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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Top 5 Best Summer Reading Books

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Selah DeVore
Most books required for summer reading can be found at the local public libraries!

 

Looking at long lists of summer reading options can be overwhelming, but the books that are on these lists are by some of the most accomplished authors of our time, and the stories they tell are compelling and important to understand. 

 

  1. The Kite Runner

 

Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner follows Amir, who is looking back on his youth in Afghanistan from 20 years in the future. The plot covers decades of his life and tells a compelling story of loss and community. Hosseini masterfully weaves together a compelling story and complex characters to create a story that is not only fascinating to analyze, but one that will remain with its readers for years to come. 

 

    2. The Bluest Eye

 

Toni Morrison is one of the most influential authors of our time. Having a total of 11 novels published, The Bluest Eye is Morrison’s first novel and stands out as a good introduction to her writing. It follows a variety of characters, but primarily focuses on a young black girl named Pecola, whose desire for blue eyes and an escape from her difficult life drives the plot. The book is full of important symbols and relevant subject matter, giving the reader plenty to think about and analyze over the summer.

 

    3. Handmaid’s Tale

 

A classic option, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale depicts a dystopian future governed by a strict theocracy. The book follows a woman forced to participate in a reproductive program in which all of her freedoms are restricted. The book is rich in commentary on a range of subjects from religion, to women, to politics. Compelling both for English class and everyday life, this book is  a must read. Through creating a truly horrifying society, Atwoods dismal interpretation of the future of our world makes this text all the more interesting. And in light of all of the modern discourse surrounding reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, this book remains politically relevant and overall a compelling and worthwhile text to read and study.

 

   4. The Help

 

Kathyrn Stockett’s The Help has become one of the most popular movies on Netflix, but the book is a literary hallmark, offering a great option for summer reading. The book tells the story of several black maids and the white women they work for in the 1960’s American south by following a young white woman attempting to write a book exposing the mistreatment of many black women under their white employers. With a straightforward and compelling storyline, The Help is a book that provides an interesting perspective into this time period. This story is both an interesting read and remains relevant to many political discussions still happening today. It’s interesting storyline and writing make it a great choice for summer reading

 

    5. Brave New World 

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a dystopian novel detailing the broad impact of a disconnected human society. In this world, children are made in factories, they are not born by any natural means but rather grown in a lab. This text offers a grueling picture of a world overrun with epicurean desires. As one of the first Dystopian novels ever published, it provides excellent building blocks for other required novels like Animal Farm and 1984, both of which are required in later curriculums. Overall, this book is well worth the read for both its interesting perspective and position within the canon of dystopian stories.

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About the Contributor
Selah DeVore
Selah DeVore, Copy Editor
Selah DeVore is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the copy editor for the Spartan Shield. At PV, Selah is very involved with the theater department both on and offstage, most recently serving as the co-director for the 2024 childrens show. Outside of journalism, Selah passionately loves reading, overthinking, and gossiping with friends, but often finds herself cramming for a last minute anatomy test or chauffeuring her friends and siblings all over creation. Selah works as the props program aid for Davenport Junior Theater where she enjoys burning her fingers with hot glue and listening to audiobooks. After graduation, Selah plans to pursue a career in the medical field and hopes to become a physical therapist.

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