Wednesday, June 2, 2010

High School Summer Reading

My high school has a summer reading program. I am always interested to see what they choose.

Fortunately for them and sadly for me, their picks have improved SO much since I was there in the 90s. I can only remember a few: This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, Burmese Days by Orwell, and The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. I liked Burmese Days, but none of the others. We also didn't talk about them once school started so to me it was somewhat of a useless activity. There were a bunch of books to choose from, but nothing new or notable. They all felt like old books, half of which would have been on the summer reading list my dad had when he was there in the 60s.

I love the choices this year.

Students are required to read either The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, or The Last Child by John Hart. I've never heard of The Lost Child, but I think The Help and Outliers are easy to read books that make you think. What better for a summer reading program?

Then, they can choose an extra book for some kind of extra credit/pat on the head/whatever. Some of those options: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (my husband read and really enjoyed), Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, The Pat Conroy Cookbook (part of the assignment is to cook! LOVE it), American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel), and Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson.

I've read several of the books they've chosen and am thrilled with the others. Do you think they'd mind having an alum in the discussions? I couldn't pick just one though!


  1. Oooh good choices! My high school didn't even have summer reading program...

  2. I haven't read a ton of these...primarily because these days I don't really read anything that makes me think :) But I always LOVED summer reading and picking my books, but I was often disappointed with the options. I really HATED All the Pretty Horses! Where can you see the list?

  3. This makes me wish my high school had done a summer reading program. What a great way to get kids reading more! Good choices too.