The student news of Weston High School

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From The Lorax to the Horatio Hornblower Series

What Weston High School students read during the summer


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At the end of the school year, Weston High School students found themselves with an abundance of free time. Many of them chose to spend their newfound free time reading, although one senior admits that he did not read at all during the summer. (He reveals that the last book he read was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible last year—which is required reading for all Juniors taking AP Lan-
guage and Composition; the last book he read before that was Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid in third grade.)

Sophomore Catrin Zharry’s favorite book was Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher’s The Future of Us. Although Asher may be better known for his popular young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why—the poignant story of the thirteen reasons why Hannah Baker is driven to suicide—Zharry emphasizes that The Future of Us is “amazing as well.” The novel, set in 1996, tells the story of best friends and Emma and Josh who gain access to Facebook—before its invention. Zharry particularly admires the “interesting concept” behind the novel, as well as the “end takeaway” of it.

Senior Cassie Kelly’s favorite book was Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. The book chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax. Dr. Suess’s goal when writing it was to make a story addressing economic and environmental issues in an interesting manner. His personal favorite book, he explained that it “came out of me being angry. In The Lorax I was out to attack what I think are evil things and let the chips fall where they might.” The Lorax was so popular that it was adapted as an animated musical television special in 1972, and Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment created a film adaptation. (Released on March 2, 2012, the film coincided with Dr. Seuss’s would-be 108th birthday.) Kelly explains that she enjoyed the book because it has a “good message and a clear plot.”

Senior Haley D’Alessio’s favorite book was Emma Donoghue’s Room. The novel takes its title from the small room in which five-year-old Jack and his mother are held captive. The story is in fact based off of the Fritzl case. The case emerged in April 2008, when Austrian Elisabeth Fritzl told police that her father confined her and four of her children (one of whom dying just days after birth) behind eight locked doors in a hidden corridor in his basement for 24 years.

The novel examines the different perspectives of the mother and Jack. Jack, the narrator, has only ever known the room; therefore, he is happy living in the small room. But his mother, who knows of the outside world, despairs her confinement in the ten by ten foot room. The novel also examines Jack’s fear and confusion of the outside world when he finally escapes the small room.

Senior Grace Low’s favorite book was Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch: A Novel. The novel, a Bildungsroman (coming-of-age-story), tells the story of Theodore Decker. At only 13 years old, he survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum. Tragically, his mother dies in the same bombing. He takes with him out of the museum the world-famous painting The Goldfinch. This painting sustains him through the many hardships he experiences, such as his killing of a gangster in self-defense. He eventually returns the painting—for a huge reward—and reconciles with the people he has wronged. Low particularly praises both the novel’s “intriguing storyline” and its “poignant writing.”

Junior Ashley Aron’s favorite was the Horatio Hornblower series. Aron explains that she began reading it while studying the French Revolution in school because she “fell in love” with the television series and wanted to read the accompanying books. She praises the series for being both “unique and educational.” For example, she initially struggled with the series on account of the abundance of nautical terminology that she did not know—but she now knows a lot about the British navy during the 19th century. In addition to this, she has absolutely “fallen in love with the characters.” Aron emphasizes that “It’s a really rewarding book series with a lot of action as long as you are patient enough to read the detailed description in each chapter!”

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The student news of Weston High School
From The Lorax to the Horatio Hornblower Series