One of the best ways to prepare for college is to read. Reading books, blogs, magazines and news articles may contribute to SAT and ACT test scores, since reading improves comprehension and vocabulary. So, as students look ahead to taking standardized tests in the coming months, reading should be part of their test prep.
When I recently attended an admissions information session at Columbia University, prospective students were told that, as college freshmen, they would be required to read a book a week for each of their courses. Thus, getting into the habit of reading is great preparation for future college classes.
I also encourage students to read just for pleasure and enjoyment. A good book offers a chance to imagine, to learn and to escape into the world of literature. Here are some of the books the students I have worked with tell me they especially liked reading:
■ “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
■ “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer
■ “Madame Secretary” by Madeleine Albright
■ “The Catcher in the Rye” by J .D. Salinger
■ “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev
■ “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
■ “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson
■ “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown
■ “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green
■ “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
■ “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Wall
■ “The Things They Carried” by Tim O'Brien
■ "The Boys in the Boat,” by Daniel James Brown
■ “The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green
■ “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
■ “All the Light We Cannot See” Anthony Doerr
■ “Seabiscuit” by Laura Hillenbrand
■ “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick
■ “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” by Barack Obama
■ “Tracks” by Louise Erdrich
For more suggestions, visit NPR’s Book Concierge at www.npr.org./best books-2016.