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Senior School Summer Reading 2018: Summer Reading 2018 Instructions

Summer Reading Instructions 2018

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!

You will read two (2) books over the summer. You are required to read a book from the lower-form (III and IV) list or upper-form (V and VI) list as your form in the fall dictates, plus a second book of your own choosing that you have not previously read. This second book can be a work of non-fiction or fiction, and all literary genres are welcome. The only requirement is that the selection be age-appropriate — nothing for much younger readers, please. Upon returning to school, students will be asked to deliver a short talk on this book in their English classes during the first week or so. This talk must include a brief summary, but it should focus primarily on an evaluation of the book — what about it was most and least effective, enjoyable, confusing, inspiring, etc., supported by specific evidence. More information on the presentations will be provided in the fall, but students should know in advance that each talk will last approximately five minutes and be followed by a short question-and-answer session. The presentation will also be graded as a minor assessment.

For the book selected from the lists, you should think about questions that arise naturally from the text. What issues are raised by the text that you would like to talk about with other students? Formulate a discussion question for the book that will allow you to explore one of those issues, then respond to your own question in a 1- to 2-page typed response, 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. So that these questions and responses can be used to fuel the Summer Reading Day book discussions in the fall, your write-up will be your ticket for admission to the discussion session. Be sure to put your fall English instructor’s name on the write-up, and hand it to your discussion leader (who is unlikely to be your instructor) on the Summer Reading discussion day.


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 2nd 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.