool.org. PDF versions of the 2019-20 course book lists will be posted in August.



Required Summer Reading

Required Summer Reading for Courses

Courses for 9s & 10s

CITY OF BOSTON (Grade 9): Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families by J. Anthony Lukas (ISBN: 9780394746166) is a fantastic but depressing book that looks at the effect of attempts to desegregate Boston's schools in the 1970s. It was not written for high school freshmen, so I recommend starting early and not worrying if you find it difficult: give it a try and get what you can out of it. The recommended sections are chapters 1-4; 8-9; pp. 167-174; chapters 12; 14-17; chapter 18 up to p. 338; chapters 21-23; 25-27; 29. Feel free to read a copy from the library; you'll get a photocopy of any sections we'll ask you to discuss more fully.

ANCIENT HISTORY (Grade 9): The summer reading for students entering Ancient History is Mary Renault’s Fire from Heaven: A Novel of Alexander the Great (ISBN: 0375726829). This is a highly readable and thoroughly researched work of historical fiction. We hope that it will whet your appetite for learning more about the ancient world! As you read, please mark some points that interest, puzzle, or surprise you. Please purchase a physical book rather than Kindle.

MEDIEVAL WORLD HISTORY (Grade 10): Students taking Medieval World History next year are asked to read one of the following:

    1. The Arabian Nights (ISBN: 9780393331660). The classic medieval Islamic work, constructed as a labyrinth of story within story, The Arabian Nights draws on tales from many eastern lands, and provides material in turn for the literature of medieval Europe. First volume of the Husain Haddawy translation.
    2. Dante, The Inferno (ISBN: 0374524521). A poetic journey through the many levels of Hell, The Inferno (first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy) presents an encyclopedic vision of medieval European culture. The poet Robert Pinsky chose to translate this work because he believes it to be “the best book ever written about the sadness of evil.” Robert Pinsky translation.
    3. Lao-Tse, Tao Te Ching (ISBN: 9780872202320). The central text of Taoist philosophy, attributed to the possibly mythical Lao Tzu, this collection of terse poems exemplifies the deceptively simple ideas that lead to Taoist enlightenment. Translation by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo.
    4. D.T. Niane, Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali (ISBN: 0582264758). An oral history, told by the griot Mamadou Kouyate, of the life of a thirteenth-century African king who united the twelve kingdoms of Mali into one of the most powerful empires of Medieval Africa.

Courses for 11s & 12s

READINGS IN ETHICS: All seniors are encouraged to read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (ISBN: 0679732764). Seniors will re-read parts and discuss the book through the first quarter.

UNITED STATES HISTORY: Please read William Cronon's “ethno-ecological” history of New England: Changes of the Land (ISBN: 978-0809016341), but taking paper notes on copy from the library is just fine). This profound and revolutionary book explores how Native Americans transformed the environment before contact with Europeans—and how the changing economy of the 17th century led to an ecological transformation. Your teachers will email you a series of extra-credit reading questions to help you read actively, looking for the author’s argument amidst the detail (a skill we’ll try to practice in the coming year!) This book looks drier than it actually is—and reading actively may help you uncover the quite radical claims hidden within.

MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY: Students enrolled in Modern European History must read James R. Gaines, For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions (ISBN: 9780393061383). I hope that this absorbing joint biography will serve as a bridge between US History and MEH.

AMERICAN CULTURE AND POLITICS, 1968-: Please read Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz (ISBN: 9780679758334).Before reading, make sure to look at the Summer Reading assignment here.

LATIN 4: Please read books 1, 6, and 7 of The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on the Gallic War with an Eighth by Aulus Hirtius by Julius Caesar, translated by Carolyn Hammond (ISBN: 978-0199540266). For a summary of the other books in this work, consult p. 232 of Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico, edited by Hans-Friedrich Mueller, which is also listed among the required course books.

STATISTICS: Students taking the full credit option of Statistics are required to read The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, Politics and in Life by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot (ISBN: 9781592404230).

ECONOMICS: Students are required to read Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan (ISBN: 9780393337648). Naked Economics is an informal introduction to the principles of economics.

Course Books

English

Books for English courses will be posted in August.

History

Ancient History (201)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Western Civilizations: Their History & Their Culture, Vol. 1 (19th ed.)

9780393614312

Used and e-book edition okay.

Alexander the Great: Selections from Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius

9780872207271

No used or e-book editions.

A Pocket Guide to Writing History (9th ed.)

