ILS Summer Reading Lists & Recommendations

Summer! How do you plan to spend your summer months? We know that for many students and their families, summer includes vacations, trips to the pool, spending time with family, summer camps, hitting the beach, playing outdoors, and a variety of other activities.

We also hope that reading will be a regular part of the summer routine and summer schole for both students and their families. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies, read individually or out loud together should inspire and fuel a sense of wonder and curiosity for both students and adults.

We asked our faculty if they would mind sharing what books are on their own personal summer reading lists and any recommendations they have for students or families to perhaps give you some ideas to consider as you think about what you may enjoy reading this summer.

Additionally, our ILS teachers have compiled a list of suggested readings for both Upper and Lower School students as a resource for families to help select books that students may enjoy, both reading books from their own grade level, or listening as parents read aloud from more challenging texts. Check out our blog post from last summer where teachers shared some of their own favorites from this list!

What is on your own summer reading list? Are you checking out something new, or re-visiting an old favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Here’s a list of books I’m hoping to read this summer:
Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Victor Davis Hanson)
To Change the Church (Ross Douthat)
Suicide of the West (Jonah Goldberg)
Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (Condoleeza Rice)

Some great books I recently read:
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked (Adam Alter)
Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Anthony Esolen)
Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Struggle for the Soul of Civilization (Os Guinness)

And because I always need to laugh, I am almost always rereading something by P.G. Wodehouse, whose comic tales of love, butlers, and English gentlemen lighten my spirit.
— Pastor Christopher Esget, ILS Superintendent

Books I’m reading (or rereading) this summer:

The Lives of the Artists (Giorgio Vasari)
Beauty and Catechesis (Gavin Mize)
The Read-Aloud Family (Sarah Mackenzie)
Good to Great (Jim Collins)
— Ms. Julia Habrecht, Headmaster

See the Orvieto trip site for my list of summer reading!
(Readings As we consider the question, “What does Jerusalem have to do with Athens?” we will read excerpts from a variety of classical and Christian writers including Aristotle, Virgil, Tertullian, Clement, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory, Boethius and Dante. We will also read Dr. John Skillen’s book Putting Art (Back) in Its Place.)
— Ms. Katherine Kramer, Assistant Headmaster

On my summer reading list:
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas—my mom’s favorite book and a good adventure for the summer
Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman by Elizabeth Ahlman—actually a Bible study; I’m excited to delve into a very Christ-centered approach to interpreting this chapter of the Bible
Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling—a Christmas gift I have yet to break open from my brother who teaches English in China
Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal by J.K Rowling—no better way to prepare for a trip to Spain this summer than by reading the first book of my all-time favorite series en espanol

My recommendations:
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke—one of my all-time favorites and full of adventure, mystery, Venice, and just a touch of magic
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall—a hilarious and heart-warming tale about a summer vacation that will especially appeal to girls
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen—probably my favorite Austen novel (although Pride and Prejudice never gets old)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy—not a light read but a great novel and one that’s probably more enjoyable during the sunny and warm summer months than during a cold and gloomy winter
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling—I will never not recommend the entire Harry Potter series
— Miss Marie Landskroener, ILS Music Teacher

I hope to read at least one book during my busy summer -“The Gift of Failure,” by Jessica Lahey. This was recommended by a friend who works at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Part of their faculty professional development is a book club and this was one of many titles he gave me.
— Mrs. Jenny Schmick, Jr. Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

I’m planning to read The Man from the Train (by Bill James), which is a true crime novel about the solving of a series of crimes that happened 100 years ago.
— Mrs. Amanda Morrison, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

On my list:
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World (Kristen Welch)
How to Read a Book (Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren)
Rainbow Valley & Rilla of Ingleside (Books 7 & 8 of the Anne of Green Gables set by L.M. Montgomery)

And I will try and re-read either Sense & Sensibility or Mansfield Park (Jane Austen).

I also just ordered The Gift of Failure (Jessica Lahey), which I added to my list after reading Mrs. Schmick’s suggestion!
— Mrs. Whitney Work, Director of Advancement

As of now, my summer reading list includes all of the Lord of the Rings, which I will be reading for the first time! I just started the Fellowship of the Ring this morning.
— Mrs. Grace Egger, Kindergarten Teacher