In a time when YouTube, streaming video, 24-hour news and sports coverage, and video games compete for our attention at every turn, Gilman School believes in literature’s unique ability to instill in readers the values of empathy, wonder, and intellectual stimulation. The Summer Reading program promotes reading for pleasure, hoping to establish a lifelong habit in all Gilman boys. While some books have been chosen by the faculty and administration, students also have the opportunity to make choices in line with personal interests. Combining the assigned and choice books, all students will read at least three books over the summer.
This year’s all Upper School read is Station Eleven by Elizabeth St. John Mandel. A winner of multiple book awards, long listed for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and a Finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Awards, Station Eleven “tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame and the beauty of the world as we know it.” We look forward to discussions with students on these and other themes in the book.
The Modern Language Department’s reading requirements and the books for the Elizabeth Woolsey Gilman Prize, one of Gilman’s oldest and most honored awards, are also listed below.
We believe strongly in the importance of reading. Watching film adaptations or reading online summaries, while potentially interesting supplements, cannot substitute for the experience a reader shares with a text. Students will simply be cheating themselves if they do not read the book itself. Electronic books (e-books) and audiobooks are acceptable for completing the readings.
If you have any questions regarding the summer reading program, please do not hesitate to contact any of the three of us.
Robert Heubeck Patrick Hastings Diane Fuller
Upper School Head Chair, English Department Upper School Librarian