It’s time to grab the dusty books off your shelf and settle down in a comfy chair because March is Reading Month

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty.  It should be offered to them as a precious gift.” —Kate DiCamillo

 It’s that time of year again. The time when your younger siblings return home from school with a calendar to keep track of how much time they spend reading. While some high schoolers who remember this task are glad to be rid of it at the end of the month, others find great enthusiasm in settling in with a copy of their favorite book.

“I just finished ‘Divergent.’” sophomore Kallie Glasgow-Letourneau said. “It was so good. I freaked out when Tris and Four (SPOILERS).”

While books such as “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling are sure to please, Literature teachers have their own recommendations and activities to make reading fun again for most high schoolers.

Sarah Anderson, who teaches Lit and Comp 2 and 4 College Prep, recommends titles such as “The Fault in our Stars”, by John Green, “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “I am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak and “Reality Boy” by A.S. King.

“There are a lot of factors that I base my recommendations on,” Andersen said, “It really depends on the student, their interests, and sometimes even their grade, but the books I mentioned before are some of the more popular titles that my students are reading.”

For March, she is having her students attach covers of the books they’ve read this year on their locker doors. The term she’s created for this activity is “Literacy Lockers”. students put book covers on lockers this school year get conversations going

“We’re trying to create more independent readers,” Andersen said, “That way they won’t have to rely on me or Mrs. Hodges to get recommendations. It’s going to be somewhat of a conversation starter. Other classes that are doing it are putting up covers of books they like or recommend. Reading should be something to be excited about and we’re trying to help our students find a love for reading.”

Rachel Hodges, who oversees courses such as online Music Theory, online Interactive Game Design and Media Services has no recommendations for any specific books.

“You should be able to read anything that interests you,” Hodges said. “Whatever you prefer, you should read it, as long as it’s school appropriate.”

For March, she worked with Anderson to create the concept for the Literacy Lockers.

“Andersen had the idea behind the Literacy Lockers,” Hodges said. “She was already going to do them with her classes, but since March is Reading Month, she thought it would be good to get the staff involved.”

Brett Mead, who teaches Honors World History and Lit and Comp 2 College Prep recommends sci-fi and fantasy books such as “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.

“Over the last three or four months, my students have actually recommended books to me,” Mead said. “It’s gotten me into the Young Adult literature. My favorite author that I would recommend, though, is Robert Jordan who wrote ‘Wheel of Time’. These books are easy to move through and, because they are sci-fi and fantasy, they provide a sort of escape from reality.”

For March, he is teaming up with Andersen and Hodges and participating in the Literacy Lockers.

“I feel that we as a staff we embrace reading for fun,” Mead said. “You don’t usually hear about kids reading because it’s ‘fun’ or ‘cool’ at other schools.”

Roald Dahl said it best when he said, “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”