Chesterton Academy students are required to read one assigned book and one essay or story of G.K. Chesterton over the summer. Study guides are available for download below. Students are expected to carefully read these assignments before the start of the year. Please bring the book and completed study guide to class on the first day of school. There will be a quiz on the summer reading assignment within the first week of the school year in literature class.
PLEASE NOTE: These assignments have been updated for the 2019-20 academic year. Please call the school office with any questions.
G.K. Chesterton Work for Summer 2018
As we celebrate 50 years since the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, all students will read “Babies and Distributism” for GKC’s angle on the question of human life.
2019-20 Academic Year
9th and 10th Grade
The Restless Flame
de Whol, Louis
This book provides a dramatized retelling of St. Augustine’s Confessions. The primary text will be read during first semester of sophomore year. By understanding the events that shaped St. Augustine’s life, students will be better prepared to appreciate Confessions, one of the greatest works of Western literature. The book follows his career from his early Christian training by his mother Monica, his disavowal of his belief for the tenets of Manichaeism when he went to Carthage to study, and his continuation in that theology as he went to Rome and later Milan. There the work and teachings of the good Bishop Ambrose and his human and healthy wisdom reveal Augustine's blindness, and he again embraces the true faith. St. Augustine’s life is a life of conversion, and he experienced many successive conversions throughout his journey to God.
11th and 2th Grade
One of the most fundamental works of modern literature, Mary Shelley’s novella is a thoughtful study of the limits of human capacity in a scientific age that was quickly casting away old revealed truths. It is a work that could not have been written in any other moment in history, and the archetype of the creature that is sentient but not created by God is one that endures into our own day. Certainly vampires, werewolves, and even aliens partake of this theme; yet so does mankind when reduced to mere materialism.
**Note: Please be sure to read the original 1818 version, not the later 1831 text.**
Click here for a free online copy.)
2020-21 Academic Year
9th and 10th Grade
Edith Hamilton’s classic retelling of all the primary Greek myths serves as a great introduction to the Greek world that is the backdrop to the freshman literature sequence. Students will learn the Greek origin myth and several memorable cautionary tales. Also, these short stories introduce the Greek gods as well as all the major Greek heroes, such as Hercules, Pericles, Theseus and Jason. This is a must-read for students to prepare for the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid and Greek dramas covered in the freshman literature curriculum.
**Note: Read Parts I-III of the Hamilton book only. Reading further actually begins to preclude the subject matter of the Iliad and Odyssey which we read during the year.**
11th and 12th Grade
The Screwtape Letters
As our juniors prepare to study moral theology, Lewis’ book will prepare their minds and hearts to better appreciate the deep impact of original sin and how the forces of darkness try to undermine joy and truth. In this book, the cunning plans of the adversary are not centered around obvious sins. Instead, the tempters focus on subtle forms of sin (e.g., vanity, pride, distraction, insincerity, forgetting God), and show how these can achieve the same effect as more obvious sins, that is, to lead us away from God. Ultimately, the tempters in this story do not care what sins are committed by their subjects - so long as they accomplish their goal of separating people from God. The case can be made that The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.
School Song & Prayer
Salve Regina, mater misericordiae:
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules, filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
In hac lacrimarum valle
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
Illos tuos misericordes oculos
Ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
Nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens! O pia!
O dulcis Virgo Maria!
– Translation –
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy toward us;
And after this, our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement! O loving!
O sweet Virgin Mary!
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for providing Chesterton Academy.
Help it to grow and flourish according to Your Holy Will.
We ask Your blessing upon the students and their families, the staff and teachers, the founders and benefactors, and all who help support Chesterton Academy with their time and talents.
May we all grow to love You more
and spread the Gospel of Life to the world.
May all praise and thanksgiving be given
to You through our efforts.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us.