9781319113025

Used and e-book editions okay.

The Roman World: A Sourcebook

9780631217848

No used or e-book editions.

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences

9781580087407

Used and e-book editions okay.

Fire from Heaven: A Novel of Alexander the Great

0375726829

This was the required summer reading for this course. No used or e-book editions.

Medieval World History (202)

Title

Notes

Medieval Societies

This textbook will be available at school on the first day of class.

Sourcebook

This sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.

United States History (203)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Give Me Liberty! An American History, Vol. 1: To 1877 (2nd ed.)

9780393930276

This is an out of print edition. Inexpensive copies are available at Amazon and elsewhere – or you could acquire one from a senior!

Give Me Liberty! An American History, Vol. 2: From 1865 (2nd ed.)

9780393930283

See above.

Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 9780465026210

Used okay.
I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (2nd ed.)9780520251762

Used okay.
There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America9780307389763

Used okay.
White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism9780691133867

Used okay.

Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England

9780809001583

This was the required summer reading for this course. Students do not need to buy this book; reading a copy from the library is just fine. We will send out a series of extra credit questions in August.

Sourcebook

n/a

This sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.

City of Boston (221)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families

9780394746166

Students do not need to buy this book – a library copy is fine. See summer reading list for recommended chapters!

Sourcebook

n/a

This sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.

Modern European History (232)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Collins Atlas of 20th Century History

9780060890728

Used and e-book editions okay.

Western Civilizations: Their History & Their Culture, Vol. 2 (19th ed.)

9780393614329

Used and e-book editions okay.

Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence, Volume II: Since 1500 (7th ed.)

9781111837174

Used and e-book editions okay.

The World of Yesterday

9780803226616

No used or e-book editions.

A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (9th ed.)

9781319113025

This is a new edition. Used and e-book editions okay.

Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?

9780547086330

Used books okay. No e-book editions.

The Landscape of History

9780195171570

Used and e-book editions okay.

For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions

9780393061383

This was the required summer reading for this course. If you did not purchase this book at the beginning of the summer, please be sure to have it by the start of school.

Sourcebook

n/a

This sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.


Course books for the following electives will be posted in August:

  • Modern East Asia (245)
  • American Culture and Politics, 1968- (250)

Languages

French

French 1 (301)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Deux Mondes: A Communicative Approach (6th ed.)

9780073535449

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Cahier d’exercises to accompany Deux Mondes

9780077412708

No used or e-book editions.

Bantam New College French and English Dictionary

9780553274110

Used okay. No e-book editions.

French 2 (302)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Deux Mondes: A Communicative Approach (6th ed.)

9780073535449

Students who took French 1 last year may reuse this book and the exercise book and dictionary below.

Cahier d’exercises to accompany Deux Mondes

9780077412708

See above.

Bantam New College French and English Dictionary

9780553274110

See above.

English Grammar for Students of French: The Study Guide for Those Learning French (6th ed.)

9780934034371

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Histoire d’une révanche

9780130340429

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Lettres de mon moulin

9788723901941

Used okay. No e-book editions.

French 3 (303)

Title

ISBN

Notes

La grammaire à l’oeuvre (5th ed.)

9780759398092

Used is okay, but you will also need to purchase access to the online part of the book.

Bantam New College French and English Dictionary

9780553274110

Feel free to reuse your edition from French 1 and French 2.

Voix du siècle

9780155950061

This is an out of print work, but there are many inexpensive copies available through Amazon Marketplace.

L’étranger

9782070360024

B0006AU7XE

Be sure to purchase the Brée edition. Used okay.

Tintin: Les sept boules de cristal

9782203001121

Used okay. No e-book editions.

À bout de souffle (filmscript)

n/a

This script will be provided in class.

French 4 Conversation (304)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Exercices de style9782070373635

Used okay.
Candide

9782253098089

Used okay.

La cantatrice chauve/La leçon

9782070386536

Used okay.

Le chef-d'oeuvre inconnu9782253138082

Used okay.

Les lettres chinoises9782742719556

Used okay.

Tintin: Le temple du soleil

9782203001138

Used okay.

Tintin: Les sept boules de cristal

9782203001121

Feel free to reuse your edition from French 3.

Le corbeau (filmscript)

n/a

This script will be provided in class.

La poison (filmscript)n/aThis script will be provided in class.

Les yeux sans visage (filmscript)

n/a

This script will be provided in class.

