Lyons Township High School invites students to dive into a good book
Payback Time by Carl Duiker is one of 25 books on a summer reading list for Lyons Township High School students available at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs. | Jane Michaels~Sun-Times Media
Must reads for honors and AP
Freshmen: “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster and two of five other novels
Sophomores: “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” and one of 20 choices
Juniors: “The Tortilla Curtain” by T.C. Boyle and one of seven non-fiction selections
Seniors: “Interpreters of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri and “Candide: Or, Optimism” by Francois Voltaire
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:18AM
Since summer has only just begun, there’s still plenty of time for Lyons Township High School students to sleep in and still grab a good book on the summer reading list.
Two selections are required reading for each level of freshmen through seniors taking honors and Advanced Placement English courses. At least one book from a list of 25 recommendations is highly encouraged for everyone else.
“It’s one of those things we encourage every student to do, but not doing it won’t negatively impact their grades,” said Scott Eggerding, director of curriculum.
“In all the classes we’ll be doing something with the books on the list. For those who didn’t read a book, there will be other activities,” Eggerding said. “We don’t want students to start off in the hole or with a failure.”
Still, the goal is to encourage reading with a mix of high interest books on the list.
This year, English teachers, librarians and a few others met to draw up a list of five choices in five categories — young adult, graphic novels, nonfiction, best sellers and classics — for the general summer reading list.
“Everyone has a favorite classic, and we wanted to make sure it would be good summer reading vs. a classroom experience,” said Scott Eggerding, director of curriculum at Lyons Township High School. “Anna Karenina might not be on everyone’s book list.”
Making the classics hit parade are Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, 1984 by George Orwell, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, performed by drama students in October.
“For kids who are voracious readers, they might say, ‘how many of these haven’t I read,’” Eggerding said. “Others might decide to give one of the graphic novels a try.”
For the honors or AP classics, the assigned books are more rigorous, chosen to give perspective and help prepare students for analyzing literature in the upcoming year.
“How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps students see how to read deeply and read closely,” he said. “It’s not exactly under a beach read headline, but it will be very helpful.”
Instructions for the honors and AP selections urge students to approach the books in an analytical manner, underlining and writing notes in the margin and jotting questions.
Six years ago, LT sponsored a back-to-school cookout for students who participated in the summer reading program, featuring Principal Dave Franson flipping hot dogs on a grill outside the south campus in Western Springs. Other incentives to take part included prizes donated by area businesses at the cookout, held for several years.
“We shifted those incentives, like the prizes and T-shirts, to a celebration during American Library Week in October,” Eggerding said. “We didn’t get as many kids coming in at the end of the summer.”
Eggerding said it isn’t has difficult as people think to encourage summer reading.
“For many students who are readers, they’ve already got a bunch lined up,” he said. “I’ve already heard from some students they can download their selections right onto a Kindle.”