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Summer Reading--Aurora Central Catholic School Print

 

 

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Summer Reading

SOAR BOOKS – AURORA CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Cinderella Man

Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport's true Cinderella story. James J. Braddock, dubbed "Cinderella Man" by Damon Runyon, was a once promising light heavyweight for whom a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to coincide with the Great Crash of 1929. With one good hand, Braddock was forced to labor on the docks of Hoboken. Only his manager, Joe Gould, still believed in him, finding fights for Braddock to help feed his wife and children. In twelve months Braddock went from the relief rolls to face heavyweight champion Max Baer, the Livermore Butcher Boy, renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring. And when boxing was the biggest sport in the world, when the heavyweight champion was the biggest star in the world, his unlikely upset made Braddock the most popular champion boxing had ever seen. Rich in anecdote and color, steeped in history, and full of human interest, Cinderellla Man is a classic David and Goliath tale that transcends the sport.

Divergent

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I Am Malala

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood, created a sensation when it was first published, serially, in The New Yorker in 1965. The intensively researched, atmospheric narrative of the lives of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, and of the two men, Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, who brutally killed them on the night of November 15, 1959, is the seminal work of the "new journalism." Perry Smith is one of the great dark characters of American literature, full of contradictory emotions. "I thought he was a very nice gentleman," he says of Herb Clutter. "Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat." Told in chapters that alternate between the Clutter household and the approach of Smith and Hickock in their black Chevrolet, then between the investigation of the case and the killers' flight, Capote's account is so detailed that the reader comes to feel almost like a participant in the events.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

One of the most memorable slave narratives, Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl illustrates the overarching evil and pervasive depravity of the institution of slavery. In great and painful detail, Jacobs describes her life as a Southern slave, the exploitation that haunted her daily life, her abuse by her master, the involvement she sought with another white man in order to escape her master, and her determination to win freedom for herself and her children. From her seven years of hiding in a garret that was three feet high, to her harrowing escape north to a reunion with her children and freedom, Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains an outstanding example of one woman’s extraordinary courage in the face of almost unbeatable odds, as well as one of the most significant testimonials in American history.

Insurgent

The second book of the Divergent trilogy, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Into the Wild

In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhikes to Alaska and walks alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Four months later, his decomposed body is found by a moose hunter. How Chris McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Killing Jesus

Millions of readers have thrilled to bestselling authors Bill O’Reilly and historian Martin Dugard’s Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, page-turning works of nonfiction that have changed the way we read history. Now the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus’s life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable - and changed the world forever.

Life, Animated

What if you were trapped in a Disney movie? In all of them, actually from Dumbo to Peter Pan to The Lion King -- and had to learn about life and love mostly from what could be gleaned from animated characters, dancing across a screen of color? Asking this question opens a doorway to the most extraordinary of stories. It is the saga of Owen Suskind, who happens to be the son of one of America's most noted writers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind. He's also autistic. The twisting, 20-year journey of this boy and his family will change that way you see autism, old Disney movies, and the power of imagination to heal a shattered, upside-down world.

Lucy Gayheart

The first of Cather's renowned prairie novels, O Pioneers! established a new voice in American literature--turning the stories of ordinary Midwesterners and immigrants into authentic literary characters.

Mockingjay

The greatly anticipated final book in the New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss Everdeen.

Mockingjay will have hearts racing, pages turning, and everyone talking about one of the biggest and most talked-about books and authors in recent publishing history!!!!

Poseidon's Arrow

It is the greatest advance in American defense technology in decades—an attack submarine capable of incredible underwater speeds. There is only one problem: A key element of the prototype is missing—and the man who developed it is dead.

At the same time, ships have started vanishing mid-ocean, usually never to be found again, but when they are, sometimes bodies are found aboard . . . burned to a crisp. It is up to NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his team, aided by a beautiful NCIS agent and by Pitt’s children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, to go on a desperate international chase to find the truth, from Washington to Mexico, Idaho to Panama. If they don’t succeed in their mission, the world as they know it might end up a very different place—and not a pleasant one.

