Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy
  • Tom McCarthy

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • 773.465.2662 Main Office
  • Biography

10th Grade Capoeira - Course Description

This class introduces students to the basic elements and history of the Brazilian art of Capoeira. Capoeira can be danced, practiced as a martial art, or played as a game. Students learn to move rhythmically alone and with partners. They learn to play the instrument called the Berimbau to accompany lessons. Students also learn about the history of capoeira and its use as expression and liberation in Brazilian slave culture. A capoeira unit is offered to all four high school classes.

10th Grade English A: Course Description

This class immerses students in the epic world of Homer in The Iliad and The Odyssey. One of the tenth grade themes cultivated at all Waldorf schools is the idea of comparison. The heroes of The Iliad and The Odyssey exemplify opposing forces. Students may read Hesse’s Siddhartha and Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, which also illustrate contrasts. Sophomores also take an extended look at the world's major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They read samples of sacred texts from these traditions, study the artwork surrounding each tradition, and grapple with the questions raised through lively class discussion.

10th Grade Eurythmy - Course Description

Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

10th Grade Guitar I - Course Description

Students learn basic musical concepts and skills with an emphasis on how they apply to guitar as well as to singing. Students learn to play chords, scales, and full songs and attain a basic proficiency in reading music.

10th Grade Parkour - Course Description

This class engages students in strength and endurance-building activities using their own body weight. They also learn movement techniques for traversing and negotiating obstacles in their environments including, but not limited to, walls, railings, bars, stairs, and ledges. Students are taught to be creative, sometimes adding their own style to the movements, or selecting their own way to navigate the obstacles. Risk and fear management are also a big part of the training as the students are often taken outside of their comfort zones; students learn to know their limits and how to surpass them. Parkour is offered to all four high school classes.

11th Grade Capoeira - Course Description

This class introduces students to the basic elements and history of the Brazilian art of Capoeira. Capoeira can be danced, practiced as a martial art, or played as a game. Students learn to move rhythmically alone and with partners. They learn to play the instrument called the Berimbau to accompany lessons. Students also learn about the history of capoeira and its use as expression and liberation in Brazilian slave culture. A capoeira unit is offered to all four high school classes.

11th Grade English - Course Description

Juniors are ready for rigorous reading and thoughtful analysis. The class begins with a combination of literature and history by reading John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and considering its moral and social questions. Students complete individual research projects and presentations on the period. Units on Dante’s Divine Comedy and Shakespeare’s Hamlet offer insight into Medieval and Renaissance eras and illuminate basic human questions. A unit on the Romantic Movement further illustrates the ideas of the Enlightenment. Students choose their senior project topics and write a five-page paper following MLA guidelines.

11th Grade Eurythmy - Course Description

Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

11th Grade Guitar I - Course Description

Students learn basic musical concepts and skills with an emphasis on how they apply to guitar as well as to singing. Students learn to play chords, scales, and full songs and attain a basic proficiency in reading music.

11th Grade Parkour - Course Description

This class engages students in strength and endurance-building activities using their own body weight. They also learn movement techniques for traversing and negotiating obstacles in their environments including, but not limited to, walls, railings, bars, stairs, and ledges. Students are taught to be creative, sometimes adding their own style to the movements, or selecting their own way to navigate the obstacles. Risk and fear management are also a big part of the training as the students are often taken outside of their comfort zones; students learn to know their limits and how to surpass them. Parkour is offered to all four high school classes.

12th Grade Capoeira - Course Description

This class introduces students to the basic elements and history of the Brazilian art of Capoeira. Capoeira can be danced, practiced as a martial art, or played as a game. Students learn to move rhythmically alone and with partners. They learn to play the instrument called the Berimbau to accompany lessons. Students also learn about the history of capoeira and its use as expression and liberation in Brazilian slave culture. A capoeira unit is offered to all four high school classes.

12th Grade English - Course Description

Students read literature that illustrates the individual's struggle to find their meaningful place in the world. Seniors are beginning to look to the world outside of the high school; they are at a threshold, exiting a comfortable world and entering a new one that is 'infinite in variety.' Seniors read works by Sartre and Camus, No ExitThe Flies, and The Stranger. The focus then shifts backwards in time, tracing the roots of the existential perspective, reading Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. The class culminates with the first part of Goethe's Faust. Seniors relate uncannily to the character of Faust, who is at once world-weary and yet fervently hungry for a new kind of knowledge.

12th Grade Eurythmy - Course Description

Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

12th Grade Guitar I - Course Description

Students learn basic musical concepts and skills with an emphasis on how they apply to guitar as well as to singing. Students learn to play chords, scales, and full songs and attain a basic proficiency in reading music.

9th Grade Capoeira - Course Description

This class introduces students to the basic elements and history of the Brazilian art of Capoeira. Capoeira can be danced, practiced as a martial art, or played as a game. Students learn to move rhythmically alone and with partners. They learn to play the instrument called the Berimbau to accompany lessons. Students also learn about the history of capoeira and its use as expression and liberation in Brazilian slave culture. A capoeira unit is offered to all four high school classes.

9th Grade Eurythmy - Course Description

Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

9th Grade Guitar I - Course Description

Students learn basic musical concepts and skills with an emphasis on how they apply to guitar as well as to singing. Students learn to play chords, scales, and full songs and attain a basic proficiency in reading music.

9th Grade Handwork - Course Description

Handwork includes learning manual skills in felting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, basketry, weaving, dyeing, and bookbinding. These skills are taught to aid students' dexterity, focus, motor-coordination and integrative capacities. Many studies have shown that such kinesthetic learning amplifies cognitive skills: so the patterning works aids in the conception of mathematical patterns and systems operations in higher order mathematics. Similarily, experimentation with materials and transformative processes connect the students to scientific exploration and enhance their undersanding of the physical properties and chemical underpinnings of our world.

9th Grade Metalwork - Course Description

This course introduces students to basic metal working skills through forming a bowl and stand. They cut a circle from a flat sheet of copper using a jeweler’s saw. They learn to anneal using the kiln and then begin to sink the bowl using ball peen hammers. The students facet the surface by planishing. The students use their left-over copper to design and form a support for their bowl.

9th Grade Parkour - Course Description

This class engages students in strength and endurance-building activities using their own body weight. They also learn movement techniques for traversing and negotiating obstacles in their environments including, but not limited to, walls, railings, bars, stairs, and ledges. Students are taught to be creative, sometimes adding their own style to the movements, or selecting their own way to navigate the obstacles. Risk and fear management are also a big part of the training as the students are often taken outside of their comfort zones; students learn to know their limits and how to surpass them. Parkour is offered to all four high school classes.

Calculus - Course Description

This class picks up from Introduction to Calculus. Students read the text, make sense of the ideas within it, and ask appropriate questions to help further their understanding. The content begins with a quick review of how to find derivatives, their applications, and revisits conceptual understanding of the mentioned processes. The following new concepts are covered: 

  • indefinite integration
  • Riemann sums and the definite integral
  • the fundamental theorem of calculus
  • the second fundamental theorem of calculus
  • how to integrate different types of functions
  • differential equations applications of integration

Electricity and Magnetism - Course Description

Today, life without electromagnetic technologies is almost inconceivable. For this reason, it is vitally important to understand the basic phenomenological observations which first led scientists to discover the conditions that give rise to electrical and magnetic effects. This class studies those effects, and carefully observes the conditions which create them. Both electricity and magnetism may be understood as forces that seek balance and students learn to understand such concepts as charge, field, voltage, current, resistance, and power within this framework. They go on to study technologies which harness the electromagnetic effect, such as series and parallel circuits (Ohm’s law), electric motors, generators, solenoids, and transformers. Finally, they consider how power is generated for the multiplicity of electric devices we use today, and the implications of these methods.

Extended Topics in Calculus - Course Description

Welcome to the Chicago Waldorf School classrooms!

