One of the most important services the school can render the child is to bring him in touch with the world of books. In these the great minds of the past have expressed the insight into life which they possessed, and have done so in such as way that the manner of expression is almost as priceless a heritage as the insight itself. Great book stir the reader to a nobler and fuller life. They are the means by which society hands down to future generations whatever of good it has discovered or proved. … The better class of reading books is no longer made up of information lessons on every conceivable topic, but of selections from the realm of pure literature.
[My emphasis. Literary Readings: An Introduction to the Study of Literature. Charles Madison Curry. Rand, McNally & Company, Chicago. 1903.]
And with that, I present to you– without comment– the 2011 Summer Reading List from Jackson, Mississippi public schools. (2013’s general list for grades 6-12 was the same.) I’ve added original publication dates (in pink).