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Summer Reading 2019 (All High School Students): In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Born in France in 1651 and considered the founder of Catholic schools, John Baptist de La Salle is the patron saint of teachers and principals. Through his generous spirit and acts, he made education accessible to the young, poor, and marginalized. In this, the tercentenary -- 300th anniversary -- of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle (April 7, 1719), we are observing a year of celebration in the Lasallian World, embracing our call as Lasallians to be people of faith, service, and community.
In the spirit of our founder, we have put together a varying list of titles that speak to the values he embodied as a teacher and as an advocate for the impoverished. You are required to read any TWO titles from the list, which covers a wide range of reading levels. We have identified titles that have been designated as YA books, but know that all students are welcome to select from the entire list. Please do not approach your summer reading as a chore, but rather, an opportunity to enjoy a good story.
The Work Is Yours by
This biography incorporates modern research to provide an illuminating background on the life and charism of the John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
Reading with Patrick by
A memoir of the life-changing friendship between an idealistic young teacher and her gifted student, jailed for murder in the Mississippi Delta
A memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
The Wednesday Wars (YA) by
The Wednesday Wars is a wonderfully witty and compelling story about a teenage boy's mishaps and adventures over the course of the 1967-68 school year in Long Island, New York.
A Smile as Big as the Moon (YA) by
Mike Kersjes always believed that his students could do anything--even attend the prestigious Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, where some of America's best and brightest high school students compete in a variety of activities similar to those experienced by NASA astronauts training for space shuttle missions. The challenge was convincing everyone else that the kids in his special education class would benefit from the experience and succeed.
The Skin I'm In (YA) by
Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin. When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?
The Advocate for Social Justice and Service to the Poor
All the Right Stuff (YA) by
After his father is shot and killed, Paul Dupree finds a summer job at a Harlem soup kitchen. Elijah, the soup man, questions Paul about tough life choices, even though Paul would rather be playing basketball. Over the summer, Paul begins to understand the importance of taking control of your life.
Kisses from Katie by
An account of a courageous eighteen-year-old from Nashville who gave up every comfort and convenience to become the adoptive mother to thirteen girls in Uganda.
What the Eyes Don't See by
A riveting account of the Flint water crisis, a shameful disaster that became a tale of hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self-determination, and the right to build a better world for their--and all of our--children.
Moonrise (YA) by
A poignant and thought-provoking novel that explores life, death, love and forgiveness. Seventeen-year-old Joe hasn't seen his brother in ten years. Ed didn't walk out on the family, not exactly. It's something more brutal. Ed's locked up -- on death row. Now his execution date has been set, and the clock is ticking.
Mother Teresa: A Life Inspired by
Mother Teresa introduced a new, modern way of doing missionary work, led an international religious organization, and was beloved by people the world over for the work she did out of love for her family, which would one day grow to include all of humanity.
Twelve Angry Men by
A play that examines the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases.
Tattoos on the Heart by
Boyle distills his experience working with gang members into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith. This is a motivating look at how to stay faithful in spite of failure, how to meet the world with a loving heart, and how to conquer shame with boundless, restorative love.
Answering an Unexpected Call
Pro baseball player Clayton Kershaw made a commitment to live out his faith in Christ by giving to others--and he sees his success on and off the field as blessings to be shared with those who are hurting most.
I Am Malala by
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.
Everybody, Always by
Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.
Bless Me, Ultima by
This coming-of-age classic follows a young boy as he questions his faith and beliefs. Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past--a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world...and will nurture the birth of his soul.
A Wizard of Earthsea (YA) by
Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
Don Quixote by
Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the adventures of the self-created knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain.
Answering the Call by
As a young man, Albert Schweitzer seemed destined for greatness. His immense talent and fortitude propelled him to a place as one of Europe's most renowned philosophers, theologians, and musicians in the early twentieth century. Yet Schweitzer shocked his contemporaries by forsaking worldly success and embarking on an epic journey into the wilds of French Equatorial Africa, vowing to serve as a lifelong physician to "the least of these" in a mysterious land rife with famine, sickness, and superstition.