Each year, incoming and returning Rockets are required to read a book before school starts in the fall. The summer reading book assignments and format of the program change every year based on the department paired with English to design the interdisciplinary experience.
This year, incoming freshmen and sophomores will read Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, juniors will read Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle, and seniors will read This I Believe: Life Lessons edited by Dan Gediman with John Gregory and Mary Jo Gediman.
Teacher and English Department Chair Angie Noble said that summer reading “has evolved over the years to try to introduce students to the content of the following year.”
This year’s book for incoming freshmen and sophomores has themes that relate to Catholic Social Teaching. The junior’s book is an essential aspect of the junior Theology program, and the senior’s book will assist them in starting the process for writing their college application essays.
Whether or not a book suits the grade level influences the choices for each year. Noble said that the teachers pay attention to complexity of themes as well as reading levels when deciding on books. Noble said summer reading is “a way to kind of stop the brain drain of summer.”
Summer reading has been a requirement at McNicholas for at least 26 years, Noble said. “It’s been part of the curriculum longer, but it has definitely been in existence since I’ve been at McNicholas.” Additionally, students are required to use an “active reading” technique, which are forms of note-taking. This can help students feel more comfortable with note-taking, and help them better remember the contents of the book.
Although returning Rockets aren’t required to read more than the assigned summer reading books, they can always read more. Noble recommends reading a trilogy, such as The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series. She also recommends The Tome Bookstore in Mt. Washington as a place to find a book to read or a place to read and grab a tea or coffee.
Ordering from the Tome Bookstore’s website can be accessed below:https://bookshop.org/shop/thetomebookstore?fbclid=IwAR303x-W3UuXMEIBBgc-GrLdRdxoa6jajbD-ZfjwR82RY3SwZc8SOV0R53E