This welcome page introduces you to the typical curriculum for a Waldorf class in this grade. Each teacher customizes their class curriculum and will use this area of the website as a communications and resource bulletin to share the details about the main class and special subjects. This message board is a resource for the teacher to post information and impressions about the progress of the class and the students' activities. Ranging from a broad analysis of the learning goals of the year, to reflections on classroom developments, to the specifics of a deadline for a homework assignment, you will find information about the activities of this class in these periodically updated

Functions/Limits/Calculus

Welcome to the Chicago Waldorf School classrooms!

This welcome page introduces you to the typical curriculum for a Waldorf class in this grade. Each teacher customizes their class curriculum and will use this area of the website as a communications and resource bulletin to share the details about the main class and special subjects. This message board is a resource for the teacher to post information and impressions about the progress of the class and the students' activities. Ranging from a broad analysis of the learning goals of the year, to reflections on classroom developments, to the specifics of a deadline for a homework assignment, you will find information about the activities of this class in these periodically updated

Gym - Course Description 10th Grade

In the first semester of gym, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of volleyball and basketball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are expected to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

Gym - Course Description 11th Grade

In the first semester of gym, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of volleyball and basketball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are expected to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

Gym - Course Description 12th Grade

In the first semester of gym, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of volleyball and basketball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are expected to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

Gym - Course Description 9th Grade

In the first semester of gym, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of volleyball and basketball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are expected to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

Welcome to 1st Grade Lyre and Flute!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 2nd Grade Handwork!

As a part of our practical arts programming, handwork instruction begins in first grade and continues through high school. Handwork includes studying artisanal skills in felting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, basketry, weaving, dyeing and bookbinding. These skills are taught to aid students' dexterity, focus, motor-coordination and integrative capacities. Many studies have shown that such kinesthetic learning amplifies cognitive skills: so the patterning and complex systems engaged in crocheting, weaving and knitting also aids in the conception of mathematical patterns and systems operations in higher order mathematics. Similarily handwork experimentation with materials and transformative processes like dyeing and saturating solutions, the burnishing and enamelling of copper, and similar chemical processes connect the students to scientific exploration and enhance their undersanding of the physical properties and chemical underpinnings of our world.


Why do we teach this subject here?
Handwork is an important component of the Waldorf curriculum for several reasons. Not only is it
important for the students to learn many different skills with their hands, but neuroscientific research
also points to the more wide-reaching significance of handwork in child development. For example,
since the 1970s linguists have found that fine finger movements stimulate our speech centers, while
more recent research has shown that differentiated hand movements build and encourage cognitive
growth (E. Seward, The Creative Hand). Mobility and dexterity in the fine motor muscles, particularly in
the hand, may also strengthen the physical foundations of thinking by stimulating synapse formation
and cell development in the brain (E. Schwartz, Handwork and Intellectual Development).
How/What is done in this subject this year to meet my child’s development?
By doing handwork, the children not only develop fine motor and practical skills, but also acquire a fine
sense for color combinations, form and beauty. They practice patience, perseverance, gratitude and joy
as they carry out a project that transforms raw material into a finished project. Their senses of touch
and smell are enlivened by contact with natural materials such as wool, cotton and silk in the form of
yarn and fabric. Handwork students also learn to attain a balance between socializing and working
during the lesson.


What will my child achieve in this subject by the end of the school year

 

In second grade the children keep their fingers very busy. They come back after the long summer break ready to work. They will quickly remember how to cast on, after hearing our little casting on verse.  After knitting some rows, they will learn how to purl. They use this new technique to purl and knit a soft rainbow ball.  Many of the children will have time to make a second ball.  After that, they will be ready to start knitting their gnomes.  Everyone gets excited about this project and likes seeing the gnomes take shape.  By the end of the school year we will have a big family of beautiful gnomes to show for our work! Some children also have fun creating small accessories for their gnomes. We will end the year with a nice gnome party in the handwork room.

By the end of the year your child will have:

• Mastered knitting and learned how to purl.
• Appropriately alternated knit and purl stitches to make small projects.
• Started and finished small projects on her/his own. The main projects are knitting a rainbow ball
and a gnome.


What are things that we can do at home to help support this work?
Take an interest in your child’s work.

Welcome to 2nd Grade Lyre!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 4th Grade Strings!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 4th Grade Strings!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 5th Grade Band!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 5th Grade Handwork!

Welcome to 5th Grade Handwork!

As a part of our practical arts programming, handwork instruction begins in first grade and continues through high school. Handwork includes studying artisanal skills in felting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, basketry, weaving, dyeing and bookbinding. These skills are taught to aid students' dexterity, focus, motor-coordination and integrative capacities. Many studies have shown that such kinesthetic learning amplifies cognitive skills: so the patterning and complex systems engaged in crocheting, weaving and knitting also aids in the conception of mathematical patterns and systems operations in higher order mathematics. Similarly handwork experimentation with materials and transformative processes like dyeing and saturating solutions, the burnishing and enameling of copper, 

_________________________________________________________

Dear 5th Grade Parents:

Recent neurological research tends to confirm that mobility and dexterity in the fine motor muscles, especially in the hand, may stimulate cellular development in the brain, and so strengthen the physical foundation of thinking. The work done over the past seventy-five years in hundreds of Waldorf schools worldwide, in which first graders learn to knit before they learn to write or manipulate numbers, has also proven successful in this regard. The learning disabilities specialist Jean A. Ayres states that “Praxis, or the ability to program a motor act, shows a close relation to reading skills, even though reading would appear to be only distantly related to goal-directed movement of the body.” Citing the research of Strauss and Werner, she notes that “Children with finger agnosia [awkwardness and lack of control] made more errors on a test of arithmetical ability than did children without finger agnosia.”

When describing some of the qualities that were essential in a Waldorf school, Steiner stressed an active interest in working with one’s hands:

What matters is that [the Waldorf school’s] teaching should not become mere theoretical knowledge, or a world outlook based on certain ideas, but it should become a way of life, involving the entire human being. Waldorf Education is meant to be pragmatic. . .

Whoever has to deal with theoretical work ought to stand in practical life even more firmly than people who happen to be tailors, cobblers or engineers. In my opinion, any passing on of theoretical knowledge is acceptable only if the person concerned is also well versed in all practical matters of life, for otherwise his ideas will remain alienated from life…5

Extract from “The Role of Handwork in the Waldorf Curriculum” by Eugene Schwartz

Knitting a pair of socks is the perfect project for 5th graders. 
The first part of the sock (the top part), reinforces what the students learned back in 1st and 2nd grade but in a more challenging manner requiring the dexterity of holding four knitting needles at once.

The second part of the sock they work upon, the turning of the heel, involve mathematical progression and extra concentration.  It also mirrors the inner state of the children; they too are at a “turning point”, standing at the threshold of teenage-hood. 

The final progression, to the toes and completion of the sock expands their forces of will while strengthening their social skills.

Welcome to 5th Grade Orchestra!

In 5th Grade Orchestra students will learn,

Careful tuning
D Major Scale, two octaves
G Major Scale, two octaves
C Major Scale, two octaves
F Major Scale
B flat Major Scale
Minor tonality
Dotted rhythms, 16th  notes.
Slurs.
6/8 time signature.

Welcome to 5th Grade Spanish!

Students are taught both Spanish & German in alternating blocks as part of the standard World Languages curriculum that starts in first grade and continues through the end of middle school. High school students then choose either German or Spanish as a language for further dedicated study. Chicago Waldorf School offers a strong foreign exchange program that provides High School students the option of hosting and staying with a Waldorf student from a European or Latin American country and attending their Waldorf school as a means of cultural and social immersion in the student’s chosen study of language and its originating cultures.

Welcome to 6th Grade Band!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 6th Grade Orchestra!

