Summer 2021 Reading Assignments

Reading is an essential component of a well-rounded Blair education, and the summer is no exception. All Blair students are expected to read a minimum of five fiction or nonfiction books over the summer, and they are urged to wade into even more.

The five books students read may include titles of their choosing in addition to those required by teachers. Depending upon their courses, they may also have associated assignments and/or assessments to complete.

Titles for 2021 summer reading assignments are listed below. New and returning students enrolled in certain language courses for the 2021-2022 academic year must also complete summer work. Details about the summer work for language courses is linked in the list below.

All-School Read for 2021-2022: The Boy with Two Hearts by Hamed Amiri

Requirements for selected courses (listed by department) for 2021-2022


English 1: The Glass Castle (Walls)

English 2: Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)

English 3: Into the Wild (Krakauer)

English AP Literature: Let the Great World Spin (McCann)

English 4 AP Language: Between the World and Me (Coates)



Modern European History:  Please read the article shared here. Students should complete the writing assignment on the last page. All work is due on the first day of class.

AP U.S. History:  Read this selection from Charles Mann’s 1491 here. Students should annotate as they read, write down three to five main ideas from the selection, and develop a question to guide our discussion about the reading on day one.

AP European History: Assignment is here.

Global Issues; U.S. History: In lieu of summer reading, instructors may assign a book over either the winter or spring break.



AP Biology: Riddled with Life (Zuk). Students should complete RWL Supplemental Questions as they read.

Campbell Biology in Focus AP Edition, 3rd Edition; Chapters 1-3 reading and notes.

AP Chemistry:  The Disappearing Spoon (Kean), published byBack Bay Books in 2011. Students may complete the assignment here.

AP Physics C: Mechanics: Physics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

AP Psychology: Read Unit 1, Part I of the textbook (Updated Myers' Psychology for the AP® Course, 3rd Edition). Complete the assignment here.

Chemistry Honors: Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (Miodownik). Dr. Sayers and Dr. Markolovic ask that students review this document as part of the assignment.

Marine ScienceClose to Shore (Capuzzo)


Summer work in language courses differs by grade level and language studied. Please review the below requirements closely and click on the appropriate link.

Spanish 2/2 Honors: Click here for the assignment from Mrs. Castillo, Ms. Cullen, and Mrs. Lang.

Spanish 3/3 Honors: Click here for the assignment from Dr. Mundo and Ms. Cullen.

Spanish 4 Regular:  Click here for the assignment from Mr. Devaney.

Spanish 4 Honors: Click here for the assignment from Mr. Devaney.

AP Spanish Language:  Click here for the assignment from Mr. Devaney.

French 2: Click here for fun ways to stay connected to French.

French 3/3 Honors: Click here for fun ways to stay connected to French.

French 4/4 Honors:  Click here for the required assignment.

                                   And here are more fun ways to stay connected to French.        

AP French Language: Click here for the required assignment.

                                      And here are more fun ways to stay connected to French.

All students studying Chinese: Click here for the assignment from Mr. Facciani and Mrs. Wang.


Music & Performing Arts

Music Theory AP: The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences (Palmer, Manus, Lethco)


Fine Arts

AP Art History: Ways of Seeing (John Berger)



AP Calculus BC & AP Calculus AB:  All AP students are required to complete summer work in advance of the start of school. This work is required for enrollment in the course.  The assignments will be linked to this article by early July, and instructors will also send them directly to enrolled students.


News Headlines

Stock photo of book shelves

The all-school read provides the entire Blair community, from students to faculty and staff, an opportunity to engage with a single work of literature. The tradition, started in 2017, offers students the chance to interact with up-and-coming authors and thinkers, and it allows the entire community to have a collective conversation about important issues.

Read More about New & Noteworthy: The Boy with Two Hearts Is Blair’s 2021 All-School Read