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Discover New Stories: 2024 Summer Reading List for High School Students

Join us as we dive into new books this summer! The Mission Society is thrilled to launch our 2024 summer reading list for high school students across the city. This year, we collaborated with educator Kecia Dennis, who curated a selection of stories that will encourage all young people to use their imaginations, gain a new understanding of the world around them, and embark on exciting adventures all season long. 

Each year, we set out to share a book list that reflects the diverse backgrounds of our students, as well as the variety of experiences and issues that impact their daily lives. It is crucial to us that our students feel seen in the works they encounter, have the chance to expand their horizons, and have access to invaluable lessons year-round. Kecia’s 2024 list has all of this and more, giving us the opportunity to share in our love of literature and learning, and connect over our new favorite stories. 

Take a look at Kecia’s list below, and open the book on your next learning adventure! 

Blackout by Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon

Why You Should Read: This is a must-read tale set in New York City! The book includes six interlinked stories about teens navigating relationships and love during a power outage.

The Swag is in the Socks by Kelly J. Baptist

Why You Should Read: Xavier has no need to attract attention in his life, but his uncle has other ideas. Uncle Frankie believes that if your feet feel good, they can lead you to extraordinary places… but are those the places Xavier wants to go? This is a story about heart, confidence, and standing on your own two feet. 

Accountable by Dashka Slater

Why You Should Read: This book explores the true story of a problematic social media account and how it alters the lives of students. Social media is such a huge part of teenagers' lives, and Accountable shares an important story that demonstrates how our use of social media can impact those around us. 

Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

Why You Should Read: Fast Pitch is “a sports mystery that will keep ­readers engaged from start to finish” (School Library Journal). This is a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field.

Why You Should Read: This is a fun and charming love story that whisks readers into a "pho-bidden" romance between two feuding families and their competing restaurants.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

Why You Should Read: Delving into the origins of Medusa’s mythic tale, the author revitalizes and reconstructs her story, offering a timely retelling of a classic myth that speaks to us today. Strength, redemption, and courage to stand up against the “powers-at-be” will make this story an instant favorite! 

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Why You Should Read: In this magical realism tale, Yadriel embarks on a paranormal adventure by summoning a rebellious ghost while trying to prove his gender to his family.

We are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai

Why You Should Read: An anthology filled with stories of courage, resilience, determination, and tenacity, this book touches your heart and lifts your spirits. It includes coverage of refugees from around the world, and how they found their place in new societies. Students can see themselves in the stories and develop more empathy for those around them. 

The Orphanage by the Lake by Daniel G. Miller 

Why You Should Read: This “who-done-it” novel will not disappoint! It follows a make-or-break case for a young private investigator named Hazel. This is a book for lovers of thrillers and suspense. 


Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung

Why You Should Read: Homes is a true story of leaving a home full of torment and violence, to find peace in a new land. This story outlines how even in a war zone, children find “normalcy” and have a story to tell. 

Thank you to Kecia Dennis for sharing this thoughtful summer reading list with our students. If you have a K-8th grade student in your life, take a look at our summer reading list curated by Scholastic

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