Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

Teen Summer Reading List 2021



Find everything you need for your summer reading assignments here!

Keep in mind that any reading you do during the summer (including required reading) can earn you some prizes from the Ames Free Library Summer Reading Program for Teens! Visit the Summer Reading Program page to learn how it works.

For each book in this list, you will see all the formats available to choose from. Click on the format links to read a summary of the item, order a physical item, or download eBooks and audiobooks on Overdrive or Hoopla Digital! For more information and instructions on how to use these download services, please visit our Downloads page.

Some important notes

  • If ordering physical items, please keep in mind that other SAILS libraries may be the first to fill your order and you will receive them as transit items (typically within 1 week for books that do not have a holds list). If you would like to see what the Ames Free Library has available right now, please visit our Selecting On-Shelf Materials instructions.
  • We highly recommend placing your holds early in the summer, so that you will be more likely to get the books you want.
  • After you are done reading, please return these items to the Ames Free Library as quickly as possible so that the next person can get their book!

If you need any assistance, please contact the Library by email.




All AP & Pre-AP students will take an assessment the first week of school.

Entering Grade 12 AP Literature

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Book | Overdrive | Large PrintHoopla Digital

Entering Grade 11 AP Language


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Book | Book on CDLarge Print | Overdrive

Pre-AP Literature


Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Book | Overdrive


Here are the books that the OA English department members have chosen for you this summer! Choose one or more books from these lists, and plan to discuss your reading in class during the first few weeks of school. (The books are listed by recommended age appropriateness, but students may choose from either list.)


Grades 9-10 Recommendations    
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

The Best We Could Do

by Thi Bui

Book | OverdriveHoopla Digital

by Jennifer Mathieu
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

Book | Book on CD | Large Print | Overdrive 

On the Come Up

by Angie Thomas

Book | Book on CD | Large Print | Overdrive | Hoopla Digital

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan
One of Us Is Lying
by Karen McManus
  A Child Called It
by Dave Pelzer
by Lamar Giles
by Madeline Miller
by Marjane Satrapi and Mattias Ripa

Color Me In

by Natasha Diaz


A Pho Love Story

by Loan Le

Book | Overdrive

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
by Mark Haddon
The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo
Darius the Great Is Not Okay
by Adib Khorran
The Radium Girls
by Kate Moore
Dear Martin
by Nic Stone
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From

by Jennifer De Leon

Book | Overdrive

by Kwame Alexander
by Julie Murphy

The Song of Achilles

by Madeline Miller

Book | Overdrive | Hoopla Digital

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
This Lullaby
by Sarah Dessen
  Finding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella
Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green
  The Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Jeannette Wells
by Scott Westerfeld

Heft: A Novel

by Liz Moore

Book | Book on CD | Large Print | Overdrive

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
by Deborah Heiligman
I Am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai
by Marie Lu
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
by Ishmael Beah
Grades 11-12 Recommendations      
The 57 Bus
by Dashka Slater
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou

American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins

Book | Book on CD | Large Print | Overdrive

I Wish You All the Best

by Mason Deaver

Book | Overdrive | Hoopla Digital

American Street
by Ibi Zoboi
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
by Chimanada Ngozi Adichi


by Samira Ahmed

Book | Book on CD | Overdrive

Autobiography of Malcolm X
by Malcolm X
The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan

The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

Book | Book on CD | Large Print | Overdrive

Lebron James: The Inspiring Story of One of Basketball's Greatest Players

by Clayton Geoffreys



Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah

Book | Book on CDOverdrive

Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng
by Tina Fey

Looking for Alaska

by John Green

The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
March: Book Three
by John Lewis
by Chris Crutcher
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Devil in the White City
by Erik Larson
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
by Wes Moore
Educated: A Memoir
by Tara Westover
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Every Day
by David Levithan

Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made

by David Halberstam

Book | Hoopla Digital

Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
The Right Stuff
by Tom Wolfe
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

by Nicholas Carr


The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

Book | Book on CD | Large Print | Overdrive

  A Stolen Life: A Memoir
by Jaycee Lee Dugard

Half of a Yellow Sun

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Book | Overdrive

by Kat Spears
Book | Overdrive

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Book | Book on CD | Large PrintOverdrive | Hoopla Digital

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

High Fidelity

by Nick Hornby

Book | Overdrive

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J.D. Vance

The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett

Book | Book on CDLarge Print | Overdrive

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival
by Melissa Fleming
We All Looked Up
by Tommy Wallach
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sanchez