Bellarmine Reads 2018

The Bellarmine English Department requests that during the summer months our students stay active as readers. In an effort to encourage our whole school community to engage together in the joy of reading, reflection, and discussion, we are asking all students, grades 9-12, to read one new book each summer. The book title will change from year to year, so students will have the opportunity to read and discuss four different books with the entire school community during their four years at Bellarmine.

Our Bellarmine Reads title for the summer of 2018 is A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. This year marks the 50th anniversary since first publication of this “award-winning, introspective fantasy novel”—the first of six in a collection known as the Earthsea Cycle. The story “follows the early life of a boy from a remote village whose magical powers, intelligence, and determination get him accepted to wizard school where his pride plunges him into darkness and he must journey far to face his demon.” Le Guin, a celebrated Northwest author who died earlier this year, published her first novel at the age of 37, and “went on to win numerous distinguished awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy awards (each more than once), as well as the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the Library of Congress’s Living Legend Award.” 

In addition to the Bellarmine Reads title, students enrolled in an AP English class will be expected to do some additional reading:

AP LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION: Dead Man Walking, Sr. Helen Prejean.  Please read carefully. You may want to keep a reading journal or to take notes on your reading. When you return to school in the fall, you will be asked to write an essay on the book. Your work on this assignment is indicative of your readiness to take a college level class.

AP LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION: Jane Eyre, Bronte; and options for extra credit – The Iliad, Homer; The Aeneid, Virgil; Moby Dick, Melville; A Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan; and The Works of Sir Thomas Malory. You will be asked to have a four-page typed journal on Jane Eyre. The journal is to be one page on the theme of hero, one on death, one on love, one on evil. What is the book saying on each of these themes? Think of figurative as well as literal interpretations of each theme. The journal is due on our second day of school. Similar journals for additional readings can be submitted for extra credit at that time.