Summer Readings

Why High School Students Should Read This Summer

  1. There is a correlation between leisure reading habits and academic         achievement
  2. A good book, whether on your  IPad, Kindle or a paperback, offers    you a chance to imagine, to learn, and to escape into other cultures,  times and settings.
  3. Reading improves your comprehension and vocabulary and may  contribute to an improved SAT scores
  4. Reading is good preparation for future college courses where you may  be required to read a new book each week for many of your classes.

What Some Colleges Are Asking Members of their 2013 Freshman Class to read:

  • American University – Notes from No Man’s Land:American Essays, 
  • by Eula Biss
  • Brown University and Penn State University- Beautiful Souls, by Eyal Press
  • Bucknell University- Hamlet’s Blackberry, by William Powers
  • Columbia University – The Iliad, by Homer
  • Dartmouth College – Strange As This Weather Had Been, by Ann Pancake
  • Duke University – Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
  • Elon University – Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, by Conor Grennan
  • Miami University of Ohio – Reality is Broken:Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, by Jane McGonigal
  • Purdue University – No Impact Man, by Colin Beavan
  • Smith College – My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayer
  • Tulane University – The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age  of Colorblindness, by Elizabeth Alexander
  • University of Wisconsin – A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
  • Cornell University- When The Emperor Was Divine, by Julie Ostuka
  • Adelphi University – Behind The Beautiful Flowers, by Katherine Boo
  • University Of Pennsylvania – The Books of Rhymes:The Poetics of Hip Hop, by Adam Bradley

Some of the Favorite Books Suggested by CollegeGateways Students With Whom I Work:

  • Rebecca, by Daphne duMaurier- A story of suspense as the new mistress of Manderley is haunted by her predecessor
  • House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer – A winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, this book, set in Mexico, is about a strangely conceived boy and his turbulent life.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by  Harper Lee – Fifty years ago this book, set in the South during the Depression, is an  American classic about a lawyer and his family confronting a moral crisis in their segregated town.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas- A romantic adventure full of mystery and  intrigue set in France during the time of Napoleon.
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak – A  World War II novel about the influence of books and a young girl in Germany who steals and shares them with others
  • Looking for Alaska by  John Green – The realistic and humorous story of rebellious teenagers attending boarding school in Alabama
  • Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut  -The story of a science fiction writer and his strange and varied encounters with characters he finds in New York City.
  • Speak, by Laurie Halse  Anderson – A traumatic event has a devastating effect on a young girl’s  first year of high school
  • Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand – The engaging take of thoroughbred horse racing and the unlikely champion horse that because a racing legend during the Depression.
  • Things Fall Apart,  by Chinua Achebe – The moving story about how change impacts the life of a chief’s son in Nigeria.
In addition to reading, summer is a good time for rising juniors and seniors to research potential colleges:  Here are some websites you may wish to explore:  candid, but balanced student reviews  lists main scholarships available at specific colleges information on honors programs  extensive data and good information, although not on all colleges an excellent site for athletes to get information on the recruiting process and post their athletic resume and videos for review   new virtual tour site featuring 400 colleges informative, student friendly site  find out more about possible majors


Recently,  I toured James Madison University, a public institution in Harrisonburg, Virginia. With 18,000 undergraduates, 30% of whom are from out-of state JMU has strong majors in speech pathology, the performing arts, education, and a highly ranked business college.   JMU offers  DI sports teams, and lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the University. There is a very friendly and cordial atmosphere at James Madison and tremendous school spirit.
Samantha Blake, a JMU student from Amston, Connecticut told me that she has had great interactions with James Madison faculty and loves her major, which is communications.
Dakota Gagliardi, from Tolland, Connecticut, an elementary education major and member of the Honors Program states:” I LOVE JMU!  It is an incredible school with so many opportunities.   Every professor I have had has opened my eyes to new ideas and has helped me grow as a student, and a person.  I am so fortunate to be attending one of the best universities in the country.”
The acceptance rate is approximately 55% and James Madison will hold Admissions Open Houses this fall on October 19 and November 9, 2013.
I welcome soon-to-be high school juniors who are beginning to think about the college assessment and selection process to contact me at:   It is not too soon to get started on your journey toward high education.
The new version of the Common Application will be online August 1. Let’s talk about essay ideas and how to make a winning case for college admissions. Call or text me.