Faculty Announce 2019 Summer Reading Selections

Mercersburg Academy’s 2019 summer reading selections focus on women telling their stories. Students are required to choose one of three books—Shoot Like a Girl by Mary Jennings Hegar, Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, or The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss—in addition to reading a designated book depending on their English-course enrollment for 2019–2020.
The required books for students corresponding to their specific English course include The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (entering ninth graders); Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (rising 10th graders); Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (rising 11th graders); The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (students enrolled in AP English Literature), and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (rising 12th graders and postgraduates).

“This year we are flipping the script on how students respond to summer reading and opening up the range of opportunities,” said Alexandra Patterson, director of library services at Mercersburg. “We hope that this will allow students to show their engagement with the texts in more authentic ways."

Students will have a choice of four different ways to respond to the 2019 summer reading: podcasts, essays, activism, or an “Inspired by” response (where students can choreograph a dance, write an original short story or chapbook of poems, create a piece of digital art, or produce another type of creative work). Students will complete and submit one response by the end of the second week of fall term classes, and responses will be reviewed by a team of faculty members.

Students and faculty are also invited to take the Summer Reading Challenge, which requires participants to complete the above readings, plus a fiction book of one’s choice, a nonfiction book of one’s choice, and one of the following books sponsored by a faculty member:
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama (sponsored by Michele Poacelli)
  • Sweat by Lynn Nottage (sponsored by Kelly Dowling)
  • Miracle Workers by Simon Rich (sponsored by Will Whitmore)
  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett (sponsored by Alexandra Patterson)
  • Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (sponsored by Betsy Potash)
  • The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution by Michael Kaufman (sponsored by Quentin McDowell and Zach Swope)
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (sponsored by Katie Titus)
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (sponsored by Kelsey Steiner)
  • America: Vol 1 The Life and Times of America Chavez by Gabby Rivera (sponsored by Matt Maurer)
“With next school year being the anniversary of 50 years of gender integration at Mercersburg Academy and our broad school-wide theme being diversity, equity, and inclusion, this summer’s reading selections explore the idea of women finding their voice and the fight for gender equality,” said Julia Stojak Maurer ’90, assistant head of school for academic affairs. “We encourage all students to read widely this summer and take the Summer Reading Challenge!”

Visit the Summer Reading Page for more information and to see a video about 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