Wellesley schools summer reading, 2022 – The Swellesley Report

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Summer is flying by, so consider this a friendly reminder that Wednesday, August 31, is the first day of school for all Wellesley public school students. Now seems about the right time to get serious about summer reading requirements—not too early so that the plot points are forgotten by the first day, and not too late so that panic ensues.
Generally, elementary students are encouraged to read at least 30 minutes per day. At the middle school each student must read one book off a list of required reading, and one book of their choice. At the high school level the assigned reading depends on which class the student is taking. An assignment related to summer reading will be announced by the students’ individual WHS English teacher at the beginning of the school year.
Elementary school students are encouraged to read approximately 30 minutes per day. Teachers and librarians remind families that reading in summer is the #1 most important activity children can do to help themselves for the next school year.
Teachers and librarians have come up with lists that include books for pre-schoolers; K-5 students; audiobooks; biographies, picture books; graphic novels; early readers; non-fiction picture books; and chapter books.
Here’s a pdf version with extensive summer reading suggestions.
Wellesley Middle School students are required to read two books this summer—one book must be from the list of required choices for the student’s grade level. The other book can be any book the student wants.
The Wellesley Middle School librarians have posted the book lists here. Their web page is easy to navigate and includes summaries of the books.
All students are required to read the book(s) listed with the course they are taking next year. At the start of the school year, English teachers will explain how summer reading will be assessed. Some examples of possible assessments are an in-class essay, a Socratic seminar, a test, or a book review. See the WHS English Department’s page for other important information about summer reading.
12 CP (English 143)—The story “The Body” from the book Different Seasons Stephen King
12ACP (English 142)—The Wall John Lanchester
12H (English 141)—The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri
21st Century Literature—Crying in H Mart Michelle Zauner
Beyond the Binary—The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood; There are important instructions regarding this reading, but the link is password protected. You’ll have to ask your student to help you out here.
Diverse American Voices—The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley Malcolm X and Alex Haley
World Literature—There is a book list for this course, but it is password protected. You’ll have to ask your student to help you out here.
Evolutions (11/12)—The Evolutions Primer; see the Summer Engagement page of the Evolutions website for more information.
11CP (English 133)—American Born Chinese Gene Luen Yang
11ACP (English 132)—The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates Wes Moore
11H (English 131)—1984 George Orwell (reading question) Available free online at: https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf AND read a book of your choice from this list.
Evolutions (11/12)—The Evolutions Primer; see the Summer Engagement page of the Evolutions website for more information.
10CP (English 123)—The Pearl John Steinbeck
10ACP (English 122)—read this letter from the 10ACP team and follow its guidance
10H (English 121)—Behold the Dreamers Imbolo Mbue; *10H teachers encourage students you to find and follow their reading curiosities and preferences. See this list.
9CP (English 113)—The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo (optional guide)
9ACP (English 112)—Clap When You Land Elizabeth Acevedo
9H (English 111)—Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Trevor Noah
AND—students should read one additional book of their choice from any genre
In addition to summer reading, many courses such as languages, the arts, math, science, engineering, and AP-level classes across the academic disciplines have summer requirements. Here’s a link to those resources.
In case you’re wondering how Dana Hall handles summer reading, below are some required titles the all-girls independent boarding and day school recommends for its upper grade students. In addition, the school provides students with an extensive list of recommended reading for grades 5-12.
Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok
Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
Mexican Gothic, Silva Moreno-Garcia
We’re partial to the used books section at the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility, but realize this is a hit-or-miss proposition.
You could take a peek at the offerings in one of Wellesley’s dozen or so Little Free Libraries. But again, that’s a bit hit-or-miss.
At this point it’s probably time to get serious:
The Wellesley Free Library. You can request that books be held for you at any of the three locations nearest your home—the main library (530 Washington Street), the Wellesley Hills branch (210 Washington Street), or the Fells branch (308 Weston Road).
Wellesley Books. The staff at Wellesley’s independent book store stays on top of the schools’ summer reading lists and makes sure there are plenty of copies in-store. Is your student at camp? No problem. At your direction, Wellesley Books will send along a nice care package to your camper.

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