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Every student is required to read at least two books this summer: one assigned by form, which will be taught in English class at the start of the fall term, and one selection from a list of eight titles. For the "choice" book, students need to complete this form by the end of August stating which title they read and answering a few questions. The responses will be shared with all teachers, coaches and dorm parents before we return to school.
Reading by form
Each student must read the selection for their form; of course you might enjoy some of the other selections as well!
Third Form: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by
Call Number: PZ7 .H1165 Cu 2003
Publication Date: 2003-07-31
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind. And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.
Fourth Form: The Marrow Thieves by
Call Number: Dimaline
Publication Date: 2017-09-01
Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden--but what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.
Fifth Form: The Leavers by
Call Number: PS3611.O135 L43 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
Lisa Ko's powerful debut, The Leavers, is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice. One morning, Deming Guo's mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon--and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he's ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents' desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind. Told from the perspective of both Daniel--as he grows into a directionless young man--and Polly, Ko's novel gives us one of fiction's most singular mothers. Loving and selfish, determined and frightened, Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging.
Sixth Form: Born a Crime by
Call Number: PN2287.N557 A3 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.
All school reading selections - pick one
When you've finished your chosen book complete this form which will be shared with teachers, coaches, and dorm parents.
Season of Life: A football star, a boy, a journey to manhood by
Call Number: GV939.E45 M37 2004
Publication Date: 2004-09-01
The bestselling inspirational book in which the author reunites with a childhood football hero, now a minister and coach, and witnesses a revelatory demonstration of the true meaning of manhood. Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL football star and volunteer coach for the Gilman high school football team, teaches his players the keys to successful defense: penetrate, pursue, punish, love. Love? A former captain of the Baltimore Colts and now an ordained minister, Ehrmann is serious about the game of football but even more serious about the purpose of life. Season of Life is his inspirational story as told by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jeffrey Marx, who was a ballboy for the Colts when he first met Ehrmann. Ehrmann now devotes his life to teaching young men a whole new meaning of masculinity. He teaches the boys at Gilman the precepts of his Building Men for Others program: Being a man means emphasizing relationships and having a cause bigger than yourself. It means accepting responsibility and leading courageously. It means that empathy, integrity, and living a life of service to others are more important than points on a scoreboard. Decades after he first met Ehrmann, Jeffrey Marx renewed their friendship and watched his childhood hero putting his principles into action. While chronicling a season with the Gilman Greyhounds, Marx witnessed the most extraordinary sports program he'd ever seen, where players say "I love you" to each other and coaches profess their love for their players. Off the field Marx sat with Ehrmann and absorbed life lessons that led him to reexamine his own unresolved relationship with his father. Season of Life is a book about what it means to be a man of substance and impact. It is a moving story that will resonate with athletes, coaches, parents--anyone struggling to make the right choices in life.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by
Call Number: RC265.6 .L24S55 2010
Publication Date: 2010-02-02
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family--past and present--is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
The 57 Bus by
Call Number: Slater (Young Adult Collection)
Publication Date: 2017-10-17
One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.
Think Like a Freak by
Call Number: BF449 .L47 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-12
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally--to think, that is, like a Freak. Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you'll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they're from Nigeria. Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak: First, put away your moral compass--because it's hard to see a problem clearly if you've already decided what to do about it. Learn to say "I don't know"--for until you can admit what you don't yet know, it's virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Think like a child--because you'll come up with better ideas and ask better questions. Take a master class in incentives--because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. Learn to persuade people who don't want to be persuaded--because being right is rarely enough to carry the day. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting--because you can't solve tomorrow's problem if you aren't willing to abandon today's dud. Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing--and so much fun to read.
All American Boys by
Call Number: Reynolds (YA Collection)
Publication Date: 2017-08-29
In this New York Times bestselling novel, two teens--one black, one white--grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. A bag of chips. That's all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad's pleadings that he's stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad's resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad's every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement? There were witnesses: Quinn Collins--a varsity basketball player and Rashad's classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan--and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team--half of whom are Rashad's best friends--start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before. Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this four-starred reviewed tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken directly from today's headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth. A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature.
Salt to the Sea by
Call Number: Young Adult Collection
Publication Date: 2016-02-02
World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by
Call Number: PS3619.L6278 M77 2012
Publication Date: 2012-10-02
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life--mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that's rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.
The Sun Is Also a Star by
Call Number: Young Adult Collection
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
The dazzling new novel from Nicola Yoon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything (in theaters May 2017!), will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other! Natasha: I'm a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I'm definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won't be my story. Daniel: I've always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store--for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? *** A 2016 National Book Award Finalist A New York Times Notable Book A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year A POPSUGAR Best Book of the Year A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year "An exhilarating, hopeful novel exploring identity, family, the love of science and the science of love, dark matter and interconnectedness--is about seeing and being seen and the possibility of love... and it shines." --Shelf Awareness, starred review