I spent Saturday making summer reading lists for several of my children, and even for Engineer Husband. Here’s the list I made for Dancer Daughter, age 17, who’s planning a “gap year” between high school and college for this next year so that she can earn some money, take a few dual credit classes, and enjoy learning on her own schedule before she tries to fit into a college framework. She’s technically completed all the credits she needs for high school graduation, but we’ve postponed the celebration until May, 2008.
1984 by George Orwell.
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Van Auken. This one is a true love story that not only tells the story of the human love of a man and a woman who were determined to have the ideal romantic relationship, but it also tells what happened when God unexpectedly entered the relationship and changed the lives and the marriage of Mr. van Auken and of his wife, Davey, forever.
Christy by Catherine Marshall. Christy is an eighteen year old innocent idealist when she goes to the mountains of Appalachia to teach school in a one-room schoolhouse. By the end of the story sheâ€™s a grown-up woman whoâ€™s experienced friendship, grief, and love.
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. I love this book about sin and forgiveness and racial reconciliation in South Africa during the apartheid era. I’m looking forward to discussing it with Dancer Daughter.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. I haven’t read this book, but DD requested some fantasy and this one sounded like the kind of thing she might enjoy.
Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson. This one is a little known classic romance set in the Amazon jungles about Rima, the bird girl, and Abel the European explorer who falls in love with her.
Homecoming and Diceyâ€™s Song by Cynthia Voigt.
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I thought Wharton’s story of Lily Bart would serve as a nice cautionary tale for a seventeen year old about misplaced priorities. “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Ecclesiastes 7:4.
In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden. An excellent story about the lives of women within a closed community of nuns. Not only does the reader get to satisfy his curiosity about how nuns live in a convent, but thereâ€™s also a a great plot related to contemporary issues such as abortion, the efficacy of prayer, and the morality of absolute obedience.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding. “Folks down on the beach might have been doctors and accountants a month ago, but it’s Lord of the Flies time, now.” —-Sawyer on LOST, the TV show.
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. Another Shakespeare at Winedale play, a rather disturbing one in my opinion.
Something by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, or Cordelia Funke. I havenâ€™t read these authors yet, but they come highly recommended in the fantasy genre.
I tried for a balance of fun and educational. I feel honored that Dancer Daughter asked me for the list to jump start her summer reading.