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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 the list of twelve titles below.* Most of these titles are available in Sora in ebook or audio format.
For the "choice" book, students will complete a response 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.
Some students will have additional summer assignments; these can be found on the portal.
* Please note that students in all levels of U.S. History should choose Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire, as that is one of their summer assignments.
Reading by Form (grade year)
Each student must read the selection for their form year; of course you might enjoy reading 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: Red Birds by
Call Number: PR6108.A55 R43 2019
Publication Date: 2019-05-14
An American pilot crash lands in the desert and finds himself on the outskirts of the very camp he was supposed to bomb. After days spent wandering and hallucinating from dehydration, Major Ellie is rescued by one of the camp's residents, a teenager named Momo, whose entrepreneurial money-making schemes are failing as his family is falling apart: His older brother, Ali, left for his first day of work at an American base and never returned; his parents are at each other's throats; hisdog, Mutt, is having a very bad day; and an earthy-crunchy aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Amidst the madness, Momo sets out to search for his brother Ali, hoping his new Western acquaintances might be able to help find him. But as the truth of Ali's whereabouts begin to unfold, the effects of American "aid" on this war-torn country are revealed to be increasingly pernicious. Written with his trademark wit and keen eye for absurdity, and revealing critical truths about the state of the world today,Red Birds shows master storyteller Mohammed Hanif at the height of his powers.
Fifth Form: Truth and Bright Water by
Call Number: PR9199.3.K4422 T78 2000
Publication Date: 2001-09-12
Thomas King is a writer of lyrical, comic poignancy, and a best-selling author in Canada. Of his latest novel, Newsday wrote, "Thomas King has quietly and gorgeously done it again." Truth and Bright Water tells of a summer in the life of Tecumseh and Lum, young Native-American cousins coming of age in the Montana town of Truth, and the Bright Water Reserve across the river in Alberta. It opens with a mysterious woman with a suitcase, throwing things into the river -- then jumping in herself. Tecumseh and Lum go to help, but she and her truck have disappeared. Other mysteries puzzle Tecumseh: whether his mom will take his dad back; if his rolling-stone aunt is home to stay; why no one protects Lum from his father's rages. Then Tecumseh gets a job helping an artist -- Bright Water's most famous son -- with the project of a lifetime. As Truth and Bright Water prepare for the Indian Days festival, their secrets come together in a climax of tragedy, reconciliation, and love.
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 Choices - Pick One
When you've finished your chosen book, please complete this form which will be shared with teachers, coaches, and dorm parents.
Call Number: GV994 .A43 A43 2009
Publication Date: 2009-11-09
From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations--Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer--Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one. In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi's game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.
Black Ice by
Call Number: F44.C7 C35 1992
Publication Date: 1992-02-04
In 1972 Lorene Cary, a bright, ambitious black teenager from Philadelphia, was transplanted into the formerly all-white, all-male environs of the elite St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, where she became a scholarship student in a "boot camp" for future American leaders.nbsp;nbsp;Like any good student, she was determined to succeed.nbsp;nbsp;But Cary was also determined to succeed without selling out.nbsp;nbsp;This wonderfully frank and perceptive memoir describes the perils and ambiguities of that double role, in which failing calculus and winning a student election could both be interpreted as betrayals of one's skin.nbsp;nbsp;Black Ice is also a universally recognizable document of a woman's adolescence; it is, as Houston Baker says, "a journey into selfhood that resonates with sober reflection, intellignet passion, and joyous love."
All You Can Ever Know by
Call Number: HV874.82.C48 A3 2018
Publication Date: 2018-10-02
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER This beloved memoir "is an extraordinary, honest, nuanced and compassionate look at adoption, race in America and families in general" (Jasmine Guillory, Code Switch, NPR) What does it means to lose your roots--within your culture, within your family--and what happens when you find them? Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up--facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn't see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from--she wondered if the story she'd been told was the whole truth. With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets--vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
A Most Beautiful Thing by
Call Number: GV790.92.C67 A3 2020
Publication Date: 2020-06-30
Now a documentary narrated by Common, produced by Grant Hill, Dwyane Wade, and 9th Wonder, from filmmaker Mary Mazzio The moving true story of a group of young men growing up on Chicago's West side who form the first all-black high school rowing team in the nation, and in doing so not only transform a sport, but their lives. Growing up on Chicago's Westside in the 90's, Arshay Cooper knows the harder side of life. The street corners are full of gangs, the hallways of his apartment complex are haunted by drug addicts he calls "zombies" with strung out arms, clutching at him as he passes by. His mother is a recovering addict, and his three siblings all sleep in a one room apartment, a small infantry against the war zone on the street below. Arshay keeps to himself, preferring to write poetry about the girl he has a crush on, and spends his school days in the home-ec kitchen dreaming of becoming a chef. And then one day as he's walking out of school he notices a boat in the school lunchroom, and a poster that reads "Join the Crew Team". Having no idea what the sport of crew is, Arshay decides to take a chance. This decision to join is one that will forever change his life, and those of his fellow teammates. As Arshay and his teammates begin to come together to learn how to row--many never having been in water before--the sport takes them from the mean streets of Chicago, to the hallowed halls of the Ivy League. But Arshay and his teammates face adversity at every turn, from racism, gang violence, and a sport that has neverseen anyone like them before. A Most Beautiful Thing is the inspiring true story about the most unlikely band of brothers that form a family, and forever change a sport and their lives for the better.
