2015 Summer Reading List
Every student is assigned to read two books: first, the all-school book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, and second, a book according to his grade level, listed below.
All-School book: Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
As we focus on the theme of Christ-like Servant Leadership next school year, all St. Edward students will read Mountains Beyond Mountains. The story follows the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, an American physician dedicated to fight disease as well as inequality in Haiti. Through his advocacy and action, Dr. Farmer lives out the Catholic Social Teaching of the preferential option for the poor. The author, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder, deftly combines the fast pace of a true story filled with dramatic action with the detailed profile of an exemplary Servant Leader.
Freshmen (entering grade 9)
The Servant, by James Hunter
From the author’s website: The Servant is an allegory that teaches the timeless principles of Servant Leadership. The story concerns a troubled executive who is also struggling as a husband, father and coach. A former Fortune 500 executive (now turned Monk) takes him under his wing and teaches him Servant Leadership.
Sophomores (entering grade 10)
Stuff Matters, by Mark Miodownik
University professor Miodownik accomplishes a bit of a miracle here by making a discussion of materials science not only accessible but witty as well. Spinning out of a surprisingly personal introduction, this Bill Brysonesque study of steel, paper, chocolate, and more takes readers deeply inside the history of the 11 common materials captured in a photograph taken of the author relaxing on his outdoor deck…. With boundless enthusiasm, he turns considerations of the most mundane of topics into dazzling tours of ancient Rome and Willy Wonka’s factory, along with a look at the intricacies of Samurai sword making. At a time when science is maligned, first-rate storyteller Miodownik entertains and educates with pop-culture references, scholarly asides, and nods to everyone from the Six Million Dollar Man to the Luminère brothers. A delight for the curious reader. --Colleen Mondor in Booklist
Juniors (entering grade 11)
Juniors in AP U.S. History: America at 1750: A Social Portrait, by Richard Hofstadter
From the publisher: Demonstrates how the colonies developed into the first nation created under the influences of nationalism, modern capitalism and Protestantism.
” A brilliant interpretation of Colonial society on the eve of the Revolution.” –David Herbert Donald, Commentary
All other Juniors: Killing Lincoln, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
The authors recount the events of 1865 with a narrative style that has been compared to the page-turning thrillers of John Grisham. This detailed, emotional, engaging account has received critical acclaim for its telling of the stories behind the story of the last days of President Abraham Lincoln’s life. Readers will experience the climate and political tensions of the day in an engaging, entertaining read.
Seniors (entering grade 12)
A Thousand Acres: A Novel, by Jane Smiley
Description from Amazon.com: A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.