In 5th Grade Orchestra students will learn,

Careful tuning
D Major Scale, two octaves
G Major Scale, two octaves
C Major Scale, two octaves
F Major Scale
B flat Major Scale
Minor tonality
Dotted rhythms, 16th  notes.
Slurs.
6/8 time signature.

Welcome to 6th Grade Spanish

Students are taught both Spanish & German in alternating blocks as part of the standard World Languages curriculum that starts in first grade and continues through the end of middle school. High school students then choose either German or Spanish as a language for further dedicated study. Chicago Waldorf School offers a strong foreign exchange program that provides High School students the option of hosting and staying with a Waldorf student from a European or Latin American country and attending their Waldorf school as a means of cultural and social immersion in the student’s chosen study of language and its originating cultures.

Welcome to 7th Grade Art!

Specialized art blocks (periods of study) provide opportunities for students to explore a wide range of traditional artistic forms. Students learn Modeling and Sculpture with beeswax figures in the early grades followed by stone sculpture and ceramics in the High School. Students begin Painting with wet-on-wet watercolor in the 1st grade; this practice is usually taught by class teachers until High School, at which point students take lessons in veil painting, portraiture and landscape painting with oils. Drawing is a core skill for students illustrating their main lesson books. In High School the students continue this discipline with studies in black and white drawing, block printing and drawing the human form. Woodworking often begins in 5th grade and continues into the High School. Metalworking is taught in grades 9-12 including form building in beaten copper and enameling.

Welcome to 7th Grade Band!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to 7th Grade Orchestra!

In 7th Grade Orchestra students will learn,

Careful tuning
D Major Scale, two octaves
G Major Scale, two octaves
C Major Scale, two octaves
F Major Scale
B flat Major Scale
Minor tonality
Dotted rhythms, 16th  notes.
Slurs.
6/8 time signature.

Welcome to 7th Grade Physics

The 7th Grade physics course continues and deepens our studies of physics from 6th grade, and adds several new areas of research.  Continuing to work through close observation and experimentation, and using all of our senses, we strive to find lawful relationships within the areas of: (1) illumination and seeing (especially image formation using a variety of materials, in particular mirrors and the camera obscura), (2) warming and cooling (especially thermal mediating and expansive/contractive properties of materials), (3) wet cell electrical phenomena (contrasted with triboelectric “dry” electrical effects in 6th grade) and a beginning introduction to electrical circuits, and, (4) new this year: lever principles and rotational balance.  At the end of the course, the successful student will have honed her/his skills of attention to the phenomena of the natural world and be able to describe them accurately, originally and richly using written word, illustration, metaphor and mathematics.

Welcome to 8th Grade Art!

Specialized art blocks (periods of study) provide opportunities for students to explore a wide range of traditional artistic forms. Students learn Modeling and Sculpture with beeswax figures in the early grades followed by stone sculpture and ceramics in the High School. Students begin Painting with wet-on-wet watercolor in the 1st grade; this practice is usually taught by class teachers until High School, at which point students take lessons in veil painting, portraiture and landscape painting with oils. Drawing is a core skill for students illustrating their main lesson books. In High School the students continue this discipline with studies in black and white drawing, block printing and drawing the human form. Woodworking often begins in 6th grade and continues into the High School. Metalworking is taught in grades 9-12 including form building in beaten copper and enameling.

Welcome to 8th Grade Band!

Music lessons are taught by both the main class teachers and by special subjects music teachers. Singing is an integral component of all classroom activity in the Early Childhood and Grades curriculum. Additionally, first graders begin instrumental music instruction in pentatonic flute and lyre. Third graders begin string instruction with a choice of violin, viola, cello or bass. Students in grades five and up sing in choral groups and participate in either band or orchestra. High school students participate in chorus as well as selecting a music elective. Their choices include string ensemble, jazz band, percussion, guitar and vocal ensemble. All year round, in numerous opportunities, Waldorf students perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays and special community events.

Welcome to Early Childhood & The Daisy Garden Class!

Play is at the heart of the Waldorf Early Childhood Program. Children develop the capacity for creative thinking, problem-solving and social skills through their free imaginative play. Simple, natural materials – pieces of wood, seashells, beeswax and handcrafted toys – encourage children to form their own games and stories.
Free play is balanced with structured activities as the children engage in watercolor painting, handwork, seasonal crafts and movement opportunities such as circle time and eurythmy. Following the seasons, they are often led on nature walks and enjoy free play outdoors every day.

Hearing stories told aloud and watching puppet plays cultivate the imagination and strengthen the ability to listen and communicate. Songs and nursery rhymes inspire a love of language and of music. Preparing snacks together, baking bread and cleaning up afterward encourage cooperation and sense of responsibility. Skills foundations are also being laid for academics such as math and reading. All these activities enrich the early childhood experience in daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms that create a bridge from home to school.

Chicago Waldorf Early Childhood Program strives to honor and respect the beauty of being a child. The environment allows children to be children in rooms that are warm, colorful and filled with nature’s beauty and variety. It is a place where children can let their imaginations roam and where their natural sense of wonder can flourish.

Good morning dear Earth
Good morning dear sun

Good morning dear trees
And the flowers, every one
Good morning, dear bees
And the birds in the trees

Good morning to you
And good morning to me

Welcome to Early Childhood & the Morning Glory Garden!

Play is at the heart of the Waldorf Early Childhood Program. Children develop the capacity for creative thinking, problem-solving and social skills through their free imaginative play. Simple, natural materials – pieces of wood, seashells, beeswax and handcrafted toys – encourage children to form their own games and stories.

Free play is balanced with structured activities as the children engage in watercolor painting, handwork, seasonal crafts and movement opportunities such as circle time and eurythmy. Following the seasons, they are often led on nature walks and enjoy free play outdoors every day.

Hearing stories told aloud and watching puppet plays cultivate the imagination and strengthen the ability to listen and communicate. Songs and nursery rhymes inspire a love of language and of music. Preparing snacks together, baking bread and cleaning up afterward encourage cooperation and sense of responsibility. Skills foundations are also being laid for academics such as math and reading. All these activities enrich the early childhood experience in daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms that create a bridge from home to school.

Chicago Waldorf Early Childhood Program strives to honor and respect the beauty of being a child. The environment allows children to be children in rooms that are warm, colorful and filled with nature’s beauty and variety. It is a place where children can let their imaginations roam and where their natural sense of wonder can flourish.

Good morning dear Earth
Good morning dear sun

Good morning dear trees
And the flowers, every one
Good morning, dear bees
And the birds in the trees

Good morning to you
And good morning to me

Welcome to Early Childhood & the Rose Garden!

Play is at the heart of the Waldorf Early Childhood Program. Children develop the capacity for creative thinking, problem-solving and social skills through their free imaginative play. Simple, natural materials – pieces of wood, seashells, beeswax and handcrafted toys – encourage children to form their own games and stories.
Free play is balanced with structured activities as the children engage in watercolor painting, handwork, seasonal crafts and movement opportunities such as circle time and eurythmy. Following the seasons, they are often led on nature walks and enjoy free play outdoors every day.

Hearing stories told aloud and watching puppet plays cultivate the imagination and strengthen the ability to listen and communicate. Songs and nursery rhymes inspire a love of language and of music. Preparing snacks together, baking bread and cleaning up afterward encourage cooperation and sense of responsibility. Skills foundations are also being laid for academics such as math and reading. All these activities enrich the early childhood experience in daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms that create a bridge from home to school.

Chicago Waldorf Early Childhood Program strives to honor and respect the beauty of being a child. The environment allows children to be children in rooms that are warm, colorful and filled with nature’s beauty and variety. It is a place where children can let their imaginations roam and where their natural sense of wonder can flourish.

