With the seniors gone, the classrooms getting hotter, and the students getting antsy, it is clear that summer is almost here. So grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, and The Alchemist and head off to the beach.
This year’s school-wide summer read is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. According to Mrs. Whalen, the head of the English department, “It’s a journey story. It’s about finding purpose in one’s life, it’s about heading out into the world to discover the most important things. It was published a long time ago, and it’s one of these books that a lot of people when they read it, they say it’s a seminal book in their life and that it really makes a difference.”
Every year the teachers choose a new book for the student body to read over the summer. Teachers then use the book for various projects and assignments when students come back to school in September. Having the whole school read the same book benefits both the faculty and students alike.
“There’s also the power of the one read. Like when everybody’s read the same book, it’s great conversation among teachers, about what they do in their classrooms afterwards— and we liked the idea that students in different grades, you know, might be talking about things,” said Mrs. Whalen.
The book tells the story of a young shepherd named Santiago, on a quest to find treasure in Egypt. It is a world-wide best seller, having sold over 65 million copies.
With summer just around the corner, Whalen emphasizes, “We hope that for some students, and for many students, the summer reading is actually going to be something that they’re kind of glad they did. You know, they’ll have enjoyed it.
So put the Sparknotes away, and make sure to get your copy of The Alchemist before September!
By Alison Murtagh