Choice Given for Summer Read 2016

Every year the Morris Hills student body joins one another in reading a school wide summer read. This year, the system for summer reading has changed. There are multiple summer reading options (six to be exact) that students can choose from. The Morris Hills English Department wanted to try and do something different this year. Mrs. Toriello, the District Director of Language Arts, explained that “sometimes, choosing one book with an author who will come and do a speaking engagement is not easy.” She believes that allowing students to have a choice in the book that they want to read would engage more readers and allow students to “hear more that one voice speak on a united topic.”

The topic for this summer’s district reading is the Holocaust, a genocide that the world will never forget. According to Mrs. Toriello, reading about the Holocaust “is a wonderful educational experience. It’s an effort to create a cross-curricular experience that increases awareness of the valuable lessons that can be learned from studying history and sparks conversations about equality, human behavior, and responsible citizenship.” She hopes that this reading experience “encourages students to discuss their concerns involving peer pressure, bullying, and conformity.”

As many Morris Hills students may already know, the author of the summer read usually comes in to speak to the student body and faculty about the book. Mrs. Toriello pointed out that “we are nearing the end of a time where we as citizens will have an opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor speak.” Not only will the Morris Hills Regional School District be able to hear Holocaust survivor(s) speak, but liberators and POWS are also expected to come in on October 6th and 7th of next school year. There will also be a night program for the speakers on October 6th.

The novel choices for this summer are All But My Life, Maus I, Night, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Journal of Helene Berr, and Between Shades of Gray. Students are encouraged to read the Summary Document located on the school website about each book before picking which one they would like to read. Each novel is special in its own way and no choice is the wrong one!