BOOK CHOICES

WHAT AM I READING?

Being a high school student is comprised of many different facets - from the skills and concepts that you learn in class, to the relationships that you foster with your teachers and classmates. This year, our goal is to examine the high school experience from various perspectives. Each of these books fits our theme of wellness and mental health by exploring how we think and feel about a myriad of experiences that we may face: balancing school, extracurriculars, and interpersonal relationships, figuring out who we are and how we define ourselves, and planning for life after we graduate.

You may select one of the following books (or more!) to read for the summer. Once you have selected your choice, click on the Reading Assignments tab at the top of the site to learn about what to do next.

Where You Go is Not Who You'll Be: The Antidote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no.

In his book, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why where you go is not who you'll be, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. What matters in the end are a student's efforts in and out of the classroom, not the gleam of his or her diploma.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living with the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza's story with shattering, unflinching clarify in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendships.

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan

If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of Maddy Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. This was a young woman who succeeded at everything she tried, and who was only getting started.

But when Maddy began her long-awaited college career, her parents noticed something was different. When Maddy's dad, Jim, dropped her off for the first day of spring semester, that would be the last time he would see his daughter.

This is the story of Maddy Holleran and her struggle with depression, but it also reveals the mounting pressures young people face to be perfect. Kate Fagan's ESPN article began as a profile of Maddy's life, and turned into a book that explores the factors that contribute to mental illness in teens.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective - but there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

It is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives, we may not know whom he is writing to. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live this life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends - where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will explores the roller-coaster days known as growing up.