Good morning dear Earth
Good morning dear sun

Good morning dear trees
And the flowers, every one
Good morning, dear bees
And the birds in the trees

Good morning to you
And good morning to me

Welcome to the 10th Grade!

This page will be a resource for the class advisor to post information for announcements. Check back often for updates.

To start, below is the summer reading list, including the summer's topic genre, novels of the future. At the bottome of the page, you'll find three response forms attached.

SUMMER READING 2015

Books are in three categories: science and mathematics; history, biography, and social science; and fiction. Choose books from different categories.

  1. All students will read one of the selected novels of the future.
  2. Teachers will also read at least one of the selected novels of the future, and more as they are able.
  3. All students will read two additional books from two different categories.
  4. Seniors may substitute books relating to their senior project research topic if approved by their faculty advisors. Seniors must still fill out response forms for the books they read.

 

SIX NOVELS THAT IMAGINE THE FUTURE  

Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. 1950
The Martian Chronicles follows a "future history" structure. It is a series of short stories, complete in themselves, that are also episodes in a larger three-part story of the human settlement of Mars. The overall structure is in three parts, punctuated by two catastrophes: the near-extinction of the Martians and the parallel near-extinction of the human race. The story takes places between 1999 and 2026.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. 1915
Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society composed entirely of women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order free of war, conflict, and domination.

Hopkins, Nolo. Brown Girl in the Ring. 1999
Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. Still, when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1931
Far in the future, World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harboring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.

LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness. 1961
This novel takes place many centuries in the future. Genly Ai is an envoy sent to the planet Winter ("Gethen" in the language of its own people) to convince the citizens to join an interplanetary league called the Ekumen. The inhabitants of winter are unique in the galaxy because they are "ambisexual," spending the majority of time as asexual "potentials." They only adopt sexual attributes once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility, called kemmer, in which individuals can assume male or female attributes, depending on context and relationships. The complete absence of sexual prejudice has shaped the development of civilization on Winter. Among other things, the planet has never known war.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Player Piano. 1952
Kurt Vonnegut's first novel takes place in a near-future society that is almost totally mechanized, eliminating the need for human laborers. This widespread mechanization creates conflict between the wealthy upper class—the engineers and managers who keep society running—and the lower class, whose skills and purpose in society have been replaced by machines.

 

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

Becker, Robert. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. 1998
Becker describes the role electricity plays in healing, challenging the traditional mechanistic model of the body. These discoveries that offer new possibilities for fighting disease and harnessing the body's healing powers.
Recommended by Mr. Gleichauf

Birkhead, Tim. Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird. 2012
Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but it is not just wings that make birds unique. How does a nightingale improvise as it sings? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate? Tim Birkhead explains in fascinating detail how birds interact with one another and their environment.

Braasch, Gary. Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. 2014
A comprehensive look at the world-wide effects of climate change, its implications, and what countermeasures are being taken. Dramatic photographs show how the earth is being changed right now. Braasch concludes with a vision of how we can slow global warming and improve the lives of people everywhere.

Carroll, Sean. The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. 2012
Before discovering the elementary particle, the Higgs boson, scientists did not know if anything at the subatomic level had mass. Now a doorway is opening into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The electron was only discovered just over a hundred years ago and that discovery has taken us from nuclear energy to quantum computing. The inventions that will result from the Higgs discovery will be world-changing.

Cohen, David Elliot, ed. What Matters: The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time. 2008
In 18 stories, each made up of photos by leading photojournalists and elucidated by short essays by public intellectuals and journalists, this book explores environmental devastation, war, disease, and the ravages of both poverty and great wealth.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Durrell, Gerald. My Family and Other Animals. 1958
As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodrigues fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."
Recommended by Ms. Vig

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. 2008
Barbara Kingsolver, her husband, and two daughters made a twelve-month commitment to eat only locally grown foods. This entailed a move away from their home in non-food-producing Tuscon to a family farm in Virginia, where they grew and raised their own food and supported local farmers.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke and Ms. Gambill.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction. 2014
Kolbert takes us on an around-the-world journey. In Scotland, Peru, Italy, the Great Barrier Reef and more, she profiles the rise and fall of species both present and ancient. By the end, the hubris of Homo sapiens emerges as particularly shortsighted: we may be the first species to actively kill ourselves off.

Livio, Mario. The Golden Ratio: The Story of Pi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number. 2002
A captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics; this ratio impacts so many facets of our lives that it has fascinated us through the ages.

McKibben, Bill. The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing about Climate Change. 2011
Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, this is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon's discovery in the late 19th century to the present. What is happening to our planet—and what can we do about it? 
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Sacks, Oliver. Hallucinations. 2012
Dr. Sacks elegantly and compassionately summarizes his lifelong fascination with the life-changing visions he and others have experienced. He investigates what hallucinations tell us about the structure of our brains, how they have influenced folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all.

Sobel, Dava. A More Perfect Heaven. 2012 
Ms. Sobel imagines how a German mathematician convinced Nicholas Copernicus to share his heretical ideas about the movement of the planets with the world.

Sobel, Dava. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. 1995
The little known story behind the greatest innovation in navigational science; an 18th century version of the Global Positioning System.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Taylor, Graeme. Evolution’s Edge. 2008
Evolution's Edge shows that limitless economic expansion is impossible on a finite planet. Our growth-based global system is headed for collapse as critical resources become scarce and major ecosystems fail. Evolution's Edge is a practical guide to a sustainable future, showing how a common, cooperative vision can accelerate constructive global change.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Watson, James. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. 1968
A compelling description of scientific process and human betrayal in the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule.

 

HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

Braun, Adam. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change. 2014
Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “a pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving a prestigious job to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 250 schools around the world.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Brierly, Saroo. A Long Way Home: A Memoir. 2015
At five years old, Saroo Brierley found himself in Kolkata, India, alone, lost, and more than 1,000 miles from his family. He lived on the streets until he was taken into an orphanage and ultimately adopted by an Australian couple. Years later, with nothing but memories to guide him, Brierley began searching for his childhood home on Google Earth — and you'll have to read the book to find out what happens next.

Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods. 1998
The Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine is the classic hiker’s challenge, and Bill Bryson is the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy folks he meets along the way – along with a couple of bears. 

Dyer, Geoff. Another Great Day at Sea. 2014
A lanky, elderly Englishman in a deeply American world, Dyer brilliantly records daily life on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush. In the process it becomes clear why he has been praised as one of the most original and funniest voices in literature.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. 2009
Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born painting contractor, stays in New Orleans to protect his property while his family flees Hurricane Katrina. After the levees break, he uses his canoe to rescue people, before being arrested and swept into a vortex of bureaucratic brutality. When a guard accuses him of being a member of Al Qaeda, he sees that race and culture may explain his predicament.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965
Alex Hailey collaborated with Malcolm X to outline Malcolm X’s philosophy of black pride, Black Nationalism and pan-Africanism, as well as his conversion to Islam.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. 2003
Paul Farmer is a renowned infectious-disease specialist and a world-class Robin Hood whose life’s calling is to diagnose and cure diseases and to bring modern medicine to those in need. He is both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti, and he blasts through convention to get results.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege and Ms. Gambill

Kingsolver, Barbara. Poisonwood Bible. 1998
Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist takes his family – a wife and four daughters - to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as missionaries. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Recommended by Ms. Desouches

Larson, Erik. Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. 2004
A true story that reads like a novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. 2014
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history. Even as millions of girls followed her adventures, Wonder Woman's progressive politics panicked conservative sorts, like the psychiatrist who testified to the Senate about the comic's terrifying vision that "women in these stories are placed on equal footing with men."

Levitt, Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Levitt gives a new spin to things we thought we “knew” about how society works. For example, analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make less than minimum wage.

Lewis, Michael. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. 2004
Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues on a small budget. Believing that games could be won affordably with such methods as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who got lots of ground outs, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young players and castoff veterans.

