The Green Pride

New Year, new reads

The De Soto library features several of Jennifer Sosna and Amanda Sweet's recommended books for those who set New Year's goals to read more, including

Micah Faulds

The De Soto library features several of Jennifer Sosna and Amanda Sweet's recommended books for those who set New Year's goals to read more, including "The Hate U Give," "One of Us Is Lying," "The 57 Bus" and new book additions such as "A Short History of the Girl Next Door" and Miles Morales's "Spider-Man."

Micah Faulds, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Feelings of fresh starts and renewed energy to pursue productive goals rise in many people at the start of the new year, and 2018 is no exception.

When people think of a typical New Year’s resolution, they imagine lifting weights at the gym and keeping better track of how they spend money.

One resolution that gets overlooked, however, is a commitment to read more over the course of the coming year. Some teachers at De Soto plan to do exactly that.

Library media specialist Jennifer Sosna, along with several other staff members, enjoys new reading challenges each year.

“So, Mrs. Tiffany, myself, Mrs. Fry, Mr. Bonar and Mrs. Sweet are avid readers, and so we spend a lot of time shuffling books back and forth to each other,” Sosna said. “Every year in the new year, we start a book challenge. It’s either a one book a month kind of challenge or 52 books for every week in the year book challenge. We have a list [of types of books to read]. One [type] could be ‘read a book that you read in high school’ or ‘read a children’s book’ or ‘read a book that you’re intimidated by’ーeither by volume or what the topic is.”

According to Sosna, the benefit of doing the book challenges with co-workers is the added encouragement to continue.

“We’ve done that [the challenges] in the past, and I posted a bunch of different ones on Facebook,’” Sosna said. “The book challenge is kind of a thing that we all do for ourselves to push ourselves to read.”

In the December 2017 issue, The Green Pride highlighted statistics about New Year’s resolutions, and to no surprise, many people lose stamina when pursuing new lifestyle changes. Sosna offered tips to students who may want to read more but don’t necessarily have the time to pick up a Stephen King novel.

“An audiobook would be a great choice if you don’t have time to physically sit down and read but you have time to listen to a book. I highly recommend that, because that’s what I do every morning. Over the break, I would even go into my car to listen to the audiobook,” Sosna said. “[Also], there’s a topten booklist called ‘Top Ten Books for Reluctant Readers,’ and they’re usually very short and high interest, so those are books that I would definitely push towards somebody who says, ‘I don’t have a lot of time to read.’”

English teacher Amanda Sweet agrees with Sosna’s audiobook recommendation.

“Definitely listen to audiobooks while exercising,” Sweet said. “If you’re looking for something to actually read, I would suggest looking for something in young adult literature because they don’t take a lot of time to read.”

To help any students who want to increase their reading goals, both Sweet and Sosna shared book recommendations to start off any renewed reading endeavors.

Over winter break, Sweet read the young adult novel A Short History of the Girl Next Door and the science-fiction / fantasy novel The Fifth Season, the first book in a trilogy.

“If you’re civic minded, I would definitely recommend The Hate U Give,” Sosna said. “Ready Player One would be a good sci-fi / fantasy I would choose. One of Us Is Lying is a great suspense, murder mystery, and it’s high school related. For people who like comic books, there’s a new Spider-Man by Miles Morales. [Also], The Semicolon Project is a great nonfiction.”

For students who enjoy books that are made into films, both The Hate U Give and Ready Player One are featuring movie adaptations in 2018, as well as the popular LGBTQ+ novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is being adapted into a movie under the name Love, Simon.

Anyone who enjoys reading books and discussing them with groups can join DHS’s Books-to-Movies Club. Students interested can see Sosna or Sweet for more details.

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