This page contains links to information for 2016 Summer Reading!
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (CLASS OF 2020 ONLY)
They were the four Mirabel sisters—symbols of defiant hope in a country shadowed by dictatorship and despair. They sacrificed their safe and comfortable lives in the name of freedom. They were Las mariposas, “The Butterflies,” and in this extraordinary novel Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Dedé speak across the decades to tell their own stories. From tales of hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, they describe the everyday horrors of life under the Dominican dictator Trujillo. Through the art and magic of acclaimed novelist Julia Alvarez’s imagination, the martyred Butterflies come to vibrant dramatic life in a warm, brilliant, and heartbreaking story that makes a haunting statement about the human cost of political oppression.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger debuted as a #1 New York Times-bestseller. It follows Etta, a young violin prodigy who accidentally discovers she can travel through time. After she finds herself on a ship in 1776, she and a mysterious privateer named Nicholas embark on a quest to find a coveted object before a secret society does. What’s perhaps most compelling about this book is that it features an interracial relationship as its main romance, showing how prejudices evolve throughout multiple time-periods.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (CLASS OF 2020 ONLY)
History and fiction merge seamlessly in Tracy Chevalier’s luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Griet, the world of 1660s Holland comes dazzlingly alive in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Johannes Vermeer’s most celebrated paintings.
Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert
Discover the five great loves of St. John Paul II through remarkable unpublished stories on him from bishops, priests, students, Swiss Guards, and others. Mining through a mountain of papal resources, Jason Evert has uncovered these many gems, offering a treasure chest brimming with the jewels of the saint’s life. After a brief overview of John Paul’s life, Evert explores in depth his five great loves: Young People, Human Love, The Eucharist, Our Lady, The Cross.
This work is intended to be catechetical, inspiring, and evangelical. By looking at what he loved and why, the goal is to help readers learn more about key aspects John Paul’s life and teachings, including Theology of the Body, Divine Mercy, Total Consecration, Eucharistic adoration, and redemptive suffering.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (CLASS OF 2020 ONLY)
Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his nineteen-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go. What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip—and the bonds that develop between them—would prove, driving each to create a new destiny together.
A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer (CLASS OF 2020 ONLY)
The unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played torturous, unpredictable games—games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother’s games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an “it.”
Dave’s bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing and no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive—dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse—and the ability we all have to make a difference.
An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff
She was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan. He was a homeless, eleven-year-old panhandler on the street. He asked for spare change; she kept walking. But then something stopped her in her tracks, and she went back. And she continued to go back, again and again. They met up nearly every week for years and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
With her latest novel, Ruta Sepetys once again delves into a little-known corner of history: the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. A shockingly unsung casualty of World War II, this is the single greatest maritime disaster in history — far deadlier than the tragedies of the Titanic and the Lusitania combined — but remains largely unfamiliar in our collective consciousness. Oh, and there's a love story, so it's like the YA book version of Titanic.