Summer Entry

“Read a book!” – Handy the Puppet

Books allow you insights into the darker, shadowy parts of the known world. Books inspire questions and connections to other people that you might not know, yet. If you read a book, you can’t help but be smarter than before you read it. Being smarter means you can establish talking points with any other observant person who thinks and wants to learn more about the details of life.

Stuck on what to read this summer? (Warning: A recommendation!)

I read The Long Walk by Stephen King early this summer and could not put it down. The story was written 20- 30 years ago and takes place in an American dystopian future. 100 American teenagers and young adults volunteer for the annual contest to walk until they drop. The winner receives anything they desire.

The author writes from the perspective of one of the contestants and his relationship with the other walkers, life, and death. Despite the tense and mortal consequences of the situation, the reader is forced to examine their own will, determination and drive to finish both physical and intellectual challenges. Are our own Long Walks the daily challenges we face to complete a task? An assignment? A marking period grade? A semester grade? Finishing high school? Going to college? Should we value the rigors of the journey, rather than the prize at the end? Excellent survival and purpose metaphors to think about.

If you like gruesome and bloody page turners, I would also recommend other short stories by Stephen King: Night Shift and Skeleton Crew are just a few places to start. If you want to make a commitment to a novel, then pick up the vampire infestation story, Salem’s Lot.

Are you reading anything this summer? Would you like to share? Feel free to comment or email gramercytimes@gramercyhs.org

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