Marcus, Greil. The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. 2014
No writer puts you inside the experience of music the way Greil Marcus does. His descriptions of songs unfold like thrillers or romantic rhapsodies, sucking you in and revealing aspects of each beat or vocal trill that you'd never have noticed on your own. Here, he re-imagines the very idea of rock history as a series of associations rather than chronological events. You may have never thought to connect Joy Division's “Transmission” to Buddy Holly's “Crying, Waiting, Hoping," or Christian Marclay's video-and sound-installation Guitar Drag to the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him is to Love Him,” but you'll think of music differently because Marcus did.

Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. 2011
In 2000, Wes Moore had recently been named a Rhodes Scholar when he read a newspaper article about a man named Wes Moore who was on his way to prison. Both were young black men raised in inner-city neighborhoods by single mothers. Stunned by the similarities in their names and backgrounds and the differences in their fates, one Wes Moore contacted the other and began a long relationship.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. 1995
President Obama’s autobiography describes his early years.

Steiner, Rudolf. The Story of My Life. 1928
Rudolf Steiner’s autobiography in which he traces his life through age 46. Rather than focusing on outer events, he describes the path of his soul development and the struggles he went through to develop his world view.
Suggested by students.

Strayed, Cheryl. Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. 2012
At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. 
Suggested by students.

Tobar, Hector. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories Of 33 Men Buried In A Chilean Mine, And The Miracle That Set Them Free. 2014
It was a miracle watched around the world on live TV. On Oct. 13, 2010, 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days inside the San Jose mine were raised to the surface of the earth — resurrected — through a freshly drilled escape tunnel into which a capsule was lowered and raised by a giant crane.

 

FICTION

Asimov, Isaac. I Robot. 1950
Nine stories share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. Together they tell a larger story of Asimov’s fictional history of robotics.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Benioff, David. City of Thieves. 2008
In 1941, the Germans circled Leningrad, starving its citizens. Lev Beniov, caught out after curfew, is thrown into prison and expects to be executed. He is joined by a gregarious, literature-spouting soldier, Kolya, imprisoned for desertion. Their lives are spared, but the impossible task of acquiring a dozen eggs for the wedding of a colonel’s daughter takes them into a series of dark adventures.

Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine. 1979
A twelve-year-old boy's magical summer in small town Illinois in 1928. These linked stories have a bittersweet edge.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847
A mild-mannered young woman of firm principle overcomes adversity to find employment as a governess. She uncovers a shocking secret and finally finds true love.
Suggested by students.

Chbosky, Steve. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 1999
The story of what it’s like to grow up in high school, told through a series of hilarious and devastating letters.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Courlander, Harold. The African. 1967
A young African boy, Hwesuhunu, is kidnapped from his homeland. His story recreates the horrors of the Middle Passage and of slavery.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher

Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. 2014
The stories of blind, French teenager Marie-Laure LeBlanc and German orphan Werner Pfennig move across the convulsing landscape of the last half of World War II and come together, eventually, in a walled Breton town just before D-Day. 
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Frazier, Charles. Thirteen Moons. 2007
A melodic, melancholy novel narrated by its lead character, Will Cooper, who bears witness to the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, and its aftermath over his  90 years of life.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967
One of the 20th century's enduring works, the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the tragicomic history of a family.
Suggested by students.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. 2004
Amir is the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul; Hassan is the son of Amir's father's servant. As children, the boys are inseparable, running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes their relationship forever.
Suggested by students

Johnson, Adams. The Orphan Master’s Son. 2012
A young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Kline, Christina Baker. The Orphan Train. 2013
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. 2013
But for its lyrical, evocative scenes of life in the Calcutta neighborhood in which her heroes grow up, this tale of two brothers could be set anywhere, in almost any time. Udayan is passionate, idealistic and ripe for involvement in 1960’s political rebellion. Subhash is the “good brother,” the parent-pleaser, who goes off to study and teach in America. But when Udayan ends up a victim of his self-made political violence, Subhash steps in and marries his dead brother’s pregnant wife. His is the proverbial good deed that will never go unpunished; Subhash soon becomes a victim of his own goodness. Lahiri’s prose is lyrical and rich and her story is steeped in history.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn. 1999
Lethem has written a classic detective story with an unusual detective. Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourette’s Syndrome makes him bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways. With three other veterans of St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. When Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel’s world is topsy-turvy. This outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. 

Li, Yiyun. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. 2010
Exquisite stories set in China. A professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student’s true affections. A lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. Six women establish a private investigating agency to battle extramarital affairs in Beijing. This is the “One Chicago One Book” choice for 2012.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. 1990
These stories follow Tim O'Brien's platoon of American soldiers through a variety of personal and military encounters during the Vietnam War.
Suggested by students.

Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping: A Novel. 1980
Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. They live in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience. Ms. Meinke finds this book “beautifully written and magical to read”.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Satrapi, Mariane. Persepolis. 2004
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi describes her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.
Suggested by students

Scalzi, John. Lock In. 2014
A highly contagious virus is exposed to the world. Most who get sick experience mild flu-like symptoms, but 1%, are left fully awake but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The illness comes to be known as "Haden's Syndrome" with its victims called "Hadens". Humanoid robotic personal transport units controlled by a Haden's brain (nicknamed "Threeps" after C-3PO from Star Wars) are developed so Hadens can interact with the outside world. 25 years after the initial virus exposure, FBI agents Chris Shane (who is a Haden) and Leslie Vann are assigned to a Haden-related murder, with a suspect who is an "Integrator" – he can let a Haden use his body.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. 2009
The Lovely Bones unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie, a teenage murder victim, narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.
Suggested by students

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852
This moving, melodramatic novel fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 by condemning the institution of slavery through powerfully realized characters.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Thurber, James. The Thirteen Clocks. 1950
The Thirteen Clocks mixes puns and nonsense in a story complete with a princess, prince, and happy ending.
Recommended by Sr. Correa

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982
Celie’s letters tell the story of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is abused and raped by her father and attempts to protect her sister from the same fate. During her marriage to the brutal "Mister", Celie learns that her abusive husband has kept her sister's letters from her. Her rage and the loving example of her friend Shug, push her toward change. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Suggested by students

Zander, Joakim. The Swimmer. 2014
The Swimmer is indeed a high-octane thriller. A retired spy comes out of retirement because a young woman named Klara is in trouble and he’s the only one who can help her. She's involved in government and she sees something that really endangers her life – a laptop screen that she shouldn't have seen, and the race is on.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Zusac, Markus. The Book Thief. 2007
Liesel Meminger scratches out a meager existence for herself in World War II Munich by stealing. And she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. A selection of One Book One Chicago for 2012.

Welcome to the 11th Grade!

This page will be a resource for the class advisor to post information for announcements. Check back often for updates.

To start, below is the summer reading list, including the summer's topic genre, novels of the future. At the bottome of the page, you'll find three response forms attached.

SUMMER READING 2015

Books are in three categories: science and mathematics; history, biography, and social science; and fiction. Choose books from different categories.

  1. All students will read one of the selected novels of the future.
  2. Teachers will also read at least one of the selected novels of the future, and more as they are able.
  3. All students will read two additional books from two different categories.
  4. Seniors may substitute books relating to their senior project research topic if approved by their faculty advisors. Seniors must still fill out response forms for the books they read.

 

SIX NOVELS THAT IMAGINE THE FUTURE  

Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. 1950
The Martian Chronicles follows a "future history" structure. It is a series of short stories, complete in themselves, that are also episodes in a larger three-part story of the human settlement of Mars. The overall structure is in three parts, punctuated by two catastrophes: the near-extinction of the Martians and the parallel near-extinction of the human race. The story takes places between 1999 and 2026.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. 1915
Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society composed entirely of women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order free of war, conflict, and domination.

