Required Summer Reading for all Students (two books)
Each student is required to read one all-school selection (book one) and the summer reading book required for next year’s English class (book two).
Read one of these three books (click on book cover to read more)
Students will have a choice of four exciting ways to respond to the 2019 Summer Reading. Click on the icons below to learn more about each option. Students will complete and submit one response by the end of the second week of Fall Term classes. Summer work is welcome but not required. A team of faculty members will review and evaluate each response.
Students may create a 10-12 minute podcast with the theme, “Women Telling Their Stories.” It should include:
A 3-5 minute introduction that specifically references the book read and discusses the theme of “Women Telling Their Stories” as it relates to the book.
The student’s telling of a woman’s story. Students should use their own voice and, if possible, the voice of the woman interviewed. The podcast should answer these essential questions: Why this story? Why is it important to tell?
In the spirit of Mercersburg Academy’s “Inspired By” contests sponsored by the Writing Center, students may create a response that is inspired by the book. A response could be a choreographed dance, an original short story or chapbook of poems, a piece of digital art, or any other creative work. When students submit the “Inspired By” response, it should include:
A one-paragraph “Artist’s Statement” that explains the project and process and comments on its connection to the book.
The theme of social justice is at the heart of the 2019 Summer Reading selections. Students may use this as an opportunity to effect social change where they think it’s needed in the world at large or within the Mercersburg Academy community. Students may choose one of the following six ways to create an “Activist Response”:
Reach out to an Elected Official and ask for the desired change
Students will create a documentary that engages with the summer reading will explore the issues in the books in a visual way and will include various interviews and/or sound clips. Documentaries should be between 10-15 minutes long and should show a clear relationship between the text and the subject of the documentary.
Students will create a public service announcement video will be 1-2 minutes long and will include salient information about the topic of the summer reading. The PSA will include a “call to action.” When students submit their PSA, it should include a three paragraph “Director’s Statement” that addresses their process in making the PSA and how it relates to the summer reading.
The “Brown Bag Lunch” is Mercersburg Academy’s Student Speaker Series. Students deliver presentations to the school community on topics of choice during a scheduled lunch/Help period. Student will work with Trini Hoffman to complete a proposal for an activist-themed “Brown Bag Lunch” and to prepare a slide-show presentation.
Students proposing a policy change should fill out this form, attach a list of signatures in support of the policy change (at least 25 student signatures and 1 faculty signature), attach a well written argument explaining the purpose of the policy change and how it will benefit the school community, and submit the form, list of signatures, and argument to the President of the Student Council. Title the argument: “Rationale for Change.” Students proposing the change must be willing to attend meetings regarding the proposed change.
When you return to school, you will sign an honor pledge stating that you read the five designated books. You will also participate in a seminar led by the faculty member who sponsored your chosen book.
Any student who completes the challenge will receive an “I Took the Summer Reading Challenge” shirt that entitles the wearer to a jeans day on a designated date during the fall term. In addition, we will sponsor a Summer Reading Challenge event based on how many students take the Challenge. If 25 students take the Challenge we will sponsor an ice cream party. If 50 students take the Challenge, we will sponsor a trip to the movies. And, if 100 students take the Challenge, we will sponsor a trip to Hersheypark.
If you have questions about Summer Reading, emailAlexandra Patterson, director of library services.
Will you take the Summer Reading Challenge?
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173