HS student classroom stack of books

Summer Reading

Waverly’s middle and high school human­i­ties teach­ers made a commit­ment to offer summer reading for students, reflect­ing the events going on in the country around the Black expe­ri­ence in America. This week, we share some of the personal reading members of our faculty and staff engaged in this summer.

  • Rebecca (2/3 Asso­ciate Teacher): I have been reading Stolen Justice: The Strug­gle for African Amer­i­can Voting Rights by Lawrence Gold­stone. We are plan­ning to learn about voting rights within our theme, so I’ve been reading this to inform my teaching.
  • Sydney (Drama): The Splen­did and the Vile by Erik Larson. All about London and Churchill during the Blitz – a great read!
  • Amy Sedivy (HS English): Three books, all 600 to 800 pages! Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. by Joyce Carol Oates — so good I did not want it to end. A Pecu­liar Peril by Jeff Vander­Meer — a crazy, inven­tive world beyond a myste­ri­ous door. The Splen­did and the Vile by Erik Larson — rivet­ing nonfic­tion about Churchill’s first year as Prime Minis­ter and the onset of WWII.
  • Lisa (MS English): I read Intern­ment by Samira Ahmed, a science fiction novel set in the near future that imag­ines what might happen if Muslim Amer­i­cans were rounded up and forced into camps the way Japan­ese Amer­i­cans were interned during World War II. I am one of those readers who always tries to imagine how I would react in any written crisis, and this take on prej­u­dice against Muslims was a great inter­est to me. It has some roman­tic elements, along with suspense appro­pri­ate for young adults. Warning! There is fair amount of swear­ing in Intern­ment, but other­wise it’s good for middle school readers. I think it could make a very good movie.
  • Bennel (HS History): Assata: An Auto­bi­og­ra­phy by Assata Shakur; We Want to Do More Than Survive: Aboli­tion­ist Teach­ing and the Pursuit of Educa­tional Freedom by Bettina L. Love; and My Grand­moth­er’s Hands: Racial­ized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem.
  • Jennifer (Admis­sions Direc­tor): The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore; Caste: The Origins of Our Discon­tents by Isabel Wilk­er­son; and I found a copy of a (beau­ti­fully) anno­tated Amer­i­canah by Chima­manda Ngozi Adichie, which I know students really enjoyed last year.
  • Stina (5/6 Lead Teacher): I am reading A Differ­ent Mirror for Young People: A History of Multi­cul­tural America by Ronald Takaki and adapted by Rebecca Stefoff, and Attain­able Sustain­able: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living by Kris Bordessa.
  • Marina (Preschool Lead Teacher): Rethink­ing Early Child­hood Educa­tion edited by Ann Pelo and The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. I also read The Short­est History of Germany by James Hawes — this was to aid me in my book I am writing s…l…o…w…l…y.
  • Alexis (Recep­tion­ist): Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen.
  • Susan (Kinder­garten Lead Teacher): Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis; Method­ol­ogy of the Oppressed by Chela Sandoval; and Rocking the Boat: How Tempered Radi­cals Effect Change Without Making Trouble by Debra Meyerson.
  • Brit­tany (1/2 Lead Teacher): I read I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for White­ness by Austin Chan­ning Brown; The Guest List by Lucy Foley; and am finish­ing The Inven­tion of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd right now.
  • Elaine (College Coun­selor): How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi; Untamed by Glennon Doyle; and Emotional Detox by Sherianna Boyle.
  • Michelle (ES Art): Two great books: All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks and The Book of Delights by Ross Gay.
  • Oonagh (K/1 Lead Teacher): Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Mori­arty — easy reading, fluffy book, but also a bit of a caution­ary tale. Anti-Bias Educa­tion for Young Chil­dren and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards — a great read that is updated every year. I find it compul­sive reading every summer. My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay — if you only have time to read one auto­bi­og­ra­phy, this should be it. A well-known and well-respected poet and writer in the UK. I love him – his poetry, his way of looking at the world, his indomitable spirit and fight against all odds. He also happens to have been one of only two Black chil­dren to grow up in my small hometown.
  • Rains (2/3 Lead Teacher): Girl, Woman, Other by Bernar­dine Evaristo — it is vibrant, beau­ti­fully written, life-affirm­ing, endlessly read­able, very funny, and poignant. The Paper Dolls by Julia Donald­son — a thought­ful, sensi­tive, and ulti­mately uplift­ing book for chil­dren about loss of all kinds. Age appro­pri­ate for kids four and up, but deeply moving for all who read it.
  • Barbara (Farm Manager): I spent the summer reading all of the books from Amy’s English class last year, plus The Third Plate by Dan Barber (highly recom­mended) and Braid­ing Sweet­grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (life changing!).
  • Jen J. (Learn­ing Special­ist): I read about three books a week! Here are three from the list: North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person; The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.
  • Yanndery (1/2 Asso­ciate Teacher): Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott; Maid by Stephanie Land; and Signs by Laura Lynne Jackson.