Hopkins, Nolo. Brown Girl in the Ring. 1999
Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. Still, when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1931
Far in the future, World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harboring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.

LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness. 1961
This novel takes place many centuries in the future. Genly Ai is an envoy sent to the planet Winter ("Gethen" in the language of its own people) to convince the citizens to join an interplanetary league called the Ekumen. The inhabitants of winter are unique in the galaxy because they are "ambisexual," spending the majority of time as asexual "potentials." They only adopt sexual attributes once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility, called kemmer, in which individuals can assume male or female attributes, depending on context and relationships. The complete absence of sexual prejudice has shaped the development of civilization on Winter. Among other things, the planet has never known war.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Player Piano. 1952
Kurt Vonnegut's first novel takes place in a near-future society that is almost totally mechanized, eliminating the need for human laborers. This widespread mechanization creates conflict between the wealthy upper class—the engineers and managers who keep society running—and the lower class, whose skills and purpose in society have been replaced by machines.

 

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

Becker, Robert. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. 1998
Becker describes the role electricity plays in healing, challenging the traditional mechanistic model of the body. These discoveries that offer new possibilities for fighting disease and harnessing the body's healing powers.
Recommended by Mr. Gleichauf

Birkhead, Tim. Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird. 2012
Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but it is not just wings that make birds unique. How does a nightingale improvise as it sings? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate? Tim Birkhead explains in fascinating detail how birds interact with one another and their environment.

Braasch, Gary. Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. 2014
A comprehensive look at the world-wide effects of climate change, its implications, and what countermeasures are being taken. Dramatic photographs show how the earth is being changed right now. Braasch concludes with a vision of how we can slow global warming and improve the lives of people everywhere.

Carroll, Sean. The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. 2012
Before discovering the elementary particle, the Higgs boson, scientists did not know if anything at the subatomic level had mass. Now a doorway is opening into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The electron was only discovered just over a hundred years ago and that discovery has taken us from nuclear energy to quantum computing. The inventions that will result from the Higgs discovery will be world-changing.

Cohen, David Elliot, ed. What Matters: The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time. 2008
In 18 stories, each made up of photos by leading photojournalists and elucidated by short essays by public intellectuals and journalists, this book explores environmental devastation, war, disease, and the ravages of both poverty and great wealth.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Durrell, Gerald. My Family and Other Animals. 1958
As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodrigues fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."
Recommended by Ms. Vig

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. 2008
Barbara Kingsolver, her husband, and two daughters made a twelve-month commitment to eat only locally grown foods. This entailed a move away from their home in non-food-producing Tuscon to a family farm in Virginia, where they grew and raised their own food and supported local farmers.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke and Ms. Gambill.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction. 2014
Kolbert takes us on an around-the-world journey. In Scotland, Peru, Italy, the Great Barrier Reef and more, she profiles the rise and fall of species both present and ancient. By the end, the hubris of Homo sapiens emerges as particularly shortsighted: we may be the first species to actively kill ourselves off.

Livio, Mario. The Golden Ratio: The Story of Pi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number. 2002
A captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics; this ratio impacts so many facets of our lives that it has fascinated us through the ages.

McKibben, Bill. The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing about Climate Change. 2011
Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, this is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon's discovery in the late 19th century to the present. What is happening to our planet—and what can we do about it? 
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Sacks, Oliver. Hallucinations. 2012
Dr. Sacks elegantly and compassionately summarizes his lifelong fascination with the life-changing visions he and others have experienced. He investigates what hallucinations tell us about the structure of our brains, how they have influenced folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all.

Sobel, Dava. A More Perfect Heaven. 2012 
Ms. Sobel imagines how a German mathematician convinced Nicholas Copernicus to share his heretical ideas about the movement of the planets with the world.

Sobel, Dava. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. 1995
The little known story behind the greatest innovation in navigational science; an 18th century version of the Global Positioning System.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Taylor, Graeme. Evolution’s Edge. 2008
Evolution's Edge shows that limitless economic expansion is impossible on a finite planet. Our growth-based global system is headed for collapse as critical resources become scarce and major ecosystems fail. Evolution's Edge is a practical guide to a sustainable future, showing how a common, cooperative vision can accelerate constructive global change.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Watson, James. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. 1968
A compelling description of scientific process and human betrayal in the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule.

 

HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

Braun, Adam. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change. 2014
Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “a pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving a prestigious job to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 250 schools around the world.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Brierly, Saroo. A Long Way Home: A Memoir. 2015
At five years old, Saroo Brierley found himself in Kolkata, India, alone, lost, and more than 1,000 miles from his family. He lived on the streets until he was taken into an orphanage and ultimately adopted by an Australian couple. Years later, with nothing but memories to guide him, Brierley began searching for his childhood home on Google Earth — and you'll have to read the book to find out what happens next.

Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods. 1998
The Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine is the classic hiker’s challenge, and Bill Bryson is the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy folks he meets along the way – along with a couple of bears. 

Dyer, Geoff. Another Great Day at Sea. 2014
A lanky, elderly Englishman in a deeply American world, Dyer brilliantly records daily life on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush. In the process it becomes clear why he has been praised as one of the most original and funniest voices in literature.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. 2009
Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born painting contractor, stays in New Orleans to protect his property while his family flees Hurricane Katrina. After the levees break, he uses his canoe to rescue people, before being arrested and swept into a vortex of bureaucratic brutality. When a guard accuses him of being a member of Al Qaeda, he sees that race and culture may explain his predicament.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965
Alex Hailey collaborated with Malcolm X to outline Malcolm X’s philosophy of black pride, Black Nationalism and pan-Africanism, as well as his conversion to Islam.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. 2003
Paul Farmer is a renowned infectious-disease specialist and a world-class Robin Hood whose life’s calling is to diagnose and cure diseases and to bring modern medicine to those in need. He is both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti, and he blasts through convention to get results.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege and Ms. Gambill

Kingsolver, Barbara. Poisonwood Bible. 1998
Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist takes his family – a wife and four daughters - to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as missionaries. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Recommended by Ms. Desouches

Larson, Erik. Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. 2004
A true story that reads like a novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. 2014
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history. Even as millions of girls followed her adventures, Wonder Woman's progressive politics panicked conservative sorts, like the psychiatrist who testified to the Senate about the comic's terrifying vision that "women in these stories are placed on equal footing with men."

Levitt, Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Levitt gives a new spin to things we thought we “knew” about how society works. For example, analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make less than minimum wage.

Lewis, Michael. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. 2004
Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues on a small budget. Believing that games could be won affordably with such methods as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who got lots of ground outs, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young players and castoff veterans.

Marcus, Greil. The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. 2014
No writer puts you inside the experience of music the way Greil Marcus does. His descriptions of songs unfold like thrillers or romantic rhapsodies, sucking you in and revealing aspects of each beat or vocal trill that you'd never have noticed on your own. Here, he re-imagines the very idea of rock history as a series of associations rather than chronological events. You may have never thought to connect Joy Division's “Transmission” to Buddy Holly's “Crying, Waiting, Hoping," or Christian Marclay's video-and sound-installation Guitar Drag to the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him is to Love Him,” but you'll think of music differently because Marcus did.

Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. 2011
In 2000, Wes Moore had recently been named a Rhodes Scholar when he read a newspaper article about a man named Wes Moore who was on his way to prison. Both were young black men raised in inner-city neighborhoods by single mothers. Stunned by the similarities in their names and backgrounds and the differences in their fates, one Wes Moore contacted the other and began a long relationship.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. 1995
President Obama’s autobiography describes his early years.

Steiner, Rudolf. The Story of My Life. 1928
Rudolf Steiner’s autobiography in which he traces his life through age 46. Rather than focusing on outer events, he describes the path of his soul development and the struggles he went through to develop his world view.
Suggested by students.