Spanish

Spanish 1 (321)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Aula Internacional 1: Grammar and vocabulary companion (English ed.)

9788415846888

Be sure to purchase the edition with English instructions. No used or e-book editions.

Aula Internacional 1

9788415846772

No used or e-book editions.

Aula Internacional 2

9788415640103

No used or e-book editions.

Spanish 2 (322)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Aula Internacional 2


9788415640103

Feel free to reuse your edition from Spanish 1.

Aula Internacional 3

9788415640110

No used or e-book editions.

Spanish 3 (322)

Title

Notes

Peru Sourcebook

This sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.

Spanish 4 Literature (324)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Aura

9786074451849

No used or e-book editions.

Las batallas en el desierto9786074450552

No used or e-book editions.
Crónica de una muerte anunciada

9788422698456

No used or e-book editions.

Doce cuentes peregrinos9781400034949

No used or e-book editions.

Ficciones9780307950925No used or e-book editions.

Sourcebookn/aThis sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.

Spanish 4 Language (326) / Spanish 5 Language (329)

Ms. Schilder will share readings with you in class; you will not need any books on the first day of class.

Spanish 5 Literature (330)

Title

ISBN

Notes

El beso de la mujer araña

9780679755456

No used or e-book editions.

Cien años de soledad

9780307474728

No used or e-book editions.

Sourcebookn/aThis sourcebook will be available at school on the first day of class.

Latin

Latin 1 (331)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Wheelock's Latin (7th ed.)

9780061997228

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Vocabulary Cards and Grammatical Forms Summary for Wheelock’s Latin

9780865165571

Used okay. No e-book editions.

38 Latin Stories

9780865162891

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Latin 2 (332)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Wheelock's Latin (7th ed.)

9780061997228

Students who took Latin 1 last year may re-use this book, the vocabulary cards, and 38 Latin Stories. Used okay. No e-book editions.

Vocabulary Cards and Grammatical Forms Summary for Wheelock’s Latin

9780865165571

Used okay. No e-book editions.

38 Latin Stories

9780865162891

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Fabulae Romanae: Stories of Famous Romans

9780801309922

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Latin 3 (333)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Pocket Oxford Latin Dictionary

9780198610052

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Ovid: Amores, Metamorphoses: Selections

9780865164314

Used okay. No e-book editions.

The Student’s Catullus

9780806142326

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Latin 4 (334)

Title

ISBN

Notes

The Aeneid

0679729526

Used okay.

Vergil's Aeneid: Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6

9780865167643

Used okay.

Caesar: Selections from His Commentarii De Bello Gallico

9780865167520

Used okay. Bring this book on the first day of class.

The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on the Gallic War9780199540266Used okay.

Latin 5 (335)

Mr. Conolly will be in touch directly about materials for this course.

Mandarin

Mandarin 1 (351)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Integrated Chinese: Simplified Characters Textbook, Level 1, Part 1 (English and Chinese Ed.)

9780887276385

Used okay.

Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 Workbook (English and Chinese Ed.)

9780887276408

Used okay.

Mandarin 2 (352) / Mandarin 3 (353)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (Simplified and Traditional Character)

9780887276705

Used okay.

Integrated Chinese: Level 1 Part 2 Workbook (Simplified and Traditional Character)

9780887276743

Used okay.

Mandarin 4 (354)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (Simplified and Traditional Character)

9780887276798

Students who took Mandarin 3 last year can use the same textbook.

Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 Workbook (Simplified and Traditional Character)

9780887276835

See above.

Mandarin 5 (355)

Title

ISBN

Notes

窗边的小豆豆 (Doudou by Window)

9787544250580

Used okay.

Humanities

Language & Ethics (401)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Mastering Logical Fallacies: The Definitive Guide to Flawless Rhetoric and Bulletproof Logic

9781623157104

Used and e-book editions okay.

Readings in Ethics (402)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation

9780609810347

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

9780374532505

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Invisible Man

9780679732761

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Economics (231)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Economics: Principles and Policy (13th ed.)

9781305280595

Used and e-book editions okay.

Naked Economics

9780393337648

This was the required summer reading for this class. If you did not purchase this book at the beginning of the summer, please be sure to have it by the start of school.

Health & Community (800)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (4th ed.)

9780393344516

Please be sure to purchase the 4th edition. Used okay.

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (3rd ed.)

9780812929904

This book is recommended, not required.


