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SSA Senior School Summer Reading 2017: Summer Reading 2017

School-wide Summer Reading Directions

Summer Reading is an opportunity for you to explore some contemporary or classic books, challenging yourself with new ideas or becoming immersed in a gripping plot. You should choose a book that appeals to you and enjoy the process of reading. This is not the time to choose the shortest book or scurry onto the internet for a bland and superficial summary; this is not a time to follow someone else’s expert recommendation. Rather, this is a time for you to lose yourself in a story, under a tree or near a body of water, basking in the beautiful summer. Dig in and enjoy!



This summer the Shady Side community will read one book togetherThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianin addition to one book of your choosing from either the lower-form or upper-form list, depending on what form you are entering in the fall.



As you read these books, think about questions that arise naturally from them. What issues are raised by each text that you would like to talk about with other students? Create a discussion question for each book that would allow you to explore one of those issues, then respond to your own question in a 1- to 2-page typed reaction, using specific references to and quotations from your book where appropriate. Keep in mind that the focus of this piece should be on the exploration of an issue or idea raised in the book rather than on recounting plot or describing characters. You will write a question and response for each of the books you read. These questions and your responses will be used to fuel the Summer Reading Day book discussions in the fall, at which time you will hand them both in to your discussion leader.


All School Read for 2017

 All School Read: 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

In this novel, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. The hopelessness of life on the rez is almost inconceivable to those who don't live it, and Junior is determined and relentless in his quest to succeed and escape. This is not about coming to terms with the richness of one's culture. Though Junior has tremendous affection for his family, home, and tribe, he knows, and his parents know, that his only chance of a decent life is to claw his way out. In a book with many sad moments, that may be the saddest thing of all. (summary adapted from the publisher’s site and from Common Sense Media)



Purchase OptionsBarnes&Noble OR Amazon




Acquiring Copies of Summer Reading Titles: 

Books can be acquired through a variety of means. Some titles are available for check-out from the SSA Library on a first-come first-served basis. Students are also encouraged to check-out books from their local public library. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has numerous copies of many titles, and titles can be shipped to the closest location to the student. Titles can also be purchased from Barnes& Noble during our annual SSA Libraries Book Fair on June 3rd at the Waterworks location. Links for online purchases are available for most titles, though please note that these are only options, and not the only place where books can be purchased! Visit your local bookstore or use your own favorite online retailer of books.