Our summer reading lists are now available for all children entering Grades 9-12 in September. In alternate years, the Upper School chooses one book for everyone to read over the summer, and we start the year in conversation about the book, in classes, in advisory, perhaps in assemblies. It’s a chance for the whole school to consider, at the same time, the issues raised in the book. This “community of readers” experience is valuable for us individually and as a whole. In fact, we also encourage you to read the book as well, and talk with your children about it. We may have an opportunity, if there is sufficient interest, for family conversation in the fall.
We try to choose a book that is timely in some way, and this year we have chosen the novel 1984, written in 1948 by George Orwell. An original dystopian novel, it introduced several notions that seem to be ringing true in new ways in 2017. One of the reasons we chose this book is that we will as a division be working on having more civilized discourse next year, to talk in less polarized ways after a year where it has been difficult to set emotion aside while disagreeing in healthy ways about important issues, be they politics or not.