8 of America's most prestigious private schools make students read these books during summer

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For many people, the summer months symbolize pleasure reading at its best.

It's a time to indulge in the texts that are most appealing, without scrutiny: an easy beach read, a guilty pleasure, or that book you've always meant to start.

But students at America's most prestigious private schools must still endure the rigors of homework during their summer vacations with a little reading - some required, some merely recommended. The titles cover issues such as war, sexuality, and racial history.

Check out the reading lists of rising seniors at reputable private schools across the US:

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The Hotchkiss School — Lakeville, Connecticut

The Hotchkiss School — Lakeville, Connecticut

Students must read three books of their choosing plus the required items below:

Read (novel) — "The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien

Read (novel) — "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," by Sherman Alexie

Watch — "The Hunger Games" (2012)

Read (poem) — "A Work of Artifice," by Marge Piercy

The Harker School — San Jose, California

The Harker School — San Jose, California

English teachers at the school put together the following list of recommended summer reading:

"Slouching Towards Bethlehem," by Joan Didion

"Emma," by Jane Austen

"Native Son," by Richard Wright

"Interpreter of Maladies," by Jhumpa Lahiri

"The Omnivore's Dilemma," by Michael Pollan

Ransom Everglades School — Miami, Florida

Ransom Everglades School — Miami, Florida

Students must read:

"Song of Solomon," by Toni Morrison

The College Preparatory School — Oakland, California

The College Preparatory School — Oakland, California

Faculty members at the school put together a list of recommended summer reading. Here are some of their picks:

"1984," by George Orwell

"Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," by Michael Chabon

"Cat's Cradle," by Kurt Vonnegut

"Crime and Punishment," by Fyodor Dostoevsky

"The Princess Bride," by William Goldman

"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," by Haruki Murakami

"A Streetcar Named Desire," by Tennessee Williams

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