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Summer Reading 2018

Home Page for Summer Reading 2018, including book selection guide, topic support materials, and more!

Important

IMPORTANT:

The most important thing is that you read your book this summer, and are ready to discuss how it fits into the theme.

All of the other guiding questions, additional material, etc. contained on these pages is meant to give you tools to help you understand, or go deeper into, your book and the theme of  "Justice in Action".

Theme-based Questions for Any Book on the Reading List

Theme-based Guided Questions for All Books

Consider these questions as you are reading your book. Having answers to them, with quotations from the book (cite the  page number) as supporting evidence will be very helpful when it is time to discuss and assess your reading.

Before you start reading ... How do you (the reader) define "justice"?

While you read the book
  • How did your book define "justice", and what evidence could you provide to support that definition?
  • Did your own perception of justice or injustice change as you read your book, and if so, how?"

In each book one or more issues of social injustice is present (ex. Racism, Sexism, Poverty,  etc.).  Be prepared to list specific examples and events from your book. These injustices often lead to conflicts between people (person vs person) and society or cultures (person vs society).

Consider also:
  • How are the characters or people in the book affected by injustice?
  • What conflicts arise between people and the society or culture surrounding them?
  • How are the injustices connected? (if you see more than one injustice in the book)
  • How are the injustices addressed? How are the conflicts resolved?
    • How did you feel about the way the injustices were addressed and/or the conflicts resolved?
    • Would you suggest another way to address the injustices or resolve the conflicts?
Consider also:
  • are they the main characters of the story, other people, both?
  • are they those who have suffered injustice? Direct witnesses of injustice? Well-meaning outsiders?
  • What finally inspires them to action?  What obstacles stand in their way?
  • What conflicts do those who take action face?
Consider also:
  • Are they large actions, small actions? Local? National? International?
  • How do they attempt to address or make changes to the injustice?
  • How are those actions received? Do they generate any conflicts?
  • What is their impact on culture or society?
  • What challenges are faced in taking action?

Get More out of What you Read

5 Ways to Make Summer Reading Less Painful* (or More Effective)

*(if you don't already love reading)
 

 

1. Pick a the Right Book for You.  (and actually read it).

There are 10 books to choose from this year, and the committee tried hard to get a variety of different kinds of books, in hopes that by letting you pick your book, you'll be more likely to enjoy it.  Ask around (Librarians are a good choice) if you want a recommendation. If you like what you pick, you won't need the rest of this list.

Of course, for some of you, even a book entitled Book that is About Your Exact Favorite Thing in the Entire World is going to seem like homework (or a chore, or a punishment). In that case, read on...

2. Think of it as an opportunity, rather than homework. 

I mean, yes, we are asking you to read a book, and that may not be a choice you'd normally make for vacation, but simply having a positive mindset about doing it will make it less painful.  

 

If you have any questions at all as to WHY we want people to read over the summer, just ask.

 

3. Pick a pace that works for you. Pick a place that works for you

If reading's not your favorite, try to spread it out over time;  read a little bit each day instead of putting it off and having to do it all at once.  5 pages (or 15 - 20 minutes) per day will get most readers through any book on the list. 

 

If reading isn't a normal activity for you, find a comfortable "reading spot" and associate that place with the activity of reading.

 

If visual reading is a struggle, listen to an Audiobook, or have a friend do a read-aloud.

 

If you can overcome Phone Separation Anxiety, set your mobile devices aside (unless you're reading on one, in which case, do your best to prioritize reading and minimize other features that may be distractions).  If you really want to involve your device, there are lots of links on this site to help you with your book.

 

 

4. Talk with people about what you are reading.   

Reading doesn't have to be a solitary activity.  Even if you aren't reading the same books, you might be able to share ideas about the themes, or someone may be able to help you understand what you are reading. You, and your friend, will get more value out of a discussion than you would if you just Schmoop. Another option: engage via GoodReads.

 

5. Remember what you've read, so you are ready to discuss it in the fall. 

On that note (ha ha... puns), here's some suggestions about  annotating (the additional act of taking notes on your text as you read...

 

WHO annotates?

  • You do, whenever you mark your thoughts about what you have read onto a text.

WHERE do you annotate?

  • Directly on to your text.
    • If you don't own your book, use sticky notes, bookmarks, or note cards, or keep a notebook.
    • If it's an audiobook, maybe notecards/journal
    • eReaders usually have great annotation features

WHAT should you annotate?

  • Quotations or passages related to themes and/or details you might need later
  • Words that are unfamiliar to you might need to look up to understand a sentence
  • Questions  that you have about the text, or that you might want to discuss with other people
  • Literary Techniques  similes, metaphors, analogies, etc.

HOW do you annotate?

  • Underline or highlight significant passages, .
  • Circle important words
  • Doodle in the margins
  • Use "?"s to mark stuff you don't understand
  • Whatever works for you

WHEN should you annotate?

  • Any time something really stands out to you as being significant.
  • Any time that it helps you answer a guiding question about the book or our theme.
  • NOT all the time -- the more notes you make, the less useful they eventually become.