For incoming 9th graders, please read:
1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.
2. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton.
For incoming 10th graders, please read:
1. Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
2. The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
Note: Some of you may have read one or more of these books before. Thus, you might be tempted to think you have “checked the box” and have completed your summer reading even before the summer began! However, that is simply not how reading the great books works. Let’s turn to C. S. Lewis to see what he has to say on the matter. The following is a quote from his work An Experiment in Criticism:
“In the first place, the majority never read anything twice. The sure mark of an unliterary man is that he considers ‘I’ve read it already’ to be a conclusive argument against reading a work. We have all known women who remembered a novel so dimly that they had to stand for half an hour in the library skimming through it before they were certain they had once read it. But the moment they became certain, they rejected it immediately. It was for them dead, like a burnt-out match, an old railway ticket, or yesterday’s paper; they had already used it. Those who read great works, on the other hand, will read the same work ten, twenty or thirty times during the course of their life.” (p. 2)
Have a wonderful summer and happy reading!