Strayed, Cheryl. Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. 2012
At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. 
Suggested by students.

Tobar, Hector. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories Of 33 Men Buried In A Chilean Mine, And The Miracle That Set Them Free. 2014
It was a miracle watched around the world on live TV. On Oct. 13, 2010, 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days inside the San Jose mine were raised to the surface of the earth — resurrected — through a freshly drilled escape tunnel into which a capsule was lowered and raised by a giant crane.

 

FICTION

Asimov, Isaac. I Robot. 1950
Nine stories share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. Together they tell a larger story of Asimov’s fictional history of robotics.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Benioff, David. City of Thieves. 2008
In 1941, the Germans circled Leningrad, starving its citizens. Lev Beniov, caught out after curfew, is thrown into prison and expects to be executed. He is joined by a gregarious, literature-spouting soldier, Kolya, imprisoned for desertion. Their lives are spared, but the impossible task of acquiring a dozen eggs for the wedding of a colonel’s daughter takes them into a series of dark adventures.

Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine. 1979
A twelve-year-old boy's magical summer in small town Illinois in 1928. These linked stories have a bittersweet edge.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847
A mild-mannered young woman of firm principle overcomes adversity to find employment as a governess. She uncovers a shocking secret and finally finds true love.
Suggested by students.

Chbosky, Steve. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 1999
The story of what it’s like to grow up in high school, told through a series of hilarious and devastating letters.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Courlander, Harold. The African. 1967
A young African boy, Hwesuhunu, is kidnapped from his homeland. His story recreates the horrors of the Middle Passage and of slavery.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher

Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. 2014
The stories of blind, French teenager Marie-Laure LeBlanc and German orphan Werner Pfennig move across the convulsing landscape of the last half of World War II and come together, eventually, in a walled Breton town just before D-Day. 
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Frazier, Charles. Thirteen Moons. 2007
A melodic, melancholy novel narrated by its lead character, Will Cooper, who bears witness to the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, and its aftermath over his  90 years of life.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967
One of the 20th century's enduring works, the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the tragicomic history of a family.
Suggested by students.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. 2004
Amir is the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul; Hassan is the son of Amir's father's servant. As children, the boys are inseparable, running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes their relationship forever.
Suggested by students

Johnson, Adams. The Orphan Master’s Son. 2012
A young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Kline, Christina Baker. The Orphan Train. 2013
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. 2013
But for its lyrical, evocative scenes of life in the Calcutta neighborhood in which her heroes grow up, this tale of two brothers could be set anywhere, in almost any time. Udayan is passionate, idealistic and ripe for involvement in 1960’s political rebellion. Subhash is the “good brother,” the parent-pleaser, who goes off to study and teach in America. But when Udayan ends up a victim of his self-made political violence, Subhash steps in and marries his dead brother’s pregnant wife. His is the proverbial good deed that will never go unpunished; Subhash soon becomes a victim of his own goodness. Lahiri’s prose is lyrical and rich and her story is steeped in history.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn. 1999
Lethem has written a classic detective story with an unusual detective. Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourette’s Syndrome makes him bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways. With three other veterans of St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. When Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel’s world is topsy-turvy. This outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. 

Li, Yiyun. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. 2010
Exquisite stories set in China. A professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student’s true affections. A lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. Six women establish a private investigating agency to battle extramarital affairs in Beijing. This is the “One Chicago One Book” choice for 2012.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. 1990
These stories follow Tim O'Brien's platoon of American soldiers through a variety of personal and military encounters during the Vietnam War.
Suggested by students.

Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping: A Novel. 1980
Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. They live in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience. Ms. Meinke finds this book “beautifully written and magical to read”.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Satrapi, Mariane. Persepolis. 2004
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi describes her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.
Suggested by students

Scalzi, John. Lock In. 2014
A highly contagious virus is exposed to the world. Most who get sick experience mild flu-like symptoms, but 1%, are left fully awake but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The illness comes to be known as "Haden's Syndrome" with its victims called "Hadens". Humanoid robotic personal transport units controlled by a Haden's brain (nicknamed "Threeps" after C-3PO from Star Wars) are developed so Hadens can interact with the outside world. 25 years after the initial virus exposure, FBI agents Chris Shane (who is a Haden) and Leslie Vann are assigned to a Haden-related murder, with a suspect who is an "Integrator" – he can let a Haden use his body.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. 2009
The Lovely Bones unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie, a teenage murder victim, narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.
Suggested by students

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852
This moving, melodramatic novel fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 by condemning the institution of slavery through powerfully realized characters.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Thurber, James. The Thirteen Clocks. 1950
The Thirteen Clocks mixes puns and nonsense in a story complete with a princess, prince, and happy ending.
Recommended by Sr. Correa

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982
Celie’s letters tell the story of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is abused and raped by her father and attempts to protect her sister from the same fate. During her marriage to the brutal "Mister", Celie learns that her abusive husband has kept her sister's letters from her. Her rage and the loving example of her friend Shug, push her toward change. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Suggested by students

Zander, Joakim. The Swimmer. 2014
The Swimmer is indeed a high-octane thriller. A retired spy comes out of retirement because a young woman named Klara is in trouble and he’s the only one who can help her. She's involved in government and she sees something that really endangers her life – a laptop screen that she shouldn't have seen, and the race is on.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Zusac, Markus. The Book Thief. 2007
Liesel Meminger scratches out a meager existence for herself in World War II Munich by stealing. And she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. A selection of One Book One Chicago for 2012.

Welcome to the 12th Grade!

This page will be a resource for the class advisor to post information for announcements. Check back often for updates.

To start, below is the summer reading list, including the summer's topic genre, novels of the future. At the bottome of the page, you'll find three response forms attached.

SUMMER READING 2015

Books are in three categories: science and mathematics; history, biography, and social science; and fiction. Choose books from different categories.

  1. All students will read one of the selected novels of the future.
  2. Teachers will also read at least one of the selected novels of the future, and more as they are able.
  3. All students will read two additional books from two different categories.
  4. Seniors may substitute books relating to their senior project research topic if approved by their faculty advisors. Seniors must still fill out response forms for the books they read.

 

SIX NOVELS THAT IMAGINE THE FUTURE  

Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. 1950
The Martian Chronicles follows a "future history" structure. It is a series of short stories, complete in themselves, that are also episodes in a larger three-part story of the human settlement of Mars. The overall structure is in three parts, punctuated by two catastrophes: the near-extinction of the Martians and the parallel near-extinction of the human race. The story takes places between 1999 and 2026.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. 1915
Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society composed entirely of women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order free of war, conflict, and domination.

Hopkins, Nolo. Brown Girl in the Ring. 1999
Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. Still, when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1931
Far in the future, World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harboring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.

LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness. 1961
This novel takes place many centuries in the future. Genly Ai is an envoy sent to the planet Winter ("Gethen" in the language of its own people) to convince the citizens to join an interplanetary league called the Ekumen. The inhabitants of winter are unique in the galaxy because they are "ambisexual," spending the majority of time as asexual "potentials." They only adopt sexual attributes once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility, called kemmer, in which individuals can assume male or female attributes, depending on context and relationships. The complete absence of sexual prejudice has shaped the development of civilization on Winter. Among other things, the planet has never known war.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Player Piano. 1952
Kurt Vonnegut's first novel takes place in a near-future society that is almost totally mechanized, eliminating the need for human laborers. This widespread mechanization creates conflict between the wealthy upper class—the engineers and managers who keep society running—and the lower class, whose skills and purpose in society have been replaced by machines.

