Summer Reading & School Books

Walker’s encourages you to read as much as possible this summer — get lost in a book, meet inspiring characters, marvel in the wonders of language, find solace in a story, and find new ways to look at the world.

In addition to one of the all-school read texts, students will choose two additional books from the lists below. They represent a wide range of content and genres and we urge you to try something new and challenging. As always, consult with a trusted adult if you are unsure about a particular text. Returning students may also choose to read a text that was distributed to them by an English teacher, but that they were not able to read during the course of the school year.

If you are unsure which English class you may be taking, please note that academic schedules and placements are forthcoming, and will be confirmed shortly after completing your academic placement tests. Please feel free to email English Department Chair Megan Mulhern with any questions at


All summer reading books may be purchased through our Online Bookstore or from your preferred vendor. Textbooks and other books required for the school year will be listed on and available for purchase on August 8.

Forging the Way: All-School Reads

For Summer 2022, the all-school theme is “Forging the Way.” In addition to the required and additional texts for each grade level, students in grades 6-12 will choose one of the following 10 books that highlights girls or women who have been pathfinders and have forged the way for others. These reads will be followed up by discussion groups during orientation in the fall, and is expected of the entire Walker’s community. Please consider the theme of “forging the way” as you read one of these inspiring texts:

  • The Woman All Spies Fear, Amy Butler Greenfield (Biography)
  • The Soul of a Woman, Isabel Allende (Memoir)
  • Without Limits, Chrissie Wellington (Memoir)
  • Marathon Woman, Kathrine Switzer (Autobiography)
  • Wake, Rebecca Hall (Graphic Novel/Historical Fiction)
  • Unbowed, Wangari Maathai (Memoir)
  • Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo (Fiction)
  • Amal Unbound, Aisha Saeed (Fiction)
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Fiction)
  • Lab Girl, Hope Jahren (Memoir)

Required Texts By Grade

Books may be purchased through our Online Bookstore or from your preferred vendor.

Required Read: A Long Walk to Water, Linda Sue Park (Fiction)

Choose Two:

  • Amina’s Voice, Hena Khan (Fiction)
  • Out of My Mind, Sharon M. Draper (Fiction)
  • The Elephant in the Room, Holly Goldberg Sloan (Fiction)
  • Echo Mountain, Lauren Wolk (Fiction)
  • Kira-Kira, Cynthia Kadohata (Fiction)
  • Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan (Historical Fiction)
  • Unbound, Ann E. Burg (Historical Fiction)
  • Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition, Margot Lee Shetterly (Non-Fiction)
  • Herstory, Katherine Halligan (Non-Fiction)
  • Love That Dog, Sharon Creech (Novel in Verse)
  • Inside Out and Back Again, Thanhha Lai (Novel in Verse)
  • Land of the Cranes, Aida Salazar (Novel in Verse)
  • Pashmina, Nidhi Chanani (Graphic Novel)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank: Dramatized, Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett (Drama)

Required Read: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds (Non-Fiction)

Choose Two:

  • A Crack in the Sea, H.M. Bouwman (Fiction)
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Fiction)
  • Echo, Pam Munoz Ryan (Fiction)
  • Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson (Historical Fiction)
  • The Elephant in the Garden, Michael Morpugo (Historical Fiction)
  • Jefferson’s Sons, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Historical Fiction)
  • I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai (Non-Fiction)
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition, William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (Non-Fiction)
  • Amber & Clay, Laura Amy Schlitz (Novel in Verse)
  • Other Words For Home, Jasmine Warga (Novel in Verse)
  • The Moon Within, Aida Salazar (Novel in Verse)
  • Cast Away, Naomi Shihab Nye (Poetry)
  • Almost American Girl, Robin Ha (Graphic Novel)
  • The Legend of Auntie Po, Shing Yin Khor (Graphic Novel)

Required Read: Brown Girl Dreaming, Jaqueline Woodson (Novel in Verse)

Choose Two:

  • A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. LeGuin (Fiction)
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Adib Khorram (Fiction)
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel (Fiction)
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Fiction)
  • The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd (Fiction)
  • The 57 Bus, Dashka Slater (Fiction)
  • Piecing Me Together, Renee Watson (Fiction)
  • When I Was Puerto Rican, Esmeralda Santiago (Creative Non-Fiction)
  • The Crucible, Arthur Miller (Drama)
  • Inherit the Wind, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (Drama)
  • Carver: A Life in Poems, Marilyn Nelson (Poetry)
  • A Time to Dance, Padma Venkatraman (Poetry)
  • Little White Duck: A Childhood in China, Na Liu (Graphic Novel)

Required Read: Tomboy, Liz Prince (Graphic Memoir)

Choose Two:

  • Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid (Fiction)
  • Brown Girl, Brownstones, Paule Marshall (Fiction)
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (Fiction)
  • Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys (Fiction)
  • A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, Michael Dorris (Fiction)
  • The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai (Fiction)
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (Fiction)
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Fiction)
  • The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls (Creative Nonfiction)
  • Crimes of the Heart, Beth Henley (Drama)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde (Drama)
  • Dream Work, Mary Oliver (Poetry)
  • Oceanic, Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Poetry)
  • Electric Arches, Eve Ewing (Poetry)
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (Graphic Novel/Creative Non-Fiction)

Required Read: Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi (Historical Fiction)

Choose Two:

  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Fiction)
  • Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks (Fiction)
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick, (Fiction)
  • The Best We Could Do, Thi Bui (Creative Non-Fiction)
  • Fire Girl, Sayantani Dasgupta (Creative Nonfiction)
  • Trifles, Susan Glaspell (Drama)
  • All My Sons, Arthur Miller (Drama)
  • The America Play, Suzan-Lori Parks (Drama)
  • How To Carry Water, Lucille Clifton (Poetry)
  • Unaccompanied, Javier Zamora (Poetry)
  • The January Children, Safia Elhillo (Poetry)
  • Maus, Art Spiegelman (Graphic Novel/Creative Non-Fiction)
  • The Next Great Migration, Sonia Shah (Non-Fiction)
  • In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez (Fiction)

Required Read: Pachinko, Min Jin Lee (Historical Fiction)
Required Read for Advanced English: My Ántonia, Willa Cather (Historical Fiction)

Choose Two:

  • Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison (Fiction)
  • The Round House, Louise Erdrich (Fiction)
  • Dear Life, Alice Munro (Short Fiction)
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin (Non-Fiction)
  • The Ungrateful Refugee, Dina Nayeri (Creative Non-Fiction)
  • Top Girls, Caryl Churchill (Drama)
  • An American Sunrise, Joy Harjo (Poetry)
  • Citizen, Claudia Rankine (Poetry)
  • Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith (Poetry)
  • Confessions of the Fox, Jordy Rosenberg (Fiction)
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemison (Fiction)
  • When the Emperor Was Divine, Julie Otsuka (Fiction)

Required Read: Know My Name, Chanel Miller (Memoir)
Required Read for Advanced English: Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (Fiction)

Choose Two:

  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Fiction)
  • An American Marriage, Tayari Jones (Fiction)
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin (Short Fiction)
  • Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward (Creative Non-Fiction)
  • Cost of Living, Martyna Majok (Drama)
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong (Poetry)
  • Incendiary Art, Patricia Smith (Poetry)
  • Orlando, Virginia Woolf (Fiction)
  • The Language Archive, Julia Cho (Drama)
  • Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino (Essays)
  • The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett (Fiction)
  • The Undocumented Americans, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (Creative Non-Fiction)
  • How the Word Is Passed, Clint Smith (Creative Non-Fiction)
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doer (Fiction)