No one denies the importance of reading – reading is, after all, one of the most fundamental building blocks of education. But a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) report titled “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence” noted that today’s teens don’t read nearly enough:
- Just 31% of 13-year-olds read for pleasure on a daily basis
- Only 22% of 17-year-olds read for pleasure on a daily basis
- The amount of required reading in school is less than 15 pages per day for 62% of 17-year-olds
And during the summer, when students are out of school and their brains are too often turned off, reading becomes all the more important. Studies have shown that students who do not read throughout the summer risk losing months worth of grade level equivalency in reading skills.
At C2 Education, we believe that reading is a fundamental skill, a principle clearly demonstrated by our teachers’ passion for literature. It’s not at all uncommon to see C2 teachers chatting about their favorite books when classes are over, and our teachers always strive to share their love of reading with their students.
In an effort to spread the love, we’ve asked some of our teachers to offer some summer reading suggestions for high school students (and their parents, too!):
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: A book so important that its title is now in the dictionary, Catch-22 is the story of Yossarian, a bombardier just trying to survive the war. He’s too smart to die, but not smart enough to escape his predicament – caught in a catch 22.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: This classic gothic romance is particularly appealing to female readers – in fact, without Jane Eyre, Twilight probably never would have existed.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: A beautifully written story about a young girl growing up in Germany during WWII. The twist? It’s narrated by Death.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Of course everyone seems to have already read this series in preparation for the recently released film adaptation, but if you haven’t yet picked these up, you should. This series makes for amazingly quick and entertaining summer reading!
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein: This classic science fiction novel is a must read for any sci/fi fan. This is the story of a Valentine Michael Smith, who was born on Mars and raised by Martians before being taken back to earth where he must reconcile the ways of humans with his Martian past.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: An incredibly creative first novel that utilizes unique antique photographs as an integral part of the story. Jacob travels to Wales to find the orphanage where his grandfather grew up. As Jacob explores the abandoned orphanage, it becomes clear that its residents were quite peculiar. Maybe even dangerous. And, impossible as it seems, they may even still be alive.
- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazer: In this beautifully wrought tale, a wounded Confederate soldier named Inman embarks upon a long trek to return to his home and the woman he loves. His odyssey carries him through the broken south, and along the way he meets an interesting mixture of slaves, marauders, bounty hunters, and victims of war.
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: This is the first book in the series that the HBO show Game of Thrones is based on. These incredibly complex and involved books offer avid readers an absorbing tale of kings, dragons, and walking dead. A must read for any sci/fi fan.
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: Joe Kavalier manages the escape of the century when he flees Nazi-controlled Czechoslovakia and travels to New York City, the home of his American cousin, Sam Clay. From their shared dreams, hopes, and desires, the two boys create a comic book empire even as their personal lives fall apart. A beautifully written, award-winning novel that everyone should read.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: This hilarious novel follows the plight of Arthur Dent, a perfectly normal human forced to flee Earth when it is destroyed to make room for a galactic freeway.
Comment below to tell us what you and your family will be reading this summer!