A Summer's Reading by Bernard Malamud

Summary: A Summers Reading is about a young man; George Stoyonovich, feels like people do not respect him in his neighborhood because he does not have a job and has not finished school. George feels like school was a waste of time because it did not teach about important aspects of life. Then George runs into a man that he respects, George exaggerates the reading he has done and soon people find out. George begins to feel respected in the neighborhood after people find out he reads.


George Stoyonovich - Young man that does not work or go to school; he tells everyone he is going to read 100 books in the summer

Mr. Cattanzara - Man George respects; he reads all the time

Sophie Stoyonovich - George's sister; she works hard but doesn't make much money

Section One:

  • George is a high school drop out
  • George cannot find a job so he stays at home; his sister ask if he reads any worthwhile books ( implying he should do something that has substance)
  • George Starts to take walks at night when it is cooler; One night he talks to Mr. Cattanzara
  • George tells Mr. Cattanzara that he is going to read 100 books over the summer because he is embarrassed of just walking and reading is worthwhile; Mr Cattanzara says he would like to talk to George about the books he reads when he finishes them
  • George starts to feel like the neighborhood people are treating him better; he believes it is because Mr. Cattanzara told them about his reading
  • George does not read any books now that he is feeling better about himself; but avoid Mr. Cattanzara whenever he can because of guilt
  • Sohpie begins to give George some more money because she is proud of him
  • George runs into Mr. Cattanzara when he is drunk; Mr Cattanzara ask about the books knowing that George has not read any of them; Mr Cattanzara tells calls George "Georgie" and then tells George he is still just a boy; Mr. Cattanzara tells George not to be like him.
  • George feels guilty and hides in his room; his sister starts to suspect he is not reading; tells him he is not worth her hard earned money
  • George finds out the neighbors think he read all the books; He believes Mr. Cattanzara started the rumor
  • George goes to the library, counts off 100 books and starts to read in the fall.

Other Notes:

  • Sophie is the hard working sister that rewards George for using his brain to better himself
  • George prefers reading magazines and newspapers because they are not made up stories
  • George wants to eventually have money; he feels it is the way to be repected.

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