Over the next few months, we will be revealing the titles that will become the summer reading options for the summer of 2015. Students will select one title from a list of around five novels per grade (In the subject line of the post, “Freshmen” means that the book will be read by incoming freshmen, not existing ones, etc.).
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
When Time Magazine published an article at the beginning of the 21st century, asking which contemporary author would be seen as the voice of the early 2000’s when we look back in 50 or 100 years, they gave examples of authors who really captured the feel of their era better than anyone else. Want to read the Jazz Age? Pick up F. Scott Fitzgerald. The “Me Generation” of the ’80s? Try Bright Lights, Big City. And to understand the paranoia of the Cold War and the skepticism of the Vietnam era, they pointed to Vonnegut. In this title, a fictional republic has been created in the Caribbean by the son of a scientific genius. This dictator was given a very powerful gift from his father when he died – a gift that would allow him to destroy all civilization. This novel tracks a character who wishes to seek out this dictator and write a biography about him and his family. Along the way, you’ll see Vonnegut’s madcap humor, his political edge, and his sharp satire of American politics. The pace is quick, and if you’ve never read Vonnegut, this book is a good introduction to one of America’s most distinct literary voices.