Summer Reading, 12 to 18 years
SUMMERTIME! -- when the living is easy, and so is the reading. But just because school lets out, it doesn't mean your verbal imagination should go on vacation. Now is the time for parents, teachers, and students to sit down and plan a summer reading program -- before the lazy, hazy days of the season scatter like sea breezes the finest of scholarly intentions. The best way to appreciate how much you have learned, while continuing to learn, is to read and enjoy a number of books you have selected. Decide right now that your list will include 10 books. Commit yourself to reading one a week until the first of September. Choose the books you've wanted to read but couldn't find time to; books that are part of your game plan for college preparation; books that just dare you to pick them up and share a thought-adventure. Great lives For starters, give serious consideration to biographies and autobiographies. The lives of great people ennoble our own. To ignore the best people we can know is to ignore our own potential for greatness.Skip to next paragraph
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Here is small list to start you thinking about the harvest of great lives to choose from:
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Ballantine), by Edmund Morris, traces the energetic life of America's 26th President from birth to his first term of office. Of special interest is the unique schooling provided by his father.
The Life and Times of Albert Einstein (Avon), by Ronald Clark, is a thorough and very readable account of Einstein's life and thinking. The book, designed for laymen, is out in a new illustrated edition whose photos make Einstein come alive.
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years & the War Years (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), by Carl Sandburg. No one appreciated a good book more than our 16th President. Sandburg shows us the heart and soul of the man who crafted the Gettysburg Address.
Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery (Christian Science Publishing Society), by Robert Peel, is the first volume of a trilogy about the New England woman who discovered and founded Christian Science as well as this newspaper.
My Early Life: A Roving Commission (Scribners), by Winston Churchill. This autobiography is still the best way to get to know the man whose words, for a time, were the only thing keeping England from despair in the face of the Nazi war machine. His difficulties with early schooling will hearten any who have never made the honor roll.
Night (Dell), by Elie Wiesel, is the autobiographical account of a young Jewish boy's ordeal in Nazi concentration camps and his greater struggle for spiritual survival.
The Life of Sam Houston (Books for Library Press, Freeport, N.Y.), by Charles Edward Lester. A fine biography of the man who was governor, president, general -- and archetype -- of the Lone Star State.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railway (Archway), by Ann Petry, shows how courage and freedom are synonymous with the life of this black woman -- a slave who ``lets her people go.'' No matter how humble one's origins, great deeds can be accomplished.
Wilma Rudolph: Run for Glory (EMC Controls Inc.), by Linda Jacobs, is about transcending limitations. Rudolph, the 17th of 19 children, overcame an early childhood paralysis to became the fastest woman alive. If you thought you wanted to take up jogging after seeing the movie ``Chariots of Fire,'' this book about a three-time Olympic gold medalist will make you want to sprint.
American Caesar (Dell), by William Manchester, does much to qualify the aura of tragic greatness that surrounds what, for many, is the most unusual personality in American military history, Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
The First Elizabeth (Summit), by Carolly Erickson, offers a lively, penetrating look at one of England's most fascinating and complex monarchs. The author's vivid style brings fresh life to the dry pages of history, making Elizabethan court intrigue as fascinating beach reading as you're likely to find. It rivals ``Dallas'' and ``Dynasty'' for sheer drama. The environment
Two seminal books of the environmental movement are Walden (Bantam), by Henry David Thoreau, and A Sand County Almanac (Ballantine), by Aldo Leopold. The former is an American classic and can be read on many levels, not the least of which is as a philosophical blueprint for what is truly conservable. The latter is by a man of science on the exquisite joys that accompany close observation of nature. Other cultures