The community text for Suffield Academy’s 2021 Summer Reading Program is Penguin the Magpie: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family (a.k.a Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family) by Cameron Bloom. This true story focuses on the Bloom family in the aftermath of an accident that leaves their mother, Sam, paralyzed. While learning to adjust to a different way of life following this unexpected tragedy, Sam’s children come across an injured baby magpie—who they name Penguin—that needs their time and care to return her to full health. Unbeknownst to everyone, the magpie’s vivacious spirit and strength in her own recovery are what will help Sam and the boys find the courage to mirror her attitude in their own lives.
The gifts of positivity and happiness that Penguin bequeaths upon the Bloom family reflect the community theme of hope for the 2021-2022 academic year. Hope is about optimism, looking towards a goal with anticipation, and wanting something to happen that will positively impact your life. Sam and her boys needed hope in order to find a new normal after their misfortune, and she came to them in the form of a bird who showed them how to feel joy and wonder once again.
All students are required to read the community text, in addition to a second book from the summer reading list, and prepare to write about and discuss the book in a book club format over the first few weeks of the fall term. Consider as you read what you are hopeful about, what you wish for that makes your life better, and what other books from the reading list will be on your plate this summer!