Instagram YouTube


Maine South Summer Reading and Listening 2023

Welcome to the 2023 Summer Reading & Listening Program!  We hope that this letter finds you and your family well and ready to explore a book or podcast! Our academic departments, student services, and student clubs of Maine South have curated a diverse list of high interest and high quality summer reading and listening titles to choose from with the assistance of school librarian, Suzanne Kowalski.  Our hope is that our list points students in the direction of reading and listening experiences that will offer a window or mirror to a subject that interests them. Also included, is the Summer 2023 Required Reading for English 2 Accelerated & AP English Courses.


We recommend that each student read or listen to at least one of the titles on this list. We base this recommendation on what we know about the positive impact that reading and listening have on brain development. Additionally, we want Maine South students to continue learning, pursuing interests, and nurturing curiosities during the summer.  We hope they find the books or podcasts in this year’s program to be both interesting and engaging, and we invite other family members to join in on the reading and listening too!


The books on this list are all available in a number of formats, and we have provided information about all of the ways that students can access texts.  Students should also feel free to find and read a digital, or listen to an audio, copy of their selection. A limited number of copies of the summer reading titles (e-books and audiobooks) are available digitally through Maine South’s online library.  Additionally, local libraries have been notified of the list and students can find both physical and digital copies of the texts there.


We have included a series of resources (see below) to assist students and families in selecting summer reading books.  After reviewing information available for each book, we encourage families to make a decision that they feel is appropriate for their student’s summer reading.  If you have any questions, please contact any of the individuals listed below.


Students, the teachers of Maine South look forward to hearing your thoughts about your selections at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year!


Mike Edwards

Associate Principal for Student Experiences

[email protected]

Suzanne Kowalski


[email protected]

 Julianna Cucci

English Department Chair

[email protected]

To see the English Department Flow Chart and learn about all of our English courses, click on the link below.

English Department Courses – 2022-2023

English Department Courses – 2023-2024



Department Chair
Julianna Cucci

Administrative Assistant
Marie Lang

Faculty Members

Name Courses
Johanna Abend AP Language & Composition, English 1 
Paul Bellisario AP Literature & Composition, English 3
Laura Bertalmio English 1, English 3
Robert Brown English 2, The Graphic Novel
Julianna Cucci English 1
Garrett Fechner Applied Literacy, Literature & Film Study, Literature for College & Career, Sports and Literature
Carolyn Ford English 2, English 2 Accelerated
Dan Gonzalez Composition 1
Colleen Hatch English 1
Chris Headley AP Literature & Composition, English 3, Literature Seminar
Richard Jones AP English Literature & Composition, Composition 1, English 3, Yearbook
Laura Kirshner AP Literature & Composition, English 2 Accelerated, Sports in Literature
Teri Knight AP Language & Composition, English 1
Jason Marsicano English 1, Literature of Chicago, Sports in Literature
Jim McGowan AP Language & Composition, English 3, Yearbook
Sheila Miller AP Language & Composition, English 1
Eve Muir-Wilson Applied Literacy,  Fundamentals of Literacy
Zanfina Muja English 1
Megan Palm English 2 Accelerated
Darcie Schanou AP English Literature & Composition, English 2 Accelerated
Jon Scorza English 2, English 2 Accelerated 
Alex Stathakis English 1, Literature of Chicago, Newspaper Practicum, Southwords
Kevin Stock Creative Writing, Composition 1 Extended, English 3

Department Information
Engagement as a citizen, in a career, and as a lifelong learner, requires strong literacy skills, and English classes provide a deep foundation for students with reading, writing, listening, and speaking. English classes range from focusing on reading and understanding fiction and non-fiction text, conducting original research, and writing and speaking for a variety of audiences. Additionally, there are a number of courses that offer college credit as part of successful course completion through both Advanced Placement tests as well as through dual-credit with Oakton Community College.

The major goals of English classes are that students will be able, at various levels of skill development to…

  • read with understanding and fluency
  • understand the expressed meaning in literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas
  • write in order to communicate for a variety of purposes
  • listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations
  • use reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to research and apply information for specific purposes.

Regardless of the course selected, students will have experiences leading them to the successful accomplishment of these five goals.