List of 3 items.

  • Students Entering Sixth Grade

    Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
    ISBN: 978-1416971719

    Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom - the very same classmates who dismiss her because she cannot communicate with them. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it - somehow. For students, this engrossing novel explores the power of language and communication.
  • Students Entering Seventh Grade

    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
    ISBN-10: 014240733X

    Set in Oklahoma in the 1960s, this classic coming-of-age novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis, a young member of a gang called the Greasers. The Greasers have a longstanding rivalry with the Socs, a gang of rich kids. Ponyboy loves his fellow Greasers, but sometimes he struggles to fit in with their tough reputation. When a run-in with the Socs goes awry, Ponyboy and his friend Johnny have to make some quick decisions to survive. This text will introduce students to the year’s theme, the “Individual and Society,” and will ask students to explore a range of topics, including the development of identity, what it means to be an “outsider,” and how individual characters both shape and are shaped by their societies. 
  • Students Entering Eighth Grade

    Please select one of the three choices below as your main summer read, and then print the short story and poem linked below. 

    Students are expected to carefully annotate as much as possible and look for similarities between the texts. When school starts, we will write a piece about the summer readings.

    A: Soldier’s Secret by Sheila Solomon Klass
    ISBN: 978-0805097399
    When the colonies went to war with the British in 1775, Deborah was intent on being part of the action. Seeing no other option, she disguised herself in a man's uniform and served in the Continental army for more than a year, her identity hidden from her fellow soldiers. Based on the real-life heroine, Deborah Sampson, this engrossing novel brings the reader into a woman’s journey in a man’s war. For students, this suspenseful text pairs well with conversations about identity, self-determination, non-linear plot structure, and thematic writing. 

    B: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
    ISBN: 978-0062570604
    Jane McKeene was born two days before the undead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. Will Jane be able to help salvage what’s left of the United States? Thrilling and terrifying, this novel is a stunning vision of America on the brink; at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet. For students, this engaging text pairs well with conversations about systemic racial oppression, classism, feminism, and how authors use setting to create mood in a story.
    C: Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac 
    ISBN: 978-0142405963
    After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years… until now. For students, this fascinating story pairs well with conversations about identity, the implications of war, and the power of communication and language.

    Short Story 
    My First Free Summer” by Julia Alvarez
    Even under the best of circumstances, leaving someone or something behind can be difficult. Familiar people and places often provide us with a sense of safety and security. In this memoir, Julia Alvarez faces the pain of leaving her homeland, even as she realizes the dangers of staying. For students, this harrowing and historical story teaches cause-and-effect relationships in a text as well as characterization. 

    We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Upper School

List of 8 items.

  • Students Entering Ninth Grade

    Pride: A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Ibi Zoboi
    ISBN: 978-0062564078

    Set in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Zoboi’s novel retells Pride & Prejudice for a modern era. In keeping with Austen’s tradition of social critique and wit, Zoboi balances issues of class, identity, and gentrification into the classic love story, providing a timely commentary for young readers. The novel follows aspiring poet Zuri Benitez as she fights to save her neighborhood, find solace in her own identity, and stay true to herself - all while balancing college apps and a blossoming love life. Zoboi’s writing switches between dialectal Englishes as Zuri navigates a switching terrain. Students will study the impact of our communities and upbringing on our identities, the way language and its uses portray our identities or betray them, and the intersections between class, race, and gender. 
  • Students Entering Tenth Grade

    Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier
    ISBN: 978-1590172889

    Daphne Du Maurier is considered one of the premier writers of the supernatural. The stories in her collection, Don’t Look Now, demonstrate the art of concocting compelling and concise stories that, despite their brevity, offer complex characters dealing with extraordinary events. Students will read all of the stories in the collection. They will analyze how Du Maurier creates a succinct short story and why the short story may heighten the power of the suspense genre.
  • Students Entering AP Language & Composition

    Read Both:

    Between the World and Me
    by Ta-Nehisi Coates 
    ISBN: 978-0812993547

    The late, great Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison has called this book, “required reading.” Published in 2015, and still provocative and timely, it provides critical insight and context for students to learn more about navigating and negotiating spaces in American society with regard to race. This epistolary memoir serves as Coates’ version of “The Talk,'' that is, as a warning and guide for how his son should think about navigating a racist system that aims to control Black bodies, particularly the bodies of Black boys and men. In 152 pages of lucid, direct narrative prose, Coates provides his son and the reader with personal anecdotes and cultural criticism of the many inequities and injustices inherent to American society in terms of race, class, and gender. Students will find writing that addresses the many inequities present in American society with regard to race and class through which they will be able to discuss the current protests of police brutality, injustice, and institutional corruption in American society.

    Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
    ISBN-13: 978-0393356311

    Struggling financially in today’s economy, a subculture of elderly Americans move around the country living in RVs and modified vans.  These nomads drive to wherever they can find temporary work, and they forge strong bonds, meeting periodically in desert gatherings. The basis of the recent Academy Award-winning film, Bruder’s book includes more narratives and information than the movie could contain. For our objectives in AP English Language and Composition, students will closely examine Bruder's, and her subjects', use of language, juxtaposing their language with that of Ta-Nehisi Coates in Between the World and Me, especially surrounding the notion of feeling disembodied and voiceless in America.
  • Students Entering English III

    Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
    ISBN-13: 978-0393356311

    Struggling financially in today’s economy, a subculture of elderly Americans move around the country living in RVs and modified vans.  These nomads drive to wherever they can find temporary work, and they forge strong bonds, meeting periodically in desert gatherings. The basis of the recent Academy Award-winning film, Bruder’s book includes more narratives and information than the movie could contain.  Students will explore what it means to move and how movement is a fundamental part of the American experience and psyche. They will study the people who either choose to or feel compelled to move around the country.  They will consider the distinction between “movement” and “travel.” With their impending movement from high school to college, students will examine their personal definitions of “movement” and their own desire to become, in a sense, nomads.
  • Students Entering AP Literature & Composition

    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    ISBN: 978-101970162

    One of Yaa Gyasi’s characters in Homegoing describes to his cousin that what he wants to capture in a project he’s working on as “the feeling of time, of having been a part of something that stretched so far back, was so impossibly large, that it was easy to forget that she, and he, and everyone else, existed in it -- not apart from it, but inside of it.” So the novel tells the stories of multiple generations of one family split by the North Atlantic slave trade and shows how people experience “impossibly large” moments. Students will look at how form and meaning intersect, how people navigate hostile societies, and how literature can bring alive voices that have been silenced.
  • Students Entering Crime & Detective Fiction

    Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott
    ISBN: 978-0822212164

    Set in the confines of an apartment in New York, the action of the play revolves around an elaborate attempt by a trio of con men to recover a doll that they believe has come into the possession of Sam Hendrix. The doll,  the reader ultimately discovers, contains heroin—a treasure that at least one of the con men is perfectly willing to kill for. When Sam is lured away from the apartment, Susan, his blind wife, is left alone to cope with the conspirators… Students will identify how playwrights create tension and suspense, examine the conventions of crime writing, and see how writers play with those conventions to challenge long-established power dynamics.
  • Students Entering LGBTQ+ Literature

    Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
    ISBN: 978-0618871711

    This memoir—in the form of a graphic novel—traces Bechdel’s journey as she discovers her sexual identity. The focus is on her strained relationship with her father, a cold and distant man, who hides his own sexual identity. Both father and daughter pay a great price for that suppression of his true self. Bechdel’s book examines the bond between them with compassion, humor, and searing honesty. The title is a play on words, as the Bechdel home is definitely not fun, and the father runs a funeral home that the family refers to as “Fun Home.”  Students will examine the ramifications of living a life either in or out of the “closet.” They will examine how a writer forms a memoir—what is included, what is left out, and what is gained by forcing the reader to share the author’s perspective. And students will examine the power of the graphic novel, words combined with pictures,  to tell a personal story. 
  • Students Entering Science Fiction

    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    ISBN: 978-1400078776

    Three children, who are clones, attend a boarding school in the English countryside. These three pupils’ entire purpose in life is to serve as mandatory organ donors for the people from whom they were cloned. The world does not really consider them as real people, but a substantial part of the story shows how these children are humans despite what society thinks of them. Students will encounter critical questions of agency, power, identity, medical ethics, and the scope of human morality. What does it mean to be human? What attributes constitute our humanity? Students will recall echoes of Mary Shelley’s  Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, among other texts they may have read.