Textbooks, School Supplies
and Summer Reading

Below is a list of required school supplies, textbooks and summer reading lists for students in Highland's Upper School:

Required Textbooks Lists
Textbook List 2019-2020

Required School Supplies 
Supply list 2019-2020 

Click here to go to MBS Direct, our online bookstore virtual bookstore.  

Market Place is a feature by Barnes and Noble (a parent company to MBS Direct) that allows you to shop for your books through private vendors. Highland School will not be responsible for any books purchased through this option and shipping fees will not be determined by MBS.

Book Swap
Highland parents will once again offer a Book Swap. This is a great service provided thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteer parents. While you are not guaranteed to find what you need, many of our students "shopped" successfully last year! 

Click here for details on our textbook swap!

Summer Reading
Click on the expanding boxes below to review your summer reading assignments by department: 

English Department

(updated 04/23/19)

In assigning summer reading, the English Department seeks to foster a love of reading while maintaining and reinforcing critical reading skills. To this end, we have crafted a summer reading program designed around the idea of “buckets.”  

Bucket 1 is the required reading book for the class. The selections, reviewed annually by the department, are tied to the curriculum/themes of the rising grade level. All students need to read this book in order to prepare for the year. Students should purchase the required reading book, as it will be used in class. Inexpensive versions can be found on Amazon.

Bucket 2 is a list of, generally speaking, contemporary classics that will appeal to a variety of interests and reading levels.  This is a “choice read”.  We have selected these because we believe that they have a certain level of literary merit. Simultaneously, we’ve attempted to shy away from books that require classroom support to be fully appreciated. Students can expect to have an assignment centered around this book. **Students can find this list at the end of the Summer Reading Assignment.**

Bucket 3 is an “open read.” We encourage and expect students to read beyond the assigned summer reading books. In our view, summer is a time when students should read widely for pleasure, making their own choices and following their own interests.  As such, any book not in Bucket 1 or Bucket 2 can serve as a Bucket 3 book, provided that the student has not read the book before.  Students may choose a Bucket 3 book in order to earn extra credit in the class.  If they choose a book from this bucket, they can also expect a small, non-extra credit, assignment as well.  Upon completion of this graded assignment, students will receive extra credit for reading the text.

Happy Reading!

English I

The required reading is A Wrinkle in Time. They are encouraged to do an open read.

English I Honors

The required reading book is Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  Students must also read a choice read.  They are encouraged to read an open read as well.

English II

The required reading is Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie. They are encouraged to read an open read as well (it can be a choice read).

English II Honors

The required reading book is Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie. Students must also read a choice read book.  They are encouraged to read an open read as well.

English III

Students must read a choice book book.  They are encouraged to read an open read book.

English III Honors

The required reading is The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Students must also read a choice read.  They are encouraged to read an open read as well.

English III AP

The required reading is The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Students must also read a choice read.  They are encouraged to read an open read as well.

English IV

The required reading is About a Boy by Nick Hornby.  They are encouraged to also read an open read as well.

English IV Honors

The required reading is 1984 by George Orwell. Students must also read a choice read.  They are encouraged to read an open read as well.

English IV AP

Students have two required reading books.  The first is 1984 by George Orwell.  The second is How to Read Literature Like a Professor. They are encouraged to read an open read book as well.

Bucket 2 (“Choice Read”) Books

For Freshmen:

Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Fourteen – year old Lily and her companion Rosaleen flee their home after an unsettling incident. They find safe haven in Tiburon, South Carolina, at the home of three beekeeping sisters and begin to reconstruct their lives.

Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Pi Patel, a zoo-keeper’s son, finds himself adrift on a raft with a Bengal tiger and begins a journey.

Robert Cormier, After the First Death

A fast-paced psychological thriller, narrated from different points of view.

Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

This award winning novel brings to life the story of child genius Ender Wiggins who must save the world from aliens.


Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child

Set in the 1920’s Alaska, this haunting novel merges the ethereal qualities of a fairytale with the harsh realities of wilderness homesteading.

Douglas Adams, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This book chronicles the adventures of galactic traveler Arthur Dent.

For Sophomores:

Jim Crace, The Gift of Stones

Set in a stone-age village, this short yet profound story recounts the changes brought on by the advent of bronze.

Lisa See, Snowflower and the Secret Fan

A compelling story of friendship set in 19th century China.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

A classic, satirical novel about a “utopian” future in which babies are decanted from bottles and the Great Ford is worshipped.

Slavomir Rawicz, The Long Walk: The True Story of the Trek to Freedom

Captured by the Red Army, Rawicz escapes from the Siberian Gulag and embarks on an incredible journey to freedom.

Dai Sijie, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Two city boys are sent to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s Cultural Revolution

Frank McCort, Angela’s Ashes

This Pulitzer prize winning memoir takes an unflinching look at McCourt’s childhood in Ireland and New York City.

For Juniors:

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

Vonnegut’s absurdist classic follows the experiences of Billy Pilgrim as he travels through time and space.

Earnest Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying

The story of a young African-American man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit and a teacher who tries to make a difference before the execution.

Mark Twain, Puddin’ Head Wilson

Twain tells a humorous tale of mistaken identities in this novel.

Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

This compelling memoir, a best-seller, recounts a young girl’s childhood with her homeless family. The author now lives in Culpeper.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Set in a brutal, post-apoclyptic world, this dark, spare novel is ultimately about the love between a father and son.

Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

A gripping account of the intersection of medicine and family. Non-fiction.

For Seniors:

Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca

Arguably the most famous gothic novel of the twentieth century, this story of love and murder on the great English estate of Manderly will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Ian McEwan, Atonement

An event takes place at an English country estate in 1935 irrevocably alters the lives of several characters in the years to follow. Booker Prize finalist.

Alfred Lansing, Endurance

This awe-inspiring story recounts the adventures of British explorer Ernest Shackleton as he attempts to reach the South Pole in 1914. White-knuckle non-fiction.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

A sparkling comedy of manners featuring one of English literature’s most famous heroines.

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, this darkly comic novel recounts the tale of one taxi driver’s experience in modern India.

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

A dystopian novel and psychological thriller about students at a boarding school trying to uncover and understand the dark secret of their lives. Time magazine named it the best novel of 2005.

Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Christopher knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has little understanding of human emotions. One day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed, and Christopher sets out to solve the murder, using what he knows best: logical reasoning. Both funny and poignant, the novel presents a person whose mind is both a curse and blessing in helping him perceive the world around him.

Math Department

History Department

WORLD HISTORY 1 and Honors World History 1

  1. Watch this  youtube video: 1000AD.  
  2. Read the biographies of Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV 
  3. Read the exchange between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV

Answer the following three questions with  5-7 sentence paragraphs:

  • What was Gregory's point of view on the right to appoint bishops (investiture) and how was this shaped by his early years and values?
  • What was Henry's point of view on the right to appoint bishops (investiture) how was this shaped by his early years and values?
  • What does their disagreement tell you about the medieval world?


Over the summer, watch the following parts of the docu-drama “The Men Who Built America”:

  • Each student MUST watch episodes 7+8.
  • Each student MUST CHOOSE one more episode which will focus on at least one key figure in the Gilded Age.

The episodes can be purchased on amazon.com for $2.99 each or streamed for free if you have Amazon Prime. Click here to see the listing of episodes.

After watching these episodes, choose one of the industrialists portrayed in the episodes (Carnegie, Ford, Morgan, Rockefeller or Vanderbilt) and write a paper that answers the following questions, in order:

  1. Explain what the Gilded Age was, and what life was like (economically, but also socially and/or politically) in America during this time.
  2. Explain how your chosen industrialist's business worked--what did he sell, what business strategies did he use to become wealthy and powerful, and what character traits
    helped him achieve his success? Back up your explanations with specific examples from the episodes.
  3. What are some events or issues during the Gilded Age that foreshadow problems that America will face in the future?
  4. Explain one way in which the United States today is like it was in the Gilded Age, and one way in which it is different from the Gilded Age.
  5. Ultimately, do you think what happened during the Gilded Age was a good or bad thing for the United States? Explain why.
  6. If you use any specific quotes or facts stated in the episodes, or consult any outside sources, you must give in-text citations (click here to learn / review how to do that)and a Works Cited list in MLA format (click here to learn / review how to do that).


Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World - Jack Weatherford (ISBN-13 978-0609809648)

In this book the author presents a thoroughly demystified view of the legendary conqueror and his immediate descendents. After close-reading the book, construct a cause-and-effect tree, with specific examples for each step, showing how Ghengis Khan and his descendents created the most significant changes (you decide what these are) between the world of 1200CE and that of 1500 CE. Make one tree for Asia (especially China), one for the Middle East, and one for Europe especially Russia). Type your responses. This is due the first day of school.


AP US History Summer Reading Assignment 

The study of American history does not proceed as a single, straightforward narrative. In our AP US History course, we will focus on developing skills to unpack and articulate the many layers and complexities of historical events. After reading the book Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puelo, compose a three page, double-spaced typed paper (750 words) discussing how the book uses a very specific and local event to tell a broader story. Explain how the book weaves together each of the following topics:

  • Immigrant communities and responses to them
  • Social reform (such as temperance/Prohibition)
  • Foreign policy/international relations

You are not expected to read or research beyond the book; but if you do, be sure to cite your sources. You should reference and cite at least three specific and relevant quotes from the book using MLA formatting. Remember that an essential component of any history essay is a clear thesis statement that makes a historical argument.  


Read Chapter 11 of the textbook and outline it.

Then, write a two (or so) page essay (typed, double-spaced) on the following topic:

The lasting impact of the Hundred Years War was the social and political transformation of England.

Comment on the above statement, taking into account the origins of the war, the impact of its course on England, and the impact of its results. Make sure you have a complete thesis, valid arguments, supporting specific detail, appropriate analysis, and an appropriate conclusion. This assignment is due the first day of school.

Science Department

Classical Language Department

(updated 04/12/17)

Latin I

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths    ISBN 978-0385015837

Latin II

Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff    ISBN 978-0312644291

Latin III

Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff    ISBN 978-0312644291

Latin IV and IV Honors

Conspirata by Robert Harris    ISBN 978-0743266116

Honors Latin V

Aeneas by Emily Frenkel    ISBN 978-0862921989

AP Latin

Aeneas by Emily Frenkel    ISBN 978-0862921989


World Languages Department

  • January 2020
    • TueJan21 International Week Begins
    • FriJan24 International Week Ends
    • SatJan25 Lower School Discovery Day 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    • ThuJan30 Upper School 101 for 8th Graders and Parents 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • February 2020
    • ThuFeb13 J-Term Showcase for Freshmen and Parents 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
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