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Course Books

Below is an updated list of required course books for the 2020-21 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 on TBD; books that may be bought and sold at this event are starred (★). All parents are welcome to attend the Exchange and enjoy some drinks and snacks regardless of whether or not you are buying or selling textbooks. All are welcome!

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 You can download PDF versions of the complete book list here.

Required Summer Reading

Course Books

Additional Materials