Call Number: PS3553.R48 Z476
Publication Date: 2014-03-11
From the bestselling author of Jurassic Park,Timeline, and Sphere comes a deeply personal memoir full of fascinating adventures as he travels everywhere from the Mayan pyramids to Kilimanjaro. Fueled by a powerful curiosity--and by a need to see, feel, and hear, firsthand and close-up--Michael Crichton's journeys have carried him into worlds diverse and compelling--swimming with mud sharks in Tahiti, tracking wild animals through the jungle of Rwanda. This is a record of those travels--an exhilarating quest across the familiar and exotic frontiers of the outer world, a determined odyssey into the unfathomable, spiritual depths of the inner world. It is an adventure of risk and rejuvenation, terror and wonder, as exciting as Michael Crichton's many masterful and widely heralded works of fiction.
Waiting for Snow in Havana by
Call Number: E184.C97 E37 2004
Publication Date: 2004-01-13
"Have mercy on me, Lord, I am Cuban." In 1962, Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Havana--exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood by Fidel Castro's revolution. Winner of the National Book Award, this stunning memoir is a vibrant and evocative look at Latin America from a child's unforgettable experience. Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an exorcism and an ode to a paradise lost. For the Cuba of Carlos's youth--with its lizards and turquoise seas and sun-drenched siestas--becomes an island of condemnation once a cigar-smoking guerrilla named Fidel Castro ousts President Batista on January 1, 1959. Suddenly the music in the streets sounds like gunfire. Christmas is made illegal, political dissent leads to imprisonment, and too many of Carlos's friends are leaving Cuba for a place as far away and unthinkable as the United States. Carlos will end up there, too, and fulfill his mother's dreams by becoming a modern American man--even if his soul remains in the country he left behind. Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is a eulogy for a native land and a loving testament to the collective spirit of Cubans everywhere.
Autobiography of a Face by
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
ANew York TimesNotable Book "This is a young woman's first book, the story of her own life, and both book and life are unforgettable." --New York Times "Engaging and engrossing, a story of grace as well as cruelty, and a demonstration of [Grealy's] own wit and style and class."--Washington Post Book World This powerful memoir is about the premium we put on beauty and on a woman's face in particular. It took Lucy Grealy twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance after childhood cancer and surgery that left her jaw disfigured. As a young girl, she absorbed the searing pain of peer rejection and the paralyzing fear of never being loved.
The Reason I Jump by
Publication Date: 2016-03-22
"One of the most remarkable books I've ever read. It's truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid."--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show .You've never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: "Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?" "Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?" "Why don't you make eye contact when you're talking?" and "What's the reason you jump?" (Naoki's answer: "When I'm jumping, it's as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.") With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights--into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory--are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again. "Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies."--The Boston Globe
Farewell to Manzanar by
Call Number: E184.J3 H63 2002
Publication Date: 2017-07-11
During World War II a community called Manzanar was created in the high mountain desert country of California. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese Americans. Among them was the Wakatsuki family, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, who was seven years old when she arrived at Manzanar in 1942, recalls life in the camp through the eyes of the child she was. First published in 1973, this new edition of the classic memoir of a devastating Japanese American experience includes an inspiring afterword by the authors.
Publication Date: 2018-11-13
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
When I Was Puerto Rican by
Call Number: F128.9.P85 S27 2006
Publication Date: 2006-02-28
One of "The Best Memoirs of a Generation" (Oprah's Book Club): a young woman's journey from the mango groves and barrios of Puerto Rico to Brooklyn, and eventually on to Harvard In a childhood full of tropical beauty and domestic strife, poverty and tenderness, Esmeralda Santiago learned the proper way to eat a guava, the sound of tree frogs, the taste of morcilla, and the formula for ushering a dead baby's soul to heaven. But when her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven, soon to be eleven children, Esmeralda, the oldest, must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually a new identity. In the first of her three acclaimed memoirs, Esmeralda brilliantly recreates her tremendous journey from the idyllic landscape and tumultuous family life of her earliest years, to translating for her mother at the welfare office, and to high honors at Harvard.
Call Number: GV942.7.W36 A3 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Lucid and wrenching...Forward puts [Wambach's] achievement in context with painful and beautiful candor." --NPR "Forward is the powerful story of an athlete who has inspired girls all over the world to believe in themselves." --Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, New York Times Bestselling author of Lean In "This is the best memoir I've read by an athlete since Andre Agassi's Open." --Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. At age seven she was put on the boys' soccer team. At age thirty-five she would become the highest goal scorer--male or female--in the history of soccer, capturing the nation's heart with her team's 2015 World Cup Championship. Called an inspiration and "badass" by President Obama, Abby has become a fierce advocate for women's rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world. As she reveals in this searching memoir, Abby's professional success often masked her inner struggle to reconcile the various parts of herself: ferocious competitor, daughter, leader, wife. With stunning candor, Abby shares her inspiring and often brutal journey from girl in Rochester, New York, to world-class athlete. Far more than a sports memoir, Forward is gripping tale of resilience and redemption--and a reminder that heroism is, above all, about embracing life's challenges with fearlessness and heart.