Escape to a Well-Read Summer - 2019 Summer Reading Suggestions (Upper School)


Discover Amazing Literature this Summer

A summer course at Laurel Springs can provide your child with an opportunity to learn something new, get ahead for the upcoming school year, and add valuable course credits to a transcript.

Contact our Admissions team today at 1-800-377-5890 to learn more about how a summer course can work for your family.

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2019 Summer Reading Suggestions

In his celebrated coming-of-age novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, author Benjamin Alire Sáenz eloquently describes summer as "a book of hope." It’s a season filled with  endless possibility, as it allows us the time and space to explore the world beyond our front door and to uncover the secrets that lie as close as the cracks of a floorboard. It’s when we are free to discover the full potential that exists in the outside world as well as the promise that endures within ourselves.

The extended periods of sunshine summer provides also allows us to make an escape of a different kind. Getting lost in a good book not only serves to rouse the intellect and the imagination, it’s also a way of finding out a little more about ourselves. It’s where we meet the characters we identify with. It shapes our understanding of faraway places. It introduces us to the ideas that change everything that is to come.

If you’re looking for a story that enlivens your spirit this summer, Laurel Springs’ English teacher Sharon Nolan, M.A.Ed, provided a list of time-honored and modern classics that are sure to make for a fantastical escape.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
This bestselling saga introduces readers to the Gangulis, family breaking from their lives of tradition in Calcutta to begin life anew in America. Lahiri touches on insightful themes such as cultural assimilation and the conflicts between generations throughout this captivating portrait of the immigrant experience.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Soulful and raw, John Green’s beloved award-winning novel introduces readers to Hazel, a 16-year-old woman on the verge of both adulthood and death. The stage-IV cancer survivor is suffering from clinical depression when she meets and falls in love with a kindred spirit who reignites her passion for life.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s stark depiction of sin and redemption in 17th-century New England tells the tale of Hester Prynne, a young woman who conceives a child out of wedlock. The result is a struggle between the heart and the mind with themes that touch on the power of guilt and alienation.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien’s classic tale follows home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins on an epic quest as he attempts to collect a portion of treasure guarded by Smaug the dragon. As Bilbo’s journey progresses he evolves and matures, gaining a clear sense of identity and confidence far away from the comforting confines of home.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams’ classic science fiction novel follows the comedic misadventures of Arthur Dent, the sole survivor of Earth’s demolition to make way for a galactic freeway. Adams’ enthralling spoof (and subsequent sequels) is peppered with wit, wisdom, and thought-provoking humor.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kinslover
In 1959, a family of missionaries moves from their home in Georgia to the Belgian Congo only to find their belongings are transformed when they reach African soil. The story unfolds over the course of three decades with each member of the Price family lending perspective to what transpires.

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Long revered as one of the greatest works of science fiction ever written, H.G. Wells’ account of a Martian invasion serves as a commentary on the calamitous impacts of conquest, specifically the effects British imperialism had on the indigenous peoples of Tasmania. Readers may also want to listen to acclaimed filmmaker Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio adaptation that resulted in panic after some listeners believed what they were listening to was real.

Matched by Ally Condie
In an alternate future where life’s most impactful moments are under the rigid control of officials of the Society, 17-year-old Cassia looks forward to being matched with her life partner. A glitch reveals two matches, one who will fulfill "official" expectations and one who will lead to the unexpected. Which will Cassia choose?

Laurel Springs School Summer Blogs

Discover how students can make this summer a productive one by reading Laurel Springs School’s collection of informative summer blogs.

8 Summer Reading Books to Helps K-8 Students Explore Their Imaginations
2018 Summer Reading Suggestions - Grades K-8
Four Ways Upper School Students Can Make This Summer Count
Four Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide