Dear Bruins, Parents, and Guardians,

We are very excited to announce that the Summer Reading program, sponsored by the English Department at Padua Franciscan High School, has been redesigned for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Our new format has been created with the goal of offering students the opportunity to read a wider variety of literary works in the hopes of encouraging a lifelong interest in reading and in helping to create more globally aware, diverse readers.  Furthermore, this new approach will allow for collaboration and interaction with a wider scope of the Padua community, thereby fostering a love of literature within our common Franciscan tradition.

To cultivate our Franciscan charism of creating students who are Happy, Healthy, Holy, and Highly Prepared, we have selected books within a variety of genres and which feature an assortment of topics.  The selections on this list were gathered from members of the Padua Franciscan reading community, including faculty, staff, and administration.

Attached to this letter is a comprehensive list of all offerings for the 2019 summer break.  Students will have the opportunity to select their top-five choices through an online portal beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14.  The online form will remain open until Wednesday, May 15.  Students will be responsible for selecting and signing up to read their chosen book at this time.  Since each book will cap at a maximum number of readers, book selection will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Once online book selection is complete, students will receive an email confirming their assigned choice.  When we return to school in August, a date will be set aside for students to engage in breakout discussions and activities planned for each novel, led by the faculty, administrator, or staff member whose book they chose.  Students will then be given a formal assessment in their English classes to finalize the Summer Reading experience.

Through this new approach, we hope to engage student interest, encourage critical thinking, and challenge our students as readers.  The scope of offered texts most definitely presents something for everyone, and students are encouraged to explore their myriad interests through this program.  As such, some titles on the list may contain sensitive material and deal with more mature themes than some students may have encountered in their previous readings.  Students and parents should carefully discern which book is most appropriate for the student’s intellectual and maturity level; however, the target audience of all the selected literature is young adults, and the reading discussions and activities will be guided by caring and compassionate leaders who will help readers explore the literary value in each of the selections through our shared Franciscan lens.  Students and parents are encouraged to find more information about all of the novels before selecting choices.  Additionally, we strongly encourage students and parents or guardians to discuss the content, themes, and overall inherent literary value of the selected novels together. 

Please take the time to carefully consider the offered selections for your enjoyment.  All assigned novels will be confirmed for students before we leave for summer break.  In the event that students wish to change their novel after the deadline, they may appeal their selection to their 2018-2019 English teacher, who will take the request under advisement.  A new novel, chosen from the remaining novels available, may be selected in such cases.  Any requests for changes must be submitted in writing before July 15, 2019.  No changes will be honored after this date, and should the student fail to complete his or her summer reading assignment, deductions will be applied to the student’s first quarter English grade. 

We thank you in advance for your enthusiastic support of the Bruins Big Read! 

The Padua Franciscan English Department