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Summer Reading 2019

Resources for Summer Reading books for the Summer of 2019

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 are meant to give you tools to help you understand, or go deeper into, your book and prepare you to discuss it in relation to our school theme.

Theme-based Questions for Any Book on the Reading List

Guiding 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.

For any Story / Essay / Story  in your book, consider the following questions

  •  What is the "Window" I am looking through? How are the characters' or writers' lives different from mine? 
    • How would I handle myself in a similar situation? Would I even find myself in that situation?
  •  Is this story a "Mirror" for me at all?   What can I see of myself in this story?

Identify one or two stories where a character makes an expression or demonstration of faith.

  • How does the character express or demonstrate their faith? 
  • What situation brought about that expression or demonstration?
  • How might the story differ if faith was not a part of the story?

Consider also:

  • Are there instances in any of the stories you read where a character questioned their faith?  
    • What led them to question their faith?
    • How do they question their faith? 
    • How might the story be different if the character was firm in their faith?
    • If given the chance, what would you say to that character to help them come to a better understanding of their faith?
  • Are there any stories where faith does not play a part where a character's choices/actions/situation might have turned out differently if they demonstrated faith?

 

Identify at least two stories where a character demonstrates honesty.

  • With whom does the character need to be honest?  (this could be themself). 
  • How is their honesty received?  What are the results?
  • How might the story differ if the character chose not to be honest?

Consider also:

  • Are there instances in any of the stories you read where a character chose not to demonstrate honesty?  
    • Why did they make that choice?
    • What were the effects of that choice?
    • How might the story differ if the character chose to be honest instead?

Identify at least two stories where a character demonstrates courage.

  • How does the character demonstrate courage?
  • What situation prompts the character to demonstrate courage?
  • What are the results of their courage?
  • How might the story differ if the character was not courageous?

Consider also:

  • Are there instances in any of the stories you read where a character was unable to demonstrate courage when presented with an opportunity?  
    • Why did they make that choice?
    • What were the effects of that choice?
    • How might the story differ if the character was courageous instead?

 

Identify at least two stories where a character acts responsibility.

  • How does the character act responsibly?. 
  • What situation requires the character to act responsibly?
  • What are the results of their action?
  • How might the story differ if the character acted irresponsibly in the situation instead ?

Consider also:

  • Are there instances in any of the stories you read where a character acted irresponsibly?  
    • Why did they make that choice?
    • What were the effects of that choice?
    • How might the story differ if the character acted responsibly instead?

 

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 6 books to choose from this year, including Short Fiction, Graphic Memoirs, Essays, and a Novel, 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

Rather than trying to read the whole anthology at once,  try to read a story per week.

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.