Raptor Red

A pair of fierce but beautiful eyes look out from the undergrowth of conifers. She is an intelligent killer... So begins one of the most extraordinary novels you will ever read. The time is 120 million years ago, the place is the plains of prehistoric Utah, and the eyes belong to an unforgettable heroine. Her name is Raptor Red, and she is a female Raptor dinosaur. Painting a rich and colorful picture of a lush prehistoric world, leading paleontologist Robert T. Bakker tells his story from within Raptor Red's extraordinary mind, dramatizing his revolutionary theories in this exciting tale. From a tragic loss to the fierce struggle for survival to a daring migration to the Pacific Ocean to escape a deadly new predator,Raptor Red combines fact an fiction to capture for the first time the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of the most magnificent, enigmatic creatures ever to walk the face of the earth. From the Paperback edition.

Red Rising

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow--and Reds like him--are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Room

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Snow Falling on Cedars

In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.

Speak

The first lie they tell you in high school: "Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say." Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. 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 thought he was destined to live. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie's YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

 

The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged

Text to Come.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.

The Fault in Our Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

This is the Hercule Poirot novel that startled fans, polarized critics, shocked the Detection Club (of which Christie was a member) and solidified her reputation as the queen of crime.

The Opposite of Loneliness

An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation. Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness," went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord. Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation.

The Shade of the Moon

The eagerly awaited addition to the series begun with the New York Times best-seller Life As We Knew It, in which a meteor knocks the moon off its orbit and the world changes forever. It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?

The Word for the World is Forest

The award-winning masterpiece by one of today's most honored writers! The Word for World is Forest When the inhabitants of a peaceful world are conquered by the bloodthirsty yumens, their existence is irrevocably altered. Forced into servitude, the Athsheans find themselves at the mercy of their brutal masters. Desperation causes the Athsheans, led by Selver, to retaliate against their captors, abandoning their strictures against violence. But in defending their lives, they have endangered the very foundations of their society. For every blow against the invaders is a blow to the humanity of the Athsheans. And once the killing starts, there is no turning back.

This Star Won't Go Out

A collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther's story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.

Triggers

On the eve of a secret military operation, an assassin's bullet strikes President Seth Jerrison. He is rushed to the hospital, where surgeons struggle to save his life. At the same hospital, researcher Dr. Ranjip Singh is experimenting with a device that can erase traumatic memories. Then a terrorist bomb detonates. In the operating room, the president suffers cardiac arrest. He has a near-death experience-but the memories that flash through Jerrison's mind are not his memories. It quickly becomes clear that the electromagnetic pulse generated by the bomb amplified and scrambled Dr. Singh's equipment, allowing a random group of people to access one another's minds. And now one of those people has access to the president's memories- including classified information regarding the upcoming military mission, which, if revealed, could cost countless lives. But the task of determining who has switched memories with whom is a daunting one- particularly when some of the people involved have reason to lie...

12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children. What little free time he had after long days of labor he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free. In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Only after he was drugged and bound did he realize the strangers were kidnappers-that nefarious brand of criminals in the business of capturing runaway and free blacks for profit. Dehumanized, beaten, and worked mercilessly, Northup suffered all the more, wondering what had become of his family. Just as he felt the summer of his life fade and all hope nearly lost, he met a kindhearted stranger who changed the course of his life.

Whale Talk

Crutcher's gripping tale of small-town prejudice delivers a frank, powerful message about social issues and ills. Representing one-third of his community's minority population ("I'm black. And Japanese. And white"), narrator T.J. Jones voices a darkly ironic appraisal of the high school sports arena. Despite his natural athletic ability, T.J. has steered away from organized sports until his senior year, when a favorite English teacher implores him to help form a swim team for the school. T.J. invites outcasts to participate on the team; he ends up with "a representative from each extreme of the educational spectrum, a muscle man, a giant, a chameleon, and a psychopath." The swimmers face many obstacles, but their dedication to their sport and each other grows stronger with every meet. The book's shocking climax will force readers to re-examine their own values and may cause them to alter their perception of individuals pegged as "losers."

Heaven is for Real

When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed-a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back. Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery-and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He gave descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read. Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how "really, really big" God is, and how much God loves us.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray was a succès de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray makes a Faustian bargain to sell his soul in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. Under the influence of Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, where he is able to indulge his desires while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only Dorian's picture bears the traces of his decadence. A knowing account of a secret life and an analysis of the darker side of late Victorian society. The Picture of Dorian Gray offers a disturbing portrait of an individual coming face to face with the reality of his soul.

