The Novel: Inspiring students to read


Anna Dillon, Reporter

Junior Rebecca Kunzer is the definition of a book worm. She loves picking up a book and engaging in it whenever she can. So naturally, she took The Novel  out of interest. Not only was the class fun for her, but she was introduced to books she had never heard of by the teacher, Mrs. Tonishia LaMartina.

For some students, reading a book in their spare time is enjoyable. For others, they wouldn’t touch a book unless they had too. For either end of the spectrum and in between, there is an optional semester class to take called Novel. Although it’s not a new course, it counts as an English credit, so all types of students with varied views on reading decide to take it.

“The class was beneficial to me because she really walks her students through the books they read and suggests them books she thinks they’ll like,” Kunzer said.

There’s a strategy behind the class. For all students taking it, including the students who dislike reading, Mrs. LaMartina does her fair share of homework too. She puts thought and research into suggesting books to her students that they might find appealing on top of the books they must chose from out of her set of options for the class.

“Some students just aren’t into reading, but it doesn’t help when they have to read material they don’t care for. I try to find books for them that fit their interests,” Mrs. LaMartina said. “This way, they can feel like they are reading something because they want to and like the topic being read versus dreading it.”

All students can get the same opportunities at enjoying a book, especially when it’s up to the student to decide what book they  should read. She is striving to make the class both beneficial and fun.

In addition to this course being unique due to the independence of choosing what you read, it’s different than a run of the mill English course, so some students like senior Luke Szabolcsky just get curious and make their choice based off wanting to know what the experience in novel is like.

“I’m not really an avid reader, but I do like to read. I honestly took it because I didn’t want to take the same old English class again for the fourth year in a row,” Szabolcsky said.

Although the course isn’t your typical English class, students are still required to take tests off of what they read that ask about theme, mood, etc. The difference is there’s more of an emphasis on the reading aspect. The curriculum of the class will be changing for the next school year but specifics are unknown at this time.

Even though the class is changing, Mrs. LaMartina’s enthusiasm toward reading will not. Her passion for reading is evident; she cherishes the class and the work invested in it.

“Reading a book is like a gift. It’s a stress reliever, entertainment, and gets your brain working,” Mrs. LaMartina said.