SUMMER READING 2021

The theme of this summer’s reading selections is “a little something for everyone.” Students are required to choose one of the books below and join the corresponding book club via Google Classroom.  All clubs will meet at the beginning of July and then again just before school begins.  Be on the lookout for the specific dates once you join the Google Classroom. We will have book discussions when we return.

Students should read actively and thoughtfully and may choose to annotate their book, keep a journal while reading, or record their thoughts and reactions once they have finished.  We strongly encourage parents to consider reading along and engaging in discussions with their student(s).  Reading is always enhanced when treated as a communal experience.

ADDITIONAL READING REQUIREMENTS FOR AP/HONORS LEVEL STUDENTS
Students planning to enroll in an AP and/or Honors level class are required to join a second book club from the AP/Honors book list below.  These students must write a 2-3 page review or response (NOT a summary...) to be submitted on the first day of classes.

THE $100 READING CHALLENGE!

Besides the required all-school read, all students are encouraged to read additional books throughout the summer. By completing additional reading and reflecting on their choices in writing, students will be eligible to win a $100 cash prize. Here are the specifics: 

  • Read at least two additional books of your choice. 
  • Write 1-2 paragraphs on each of your choices, discussing what the books meant to you. 
  • Submit your work to the Academic Dean in person or via email by 8:00 pm on September 5, 2021. 
  • A winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries during our first All-School Meeting in September.

 

Contact Dr. Heather Hunt,  Academic Dean, with any questions about summer reading. 


 

BOOK CLUBS

Students and faculty should choose one

Club #1 

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

New York Times bestseller 

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

 

 

Club #2

Nature’s Best Hope: An Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy

New York Times bestseller 

Douglas W. Tallamy’s first book, Bringing Nature Home, awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives. In this new book, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Nature’s Best Hope shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats. Because this approach relies on the initiatives of private individuals, it is immune from the whims of government policy. Even more important, it’s practical, effective, and easy—you will walk away with specific suggestions you can incorporate into your own yard. If you’re concerned about doing something good for the environment, Nature’s Best Hope is the blueprint you need. By acting now, you can help preserve our precious wildlife—and the planet—for future generations.

 

 

 

Club #3

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen

New York Times bestseller 

Being a teenager is difficult even under the best conditions. When bad things happen, the challenges can be overwhelming. But tough times can turn into great times. In this book, you'll see how you too can find meaning in your life, improve your family and social relationships, and achieve your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 


ADDITIONAL READING REQUIREMENTS FOR AP/HONORS LEVEL STUDENTS

Students planning to enroll in an AP and/or Honors level class are required to join a second book club from the AP/Honors book list below.  These students must write a 2-3 page review or response (NOT a summary...) to be submitted on the first day of classes.


 

Club #4 (Honors/AP Only)

Short Stories by Edith Wharton

Described by literary critic Robert Morss Lovett as "a novelist of civilization, absorbed in the somewhat mechanical operations of civilization, absorbed in the somewhat mechanical operations of culture, preoccupied with the upper ('and inner') class," Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton (1862-1937) also wrote superbly crafted works of short fiction. The seven stories in this excellent collection demonstrate the author's ability to create memorable tales on themes of love and marriage, divorce, the experience of the artist, high society and its workings and other topics.

Gathered in this inexpensive volume, these stories provide an excellent sampling of Wharton's masterly efforts in the short story genre, a form of fiction she felt especially suited to her talents and one that enabled her to achieve a focused and intimate realism.

 

 

 

Club #5 (Honors/AP Only)

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

'The ultimate international bestseller.' New York Times

First with your head and then with your heart …

To Peekay, a seven-year-old boy who dreams of being the welterweight champion of the world, this is a piece of advice that he will carry with him throughout his life.

Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

Bryce Courtenay's classic bestseller is a story of the triumph of the human spirit – a spellbinding tale for all ages.

 

 

Club #6 (Honors/AP Only)

Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder by Kenn Kaufman

At sixteen, Kenn Kaufman dropped out of the high school where he was student council president and hit the road, hitching back and forth across America, from Alaska to Florida, Maine to Mexico. Maybe not all that unusual a thing to do in the seventies, but what Kenn was searching for was a little different: not sex, drugs, God, or even self, but birds. A report of a rare bird would send him hitching nonstop from Pacific to Atlantic and back again. When he was broke he would pick fruit or do odd jobs to earn the fifty dollars or so that would last him for weeks. His goal was to set a record - most North American species seen in a year - but along the way he began to realize that at this breakneck pace he was only looking, not seeing. What had been a game became a quest for a deeper understanding of the natural world. Kingbird Highway is a unique coming-of-age story, combining a lyrical celebration of nature with wild, and sometimes dangerous, adventures, starring a colorful cast of characters.