Smart Teens Read… What Are You Reading This Summer?

Reading – to most people, it might seem like the antithesis of a summer vacation activity. However, in many ways, summer is the perfect time to catch up on some leisure reading and to read books, articles, and web sites that might help you in the upcoming school year. With this in mind, here are some of our reading suggestions (get our full list of suggestions at the new Educational Advocates blog and add your own suggestions on our Facebook page).

Fiction

Feed by M. T. Anderson: A satiric look at the prominence of technology, Feed tells the story of a boy who, like everyone else in his society, is ruled by consumerism and computer-driven entertainment and trends.

Looking for Alaska by John Green: Called “The Catcher in the Rye for the new generation,” Looking for Alaska is a humorous, frank, and realistic look at teen life centering around four rebellious students who attend a private school.

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman: Imagine a combination ofRomeo and Juliet and The Godfather with a healthy sense of humor and you get Son of the Mob, in which Vince Luca, a mobster’s son, falls for the daughter of an FBI agent.

Nonfiction

I Know You’re Out There by Michael Beaumier: Beaumier, a former personals editor at the Chicago Reader, presents a humorous and occasionally touching look at the people who turn to the personals in the hope of finding love and friendship.

08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail by Michael Crowley and Dan Goldman: If you are still feeling withdrawal from the end of the 2008 presidential race, this graphic novel allows you to relive the race (with direct quotes from the candidates and from news outlets) and offers some trenchant commentary and pictures.

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose (recommended by Angela, a current Oberlin student): Attending Liberty University for a semester brings a godless youth to his knees as Brown student Kevin Roose attempts to connect with his God-fearing contemporaries. Roose’s humor and fair-mindedness makes his account a fascinating read, and he brings up a valid point that agnostics and Christians alike tend to forget — whatever people believe (or don’t believe), they still celebrate, mourn, worry about, and enjoy many of the same things.

Secret Lives of Great Authors by Robert Schnakenberg: Learn all about Hemingway’s anger management problems, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stormy and complicated relationship with his wife (they once arrived at a party on all fours, barking like dogs), and Louisa May Alcott’s unrequited crush on Henry David Thoreau. Here is all of the information your teachers may have neglected to mention in English class!

Be certain to check out your local bookstore, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, and the public library to find these books and get more suggestions. For those you who like audio books, Audible offers a wide range of books that can be downloaded to iTunes and your iPod.

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