2021 Community Read

Community Read for All Students 
(one or both books)


Read the Community Read selection: Between the World and Me 
or Body Talk
(click on book cover to read more)


Response Prompts

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.


Read the English book for your grade

Advanced Studies Literature Options 1 and 2

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

Faculty-sponsored books

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?