‘Great Gypsy’ or ‘Great Gatsby’? N.Y. school reading list gets an F


One Long Island, N.Y., school district suggests its students read “The Great Gypsy” this summer, along with classics by George Ornell and Emily Bonte.

Except that book is “The Great Gatsby,” and those authors, of course, are George Orwell and Emily Bronte -- a few examples of more than 30 spelling errors found on a summer reading list from the Hempstead Union Free School District.

The list also misspells the names of David McCullough, Louis Sachar and Frederick Douglass. The title of Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones” appears as “The Lovely Bone.” One section mentions the “Eleventh and Twelve” grades.


Mistakes appear in the district’s summer reading list every year, a staff member at the Hempstead Public Library told the Los Angeles Times, but this was the worst local librarians have seen.

“The mentality is, that’s just Hempstead being Hempstead,” said the staffer, who declined to give her name. “That’s what’s acceptable.”

The library emailed the district in June after receiving a copy of the reading list, pointing out the mistakes, but got no response, according to the librarian, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal at work.

Hempstead Supt. Susan Johnson did not immediately return a request for comment.


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