Books provide a versatile (often underrated) activity during summer

Books provide a versatile (often underrated) activity during summer

Trips abroad, camping in the woods, sports, pool parties, suntanning, and summer camps. These are only a few of the activities that students already have planned for this summer. Students are busy with various activities; however, many students seem to spend a large amount of time numbly scrolling through social media, bored out of their minds as they try to figure out what to do.

Something that many students don’t think to do is read. Randolph Campus Librarian Claire Hazzard said, “Summer break is the perfect time to get lost in a good book. We recommend students read widely over the summer for several reasons: reading expands your view of the world, exposes you to new ideas and ways of thinking, enriches your life and makes you a better writer.

Reading is not only a helpful educational tool but a form of entertainment that does not require technology. If you find yourself camping in the middle of nowhere, or at a family cabin with no Wi-Fi, plan ahead and pick up a few books from the library to bring with you.

In order to encourage students to read, multiple Upper School faculty members have recommended books for over the summer reading.


  1. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Recommended by Ms. Hazzard

“This is the best YA fantasy novel I’ve read this year; I loved the fairy-tale elements of this story. Seventeen-year-old Alice is the granddaughter of the reclusive author of a dark collection of fairy tales called Tales from the Hinterland. When her grandmother dies, Alice’s mother is stolen away and held captive in this supernatural world. Alice makes a plan to rescue her, but what will she have to sacrifice in order to save her mother?”

Rated 3.7/5 on Goodreads.


  1. Thousand Star Hotel by Bao Phi

Genre: Poetry

Recommended by US English Teacher Claire Wahmanholm

“Read if you like poems that explore identity, politics, gender, and power. Sample titles include “Ego-Tripping as Self-Defense Mechanism for Refugee Kids Who Got Their Names Clowned On,” “Future Letter to Daughter Apologizing for When I Caved to Her Request and Brought Her to Barbie’s Dreamhouse at Mall of America,” and “Allies’ Who Think They’re the Chosen Ones””

Rated 4.4/5 on Goodreads.



   3. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Genre: Romance/Contemporary Fiction

Recommended by Ms. Hazzard

“This novel is the sequel to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which was adapted into the movie Love, Simon. With the focus on Leah this time, the book tells the story of the group’s senior year (fans of the first book will be thrilled to hear that Simon and Bram are still going strong!). Albertalli has a great voice, showing Leah’s vulnerability and anxiety about her future; she captures the ups and downs of the last year of high school perfectly.”

Rated 4.3/5 on Goodreads