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 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 (questions and activities are optional)
    Even under the best of circumstances, leaving someone or something behind can be difficult.  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.
     
    Poetry 
    We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Upper School Summer Reading

List of 8 items.

  • Students Entering Ninth Grade

    The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian
    ISBN: 978-0063039322

    From the Educator’s Guide: The Chandler Legacies is a novel about the enclosed world of privilege and silence at an elite boarding school and the unlikely group of friends who dare to challenge the status quo through their writing. At Chandler, five teens are brought together in the Circle, a coveted writing group where life-changing friendships are born—and secrets are revealed. Their professor tells them to write their truths. But is the truth enough to change the long-standing culture of abuse at Chandler? And can their friendship survive the fallout? 

    CW: The Chandler Legacies is a novel that explores topics of trauma, harm, assault, and inequities with frankness. The book addresses the sexual assault of students, bullying, trauma related to structural injustices, and grief on the campus of Chandler. Nazemian does not shy away from the realities of living and attending school in our society–characters experience homophobia, classism, and racism.
  • 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 English III

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    ISBN: 978-0679745587

    In the late 1950s, Truman Capote decided to create a new genre of literature, the nonfiction novel. He decided to use the true crime genre as the template for his experiment, so he scanned newspapers for the “right” crime. He found it in a small article about the murder of a Kansas family of four; the killers had not yet been caught. Capote went to Kansas and began his journey into the solving of this crime and the beginning of a new form of writing. His novelistic approach brought surprising depth—and sympathy—to a seemingly simple story; the ramifications of this tragedy proved deeper and broader than even he had expected.
  • Students Entering AP English Language

    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.

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    ISBN: 978-0679745587

    In the late 1950s, Truman Capote decided to create a new genre of literature, the nonfiction novel. He decided to use the true crime genre as the template for his experiment, so he scanned newspapers for the “right” crime. He found it in a small article about the murder of a Kansas family of four; the killers had not yet been caught. Capote went to Kansas and began his journey into the solving of this crime and the beginning of a new form of writing. His novelistic approach brought surprising depth—and sympathy—to a seemingly simple story; the ramifications of this tragedy proved deeper and broader than even he had expected.
  • Students Entering AP Literature & Composition

    Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
    ISBN: 9780062124272

    Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present-day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world.
  • Students Entering Women in Dramatic Literature

    I Only Speak Catharsis by Abi Nosrati 
    ISBN: 979-8-88504-918-4 
    *(You will be able to purchase on Amazon at the beginning of June)

    In I Only Speak Catharsis, author Abi Nosrati (a Buckley alum) explores the intersection of inner and outer human identity. She looks inside the struggles of love, friendship, and pain; how we humans live in this wonderful way that is tragically beautiful. In this book of poetry lovingly crafted, she shares the story of the relationships she has experienced or observed in the world around her. Abi’s poetry deals with current issues faced by young people: self-confidence, peer pressure, societal expectations, body image, sexual identity, etc. These issues are eloquently and creatively expressed through the written word, where Abi embeds equity and inclusion within the framework of her creative verse.
  • Students Entering LGBTQ+ Literature

    Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
    ISBN: 978-0618871711

    This memoir traces Bechdel’s journey as she discovers her sexual identity. 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.” The book focuses on the strained relationship between Bechdel and her father, a cold and distant man, who hides his own sexual identity. Bechdel examines the bond between them with compassion, humor, and searing honesty. "Fun Home" shows the power of the graphic novel, words combining with pictures to tell an intensely personal and highly charged story.  
  • Students Entering Science Fiction Literature

    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.