June 2017 – The summer reading assignment does not have to be a chore. Although I didn’t pick the novels, some of the books are among my favorites. There’s The Screwtape Letters — it’s a thoughtful work of satire by the author of the Narnia series and Mere Christianity. In Screwtape, an older demon gives advice to his nephew, a young demon who is trying to work his way to the top (and avoid eternal punishment). The novel is written as a series of letters from Screwtape to Wormwood, so it takes a little reading between the lines to follow the details of the plot, but it is a fun read. (We’ll be discussing satire in our unit on irony and you will be glad you read the book when we get to it!)
Another one of my favorites is The Once and Future King. I couldn’t put it down as a middle school student. I was always a big fan of the King Author stories, so I didn’t need much prodding to read it. All of my friends read it at one point or another. T. H. White’s take on the legends is really clever. Merlin sends the young boy Arthur on quests which transform him into the legendary king he is destined to become. (I remember the ants!)
Then there are the novels Ben Hur, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and A Farewell to Arms. I am fond of these, too. There are some really great books in the list.
The first chapter — like the first mile in a morning run — is always the hardest, but you can get past it. The reader is a detective in the early chapters, using to clues to determine what is happening and which characters will be heroes and which will be villains. Take your time and enjoy the thrill of a brand new world with interesting characters (like Merlin and Jekyll and Screwtape). Enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
For the instructions and the novels on the NFCS Summer Reading list for high school, click here.
The reading log is due on Friday, 18 August 2017, at the beginning of class. The log counts as a test grade (!), so don’t delay.
Check out “How To Use Two-Column Notes for Your Summer Reading” for examples, tips, and photos.