 
Kaneland High Summer Reading Print
Teen Programs

Summer Reading

KANELAND HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENTS

English 9/
English 9 Enhanced

The House on Mango Street

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes - sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous - it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

English 10

All But My Life

All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops - including the man who was to become her husband - in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader on a terrifying journey.

English 10 Enhanced

Taming of the Shrew

In Shakespeare’s romantic comedy,The Taming of the Shrew,the lovely Bianca is courted by many suitors, but her bad-tempered sister Kate frightens young men away. Then Kate is courted by Petruchio, and the real fun begins.

English 11

The Catcher in the Rye

The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

American Studies
(11th Grade)
Students Choose One

 

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

In May 2002, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army. He was deeply troubled by 9/11, and he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in southeastern Afghanistan. Krakauer chronicles Tillman’s riveting, tragic odyssey in engrossing detail highlighting his remarkable character and personality while closely examining the murky, heartbreaking circumstances of his death. Infused with the power and authenticity readers have come to expect from Krakauer’s storytelling, Where Men Win Glory exposes shattering truths about men and war.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

Published in 1845, this autobiography powerfully details the life of the internationally famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass from his birth into slavery in 1818 to his escape to the North in 1838 - how he endured the daily physical and spiritual brutalities of his owners and drivers, how he learned to read and write, and how he grew into a man who could only live free or die.

Rosa Parks: A Life

"I just wanted to be free like everybody else". Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress in 1955 Alabama, had no idea she was changing history when she refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus. Acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley brings mid-century America alive in this brilliant examination of a celebrated heroine in the context of her life and tumultuous times, revealing the quiet dignity, hope, courage and humor that have made this everywoman a living legend..

Why We Can't Wait

Often applauded as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can't Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by Fred Shuttlesworth, King, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. The book also includes the extraordinary "Letter from Birmingham Jail," which King wrote in April of 1963.

Lion in the White House (Teddy Roosevelt)

New York State Assemblyman, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York City Police Commissioner, Governor of New York, Vice President and, at forty-two, the youngest President ever-in his own words, Theodore Roosevelt “rose like a rocket.” He was also a cowboy, a soldier, a historian, an intrepid explorer, and an unsurpassed environmentalist-all in all, perhaps the most accomplished Chief Executive in our nation’s history. In Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt, historian Aida Donald masterfully chronicles the life of this first modern president.

Condoleeza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me

Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist.nbsp; Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman - and the first black woman ever -- to serve as Secretary of State. This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl - and a young woman -- trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world and of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community, that made all the difference.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience & Redemption

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Robert E. Lee on Leadership: Executive Lessons In Character, Courage and Vision

Under General Lee's management, a rag-tag army of poor farmers--vastly outnumbered, outgunned, under-supplied, and under-fed--consistently routed Union troops. Brilliantly seizing strategic opportunities, Lee stunned his foes and inspired his soldiers. He was decisive, focused, and humble. Sharing his men's hardships, Lee spoke often with them and earned their loyalty. He found trusted subordinates who shared his vision, gave them broad instructions, and turned them loose. He didn't micromanage or belittle. Taking blame for failure, he was lavish in praise and charitable in criticism.

Joshua Chamberlain - A Hero's Life & Legacy

Text to Come.

The Story of My Life

The story of Helen Keller, the young girl who triumphed over deafness and blindness, has been indelibly marked into our cultural consciousness. That triumph, shared with her teacher Anne Sullivan, has been further popularized by the play and movie The Miracle Worker. Yet the astonishing original version of Keller's and Sullivan's story, first published in 1903, has been out of print for many years and lost to the public. Keller's remarkable acquisition of language is presented here in three successive accounts: Keller's own version; the letters of "teacher" Anne Sullivan, submerged in the earliest edition; and the valuable documentation by their young assistant, John Macy.

AP Language and Composition
(11th Grade)

Into the Wild

In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhikes to Alaska and walks alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Four months later, his decomposed body is found by a moose hunter. How Chris McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

English 12

The Glass Castle

MSNBC contributor Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family. Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity.

AP Literature and Composition
(12th Grade)

Cry, the Beloved Country

An Oprah Book Club selection, Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa's history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton's impassioned novel about a black man's country under white man's law is a work of searing beauty. Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, it is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.

 
Summer Reading 2014
Teen Programs

Coming soon - Summer Reading

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