This year, MA’s summer reading selections have been chosen by a group of rising seniors, who will lead the community in discussions during lunch on Friday, September 3rd. While participation in the program is optional, all members of the MA community are invited to choose one of the following five books and participate in these discussions. All of the selections are readily available in paperback.
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Discussion led by Vanessa Gerber, Meghan Kallstrom, Kate Kimball, Grace Lukach, Isaac Pollan.
The influential and widely acclaimed story details the two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, he searches for truth and rails against the “phoniness” of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally ill, in a psychiatrist’s office, relating his story in a series of flashbacks.*
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Discussion led by Gabe Beaudoin, Elizabeth Ezell, Ed Leathers, Elliot Plant, Daniel Pulgram.
Ender’s Game follows the training of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a six-year-old genius who may be Earth’s only hope for victory against an invasion of insectoid aliens. While many of the plot elements are typical of the genre, Card renders them new with his stress on the underlying themes of empathy, compassion, and moral intent. It is only Ender’s ability to empathize with the “buggers” that enables him to overcome them.*
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Discussion led by Ben Bogin, Talia Krahling, Bo Titus.
The protagonist, known as Pi, is emigrating from India to Canada with his family when their ship sinks en route; Pi and a Bengal tiger are the only survivors. As Pi struggles to coexist on a lifeboat with a tiger, he comes to understand the complex nature of faith, morality, and personal identity.*
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Discussion led by Samatha Abernathy, Eloise La Horgue, Chloe Ouyang.
On the Road tells the story of two young men, Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, who travel frantically back and forth across the American continent seeking thrills. The novel is actually a thinly veiled account of Kerouac’s own life in the late 1940s, when he fell under the spell of a charismatic drifter named Neal Cassady.*
Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Discussion led by Erin Bewley, Emily Lewis, Allie Mages
Set in Afghanistan, this novel tells the story of a woman who is forced to accept her husband’s new, younger and more beautiful wife into her household. The relationship between the women and their subservience to their volatile husband is set against the 30-year trauma of Afghanistan’s complex history.*
*These summaries are all adapted from Gale’s Literature Resource Center database, which is part of the school’s electronic resource collection.
Questions about the program can be directed to Derek Anderson, Library Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.