AP Comp Reading Title Suggestions

Summer Reading List

All Creatures Great and Small
by James Herriot
Year Published: 1972

“Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients.”

To learn more about the book:
About the Author
Being a Veterinarian


An American Summer
by Alex Kotlowitz
Year Published: 2019
Recommended by Dr. Park Ginder

This book takes a look at the stories of individuals and families impacted by violence, drugs, and murder on the streets of Chicago. Kotlowitz weaves a compelling narrative that traces the lives of multiple individuals.  This book will make you think.  Be advised there is some harsh, course, and inappropriate language, however, it is not gratuitous in nature.”

Summer Reading List

Angela's Ashes

by Frank McCourt
Year Published: 1996

Despite impoverishing his family because of his alcoholism, McCourt's father passed on to his son a gift for superb storytelling. He told him about the great Irish heroes, the old days in Ireland, the people in their Limerick neighborhood, and the world beyond their shores.

To learn more about the book:

Book Trailer
Remembering Angela's Ashes


Behind the Beautiful Forevers

by Katherine Boo
Year Published: 2012

“In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.”


Black Flags The Rise of ISIS book image

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS

by Joby Warrick
Year Published: 2015

Drawing on unique high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves gripping, moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it.

Summer Reading List

by Carl Sagan
Year Published: 1980


The scope of "Cosmos" is tremendous, from the farthest expanses of the universe containing a hundred billion galaxies in addition to our own Milky Way, at the end of a spiraling arm of which our solar system is located; down to the lone electron circling the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, the most plentiful single entity in the cosmos and the source of everything we know, love, and are.

To learn more about the book:
Book Review from Popular Science
Book Talk

 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Image I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
Year Published: 1969

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. 

Summer Reading List

In Cold Blood

by Truman Capote
Year Published: 1965


Few people had ever heard of the small town of Holcomb, Kansas until 1959, when 4 members of the Clutter family were murdered.

To learn more about the book:
Mini Bio of Capote
Book Talk

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In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson
Year Published: 1965

"In the Garden of Beasts is a vivid portrait of Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign, brought to life through the stories of two people: William E. Dodd, who in 1933 became America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s regime, and his scandalously carefree daughter, Martha. Ambassador Dodd, an unassuming and scholarly man, is an odd fit among the extravagance of the Nazi elite."


Infinite Powers
by Steven Strogatz
Recommended by Dr. Phil Downs

Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down-to-earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number—infinity—to tackle real-world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous.”

Summer Reading List

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

by Annie Dillard
Year Published: 1974

"[Dillard’s] personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.”

To learn more about the book:
Book Review

  Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
by James Foreman

"Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand the war on crime that began in the 1970s and why it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. 


Summer Reading List

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Year Published: 2010

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

To learn more about the book:
Book Trailer
New York Times Book Review

Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson
Year Published: 1962

“First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.”  

The Swerve Book Image

The Swerve

by Stephen Greenblatt
Year Published: 2011


One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Toms River
by Dan Fagin

“One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping.”

Walden Book Image

by Henry David Thoreau
Year Published: 1854


Walden by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance.