The English Department endorses the practice of summer reading for all of our English classes to continue building the complex cognitive skills reading provides. Reading over the summer builds both literacy skills, and also social awareness of the world around us. While many secondary summer reading programs are reserved for students in AP or honors courses, the research on the development of adolescent literacy suggests that creating a habit of reading every day is needed to develop all adolescents as readers and thinkers (Allington, 2009).
Summer reading is not ancillary to our curriculum, but instead an integral part of it, and begins many of the conversations and explorations we will have as a class. One area we will cover, no matter the curriculum, year, or level, is the issue of equity, where we will confront issues of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious freedom, and ability. The department committed to an equity audit and plan in 2019, to assure that every student has a sequenced and scaffolded experience with equity reading across four years. As the equity plan is implemented, new texts will be integrated into the curriculum, including summer reading, to broaden students' perspectives and experiences with different issues of equity, and notably with authors of color.
As a department we recognize that reading comes in many, and diverse forms, and encourage our students to continue reading over the summer months to broaden their experiences in different disciplines: reading in history, science, technology, the arts, or other areas that interest them. Doing so builds your ability to handle a wide range of different texts, increases vocabulary, enhances your ability to handle challenging texts, and can challenge our social and emotional understandings of the world.
As part of your summer reading program, each course in English has a required summer text to read in preparation for discussion, activities, assignments, and assessments in your class during the first days of school. There is a reading guide (linked below for each course) which outlines the expected reading activities for each text. If it says NT Student Google login required, students will need to be logged into their New Trier Google account before they will be able to access and download the materials from the website. We suggest that you read the text within two weeks of the beginning of school, or review the text before school begins in August so it is fresh in your mind.
Your text may be purchased from the New Trier Bookstore, area bookstores, or online.
If you have questions about summer reading for a particular course, feel free to reach out to the Department Chair or Coordinator.
We look forward to seeing you in the fall.