Community Read for All Students
(one or both books)
Students will have a choice of ways to respond to the 2021 Community Reading, and will have the opportunity to discuss the book with a small group of students and faculty before submitting their response. All student projects must be completed independently.
Students will complete and submit one response by the end of the second week of fall term classes. Unlike in previous years, there will NOT be the option to write a timed essay but time will be given during the first few weeks of school to complete all response types. Summer work is welcome but not required. A team of faculty members will review and evaluate each response based on a rubric.
Ta-Nehisi Coates says, “What I told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it” (11-12).
Kelly Jensen says, “Every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.”
To respond to either Between The World and Me or Body Talk, in any art or writing form, tell the story of your body.
You might consider the following questions: How is your body unique? What is your relationship with your body? What is your body’s relationship to the world? How does living in your body shape your experience in the world?
A response could be a choreographed dance, a written piece, a piece of digital art, or any other creative work.
You will also need to submit a 150-word “Statement of Intent” that shows your knowledge of the book and how your response relates. Your statement should be written in thoughtful, grammatically-correct sentences.
Participate in an extension learning activity related to Body Talk. Some ideas for extension learning include: learning more about a condition mentioned in the book, learning yoga to get in touch with your own body, training for a race, researching nutrition and ways to healthfully fuel your body, or interviewing a doctor. This is not an exhaustive list - we welcome your creativity!
Participate in an extension learning activity related to Between the World and Me. Some ideas for extension learning include: researching HBCUs, tracing the history of race in America, reading another work by Coates or that Coates mentions, visiting (virtually or physically) a place of historical importance connected to your racial identity. This is not an exhaustive list - we welcome your creativity!
Create a video or podcast of at least 5-minute that shows what you learned and demonstrates the connection to Body Talk or Between The World and Me. You will also need to submit a 150-word “Statement of Intent” that shows your knowledge of the book you read and how your extension learning relates to it. Your statement should be written in thoughtful, grammatically-correct sentences.
Summer Reading Choice List for Ninth-Graders
Reading novels in ninth-grade will involve some choices in what you read. To this end, the teaching team has curated the following list of texts for you to choose and read one over the summer. When you come in the fall, we’ll have projects and discussions based off of these novels. We are sure you can find something that challenges and interests you in this list.
Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, translated by Labodalih Sembiring (Indonesia)
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir by Kwame Onwuachi (James Beard award/Michelin Chef RT)
Oliver Twist - (fiction) Charles Dickins, tw child abuse, homelessness, orphanage
The Fault in our Stars (fiction) by John Green
Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend (non-fiction) by Karen Blumenthal
The 57 Bus (nonfiction) by Dashka Slater, a true story of two teenagers and the crime that changed their lives
Hope is Our Only Wing (fiction) by Rutendo Tavengerwei, coming of age boarding school in Zimbabwe
The Age of Miracles (speculative fiction) by Karen Thompson Walker
Everything Sad is Untrue (biographical fiction) by Daniel Nayeri, immigration story
We Were Liars (fiction) by E. Lockheart
The Summer Reading Challenge (optional: five books)
1. "Body Talk" by Kelley Jensen
2. "Between The World And Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
3. The English book for your grade (see above)
4. Faculty-sponsored read (see below)
5. One book of your choice
Life in Motion by Misty Copeland, sponsored by Denise Dalton
The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph, sponsored by Nikki Walker
Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall, sponsored by Ali Hawk
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, sponsored by Jim Malone
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, sponsored by Laura Nickerson
Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth, sponsored by Michele Poacelli
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianof, sponsored by Jay Bozzi
Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O'Neal, sponsored by Alexandra Patterson
When you return to school, you will sign an honor pledge stating that you read the five designated books. You will also participate in a seminar led by the faculty member who sponsored your chosen book.
If you have questions about the Community Read, email Alexandra Patterson, director of library services.
Will you take the Summer Reading Challenge?