Course books for the following electives will be posted in August:

  • Film Analysis (432)

Science

Biology 1 (501)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Biology: Concepts and Applications (10th ed.)

9781305967335

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Biology 2 (502)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (15th ed.)

9781337408332

The Bio 1 textbook is by the same author; please pay special attention to the title when purchasing. Used okay; no e-book editions.

Chemistry 1 Advanced (521)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Chemistry (12th ed.)

9780078021510

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Student Solutions Manual for Chemistry

9781259286223

This book is recommended, not required.

Chemistry 1 (522)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Chemistry (12th ed.)

9780078021510

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Student Solutions Manual for Chemistry

9781259286223

This book is recommended, not required.

Chemistry 2 (523)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Chemistry (12th ed.)

9780078021510

You may reuse your copy from Chemistry 1 if it is the same edition. Used okay; no e-book editions.

Student Solutions Manual for Chemistry

9781259286223

This book is recommended, not required.

Physics 1 (541)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Physics (9th ed.)

9780470879528

Used okay.

Student Solutions Manual to Accompany Physics

9780470879566

Used okay.

Graph paper

n/a

Please have graph paper available for homework.

Physics 1 Accelerated (551)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Physics: Principles with Applications (7th ed.)

9780321625922

Please note that the international edition is missing material contained in the hardcover edition.

Physics 1 Advanced (552)

Title

ISBN

Notes

University Physics, Vol. 1 (14th ed.)

9780133978049

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Physics 2 (553)

Title

ISBN

Notes

University Physics, Vol. 2 (14th ed.)

9780133978001

Used okay. No e-book editions.


Course books for the following electives will be posted in August:

  • Advanced Topics in Anatomy & Physiology (507)
  • Theory of Relativity (557)

Mathematics

Geometry Advanced (601)

Title

Notes

A Course in Geometry: After Euclid and His Descendants

This textbook will be available at school on the first day of class.

Geometry (602)

Title

ISBN

Notes

A Course in Geometry: Plane and Solid

9781881764069

Used okay.

Intermediate Algebra (610)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Elementary and Intermediate Algebra (5th ed.)

9781111567682

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Algebra 2/Precalculus Advanced (615)

Title

ISBN

Notes

College Algebra and Trigonometry: A Unit Circle Approach (5th ed.)

9780321644770

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Algebra 2/Precalculus (616)

Title

ISBN

Notes

College Algebra and Trigonometry: A Unit Circle Approach (5th ed.)

9780321644770

Used okay. No e-book editions.

Calculus 1 Advanced (622)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Single Variable Calculus: Early Transcendentals (6th ed.)

9780495011699

This is an older edition of the textbook; it is available used on Amazon.

Calculus 1 (623)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Calculus I with Precalculus (2nd ed.)

9780618568062

Used okay.

Calculus 2 (631)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Single Variable Calculus: Early Transcendentals (8th ed.)

9781305270336

Used okay. This is a new edition, so it cannot be bought / traded from a student who previously took this course at Commonwealth.

Student Solutions Manual for Single Variable Calculus

9781305272422

See above.

Theoretical Calculus (632)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Calculus (4th ed.)

9780914098911

Used okay.

Multivariable Calculus (634)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Multivariable Calculus (7th ed.)

9780538497879

Used okay.

Linear Algebra (641)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Linear Algebra (4th ed.)

0

Used okay.

Statistics (1/2 Credit) (642)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Introduction to the Practice of Statistics (8th ed.)

9781464158933

Used okay.

Statistics (644)

Title

ISBN

Notes

Introduction to the Practice of Statistics (8th ed.)

9781464158933

Used okay. This is a new edition, so it cannot be bought / traded from a student who previously took this course at Commonwealth.

The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, Politics, and in Life

9781592404858

This was the required summer reading for this course. If you did not purchase this book at the beginning of the summer, please be sure to have it by the start of school.

Additional Materials

General Supplies for New Students

  • 3-ring binders, 1" minimum, different colors, with front & back pockets
  • Loose-leaf paper and/or notebooks
  • Graph paper
  • Dividers
  • A pouch with a zipper & hole punch to fit into binder (for those in Ancient History)
  • Compass & ruler (for those in Geometry or Geometry Advanced)
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Erasers
  • Pencil case

Many Commonwealth teachers, particularly those who teach 9th grade, have specific requests for how students should organize their course materials (notes, papers, handouts, tests, etc.), and they will go over their preferences in class when school begins.