“One School, Many Books” turns the page on summer reading

Band director Mr. Steve Kincaid meets with the students who chose his book, Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.” (Isabella Bryant)

Prep’s annual “One School Many Books” event happened during activity period on Tuesday, September 6. Middle schoolers and upper schoolers alike clamored to the front of their respective buildings to identify the rooms they were meant to go to for the assignment. Once they were there, they presumably engaged in an in-depth, analytical discussion with the book’s patron teacher about the literature, and the teachers determined whether or not the students actually read their books. 

After the short discussion sessions, students headed to Patriot Avenue for free ice cream. 

According to Mr. Richard Younce, the coordinator of One School, Many Books, “OSMB has a couple of purposes. One of those is to add some variety to summer reading. There’s a collection of short stories, essays, science fiction, normal fiction, biographies , etc. It also lets students know that people other than English teachers read books ….you have coaches, tech people, really all sorts of teachers that aren’t directly associated with academics. It also lets students meet teachers they may not have met otherwise. The hope is that the variety of choices available will make  [students] read books that [they] will actually enjoy over the summer. Hopefully these books don’t ‘smell like school.’”

 Why do the discussions take place long after the end of summer? Well, as it turns out, the reason for this is that September 6 is National Read a Book Day. 

How are books selected? First, Mr. Younce sends out an email towards the end of the preceding school year to all of the teachers at Prep, requesting them to send him book choices. The only criteria is that the books cannot be too graphic, and preferably they won’t have a film adaptation. If they cannot think of a book, Mr. Younce may lend them a curated list of suggestions of books he has read. After all of the books are in, the OSMB list is updated and, once summer begins, Prep students choose their books from the OSMB website, providing their choice isn’t already at capacity. They then have the summer to read their books.