 

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

Becker, Robert. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. 1998
Becker describes the role electricity plays in healing, challenging the traditional mechanistic model of the body. These discoveries that offer new possibilities for fighting disease and harnessing the body's healing powers.
Recommended by Mr. Gleichauf

Birkhead, Tim. Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird. 2012
Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but it is not just wings that make birds unique. How does a nightingale improvise as it sings? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate? Tim Birkhead explains in fascinating detail how birds interact with one another and their environment.

Braasch, Gary. Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. 2014
A comprehensive look at the world-wide effects of climate change, its implications, and what countermeasures are being taken. Dramatic photographs show how the earth is being changed right now. Braasch concludes with a vision of how we can slow global warming and improve the lives of people everywhere.

Carroll, Sean. The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. 2012
Before discovering the elementary particle, the Higgs boson, scientists did not know if anything at the subatomic level had mass. Now a doorway is opening into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The electron was only discovered just over a hundred years ago and that discovery has taken us from nuclear energy to quantum computing. The inventions that will result from the Higgs discovery will be world-changing.

Cohen, David Elliot, ed. What Matters: The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time. 2008
In 18 stories, each made up of photos by leading photojournalists and elucidated by short essays by public intellectuals and journalists, this book explores environmental devastation, war, disease, and the ravages of both poverty and great wealth.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Durrell, Gerald. My Family and Other Animals. 1958
As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodrigues fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."
Recommended by Ms. Vig

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. 2008
Barbara Kingsolver, her husband, and two daughters made a twelve-month commitment to eat only locally grown foods. This entailed a move away from their home in non-food-producing Tuscon to a family farm in Virginia, where they grew and raised their own food and supported local farmers.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke and Ms. Gambill.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction. 2014
Kolbert takes us on an around-the-world journey. In Scotland, Peru, Italy, the Great Barrier Reef and more, she profiles the rise and fall of species both present and ancient. By the end, the hubris of Homo sapiens emerges as particularly shortsighted: we may be the first species to actively kill ourselves off.

Livio, Mario. The Golden Ratio: The Story of Pi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number. 2002
A captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics; this ratio impacts so many facets of our lives that it has fascinated us through the ages.

McKibben, Bill. The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing about Climate Change. 2011
Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, this is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon's discovery in the late 19th century to the present. What is happening to our planet—and what can we do about it? 
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Sacks, Oliver. Hallucinations. 2012
Dr. Sacks elegantly and compassionately summarizes his lifelong fascination with the life-changing visions he and others have experienced. He investigates what hallucinations tell us about the structure of our brains, how they have influenced folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all.

Sobel, Dava. A More Perfect Heaven. 2012 
Ms. Sobel imagines how a German mathematician convinced Nicholas Copernicus to share his heretical ideas about the movement of the planets with the world.

Sobel, Dava. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. 1995
The little known story behind the greatest innovation in navigational science; an 18th century version of the Global Positioning System.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Taylor, Graeme. Evolution’s Edge. 2008
Evolution's Edge shows that limitless economic expansion is impossible on a finite planet. Our growth-based global system is headed for collapse as critical resources become scarce and major ecosystems fail. Evolution's Edge is a practical guide to a sustainable future, showing how a common, cooperative vision can accelerate constructive global change.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Watson, James. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. 1968
A compelling description of scientific process and human betrayal in the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule.

 

HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

Braun, Adam. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change. 2014
Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “a pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving a prestigious job to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 250 schools around the world.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Brierly, Saroo. A Long Way Home: A Memoir. 2015
At five years old, Saroo Brierley found himself in Kolkata, India, alone, lost, and more than 1,000 miles from his family. He lived on the streets until he was taken into an orphanage and ultimately adopted by an Australian couple. Years later, with nothing but memories to guide him, Brierley began searching for his childhood home on Google Earth — and you'll have to read the book to find out what happens next.

Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods. 1998
The Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine is the classic hiker’s challenge, and Bill Bryson is the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy folks he meets along the way – along with a couple of bears. 

Dyer, Geoff. Another Great Day at Sea. 2014
A lanky, elderly Englishman in a deeply American world, Dyer brilliantly records daily life on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush. In the process it becomes clear why he has been praised as one of the most original and funniest voices in literature.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. 2009
Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born painting contractor, stays in New Orleans to protect his property while his family flees Hurricane Katrina. After the levees break, he uses his canoe to rescue people, before being arrested and swept into a vortex of bureaucratic brutality. When a guard accuses him of being a member of Al Qaeda, he sees that race and culture may explain his predicament.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965
Alex Hailey collaborated with Malcolm X to outline Malcolm X’s philosophy of black pride, Black Nationalism and pan-Africanism, as well as his conversion to Islam.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. 2003
Paul Farmer is a renowned infectious-disease specialist and a world-class Robin Hood whose life’s calling is to diagnose and cure diseases and to bring modern medicine to those in need. He is both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti, and he blasts through convention to get results.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege and Ms. Gambill

Kingsolver, Barbara. Poisonwood Bible. 1998
Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist takes his family – a wife and four daughters - to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as missionaries. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Recommended by Ms. Desouches

Larson, Erik. Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. 2004
A true story that reads like a novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. 2014
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history. Even as millions of girls followed her adventures, Wonder Woman's progressive politics panicked conservative sorts, like the psychiatrist who testified to the Senate about the comic's terrifying vision that "women in these stories are placed on equal footing with men."

Levitt, Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Levitt gives a new spin to things we thought we “knew” about how society works. For example, analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make less than minimum wage.

Lewis, Michael. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. 2004
Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues on a small budget. Believing that games could be won affordably with such methods as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who got lots of ground outs, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young players and castoff veterans.

Marcus, Greil. The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. 2014
No writer puts you inside the experience of music the way Greil Marcus does. His descriptions of songs unfold like thrillers or romantic rhapsodies, sucking you in and revealing aspects of each beat or vocal trill that you'd never have noticed on your own. Here, he re-imagines the very idea of rock history as a series of associations rather than chronological events. You may have never thought to connect Joy Division's “Transmission” to Buddy Holly's “Crying, Waiting, Hoping," or Christian Marclay's video-and sound-installation Guitar Drag to the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him is to Love Him,” but you'll think of music differently because Marcus did.

Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. 2011
In 2000, Wes Moore had recently been named a Rhodes Scholar when he read a newspaper article about a man named Wes Moore who was on his way to prison. Both were young black men raised in inner-city neighborhoods by single mothers. Stunned by the similarities in their names and backgrounds and the differences in their fates, one Wes Moore contacted the other and began a long relationship.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. 1995
President Obama’s autobiography describes his early years.

Steiner, Rudolf. The Story of My Life. 1928
Rudolf Steiner’s autobiography in which he traces his life through age 46. Rather than focusing on outer events, he describes the path of his soul development and the struggles he went through to develop his world view.
Suggested by students.

Strayed, Cheryl. Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. 2012
At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. 
Suggested by students.

Tobar, Hector. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories Of 33 Men Buried In A Chilean Mine, And The Miracle That Set Them Free. 2014
It was a miracle watched around the world on live TV. On Oct. 13, 2010, 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days inside the San Jose mine were raised to the surface of the earth — resurrected — through a freshly drilled escape tunnel into which a capsule was lowered and raised by a giant crane.

 

FICTION

Asimov, Isaac. I Robot. 1950
Nine stories share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. Together they tell a larger story of Asimov’s fictional history of robotics.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Benioff, David. City of Thieves. 2008
In 1941, the Germans circled Leningrad, starving its citizens. Lev Beniov, caught out after curfew, is thrown into prison and expects to be executed. He is joined by a gregarious, literature-spouting soldier, Kolya, imprisoned for desertion. Their lives are spared, but the impossible task of acquiring a dozen eggs for the wedding of a colonel’s daughter takes them into a series of dark adventures.

Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine. 1979
A twelve-year-old boy's magical summer in small town Illinois in 1928. These linked stories have a bittersweet edge.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847
A mild-mannered young woman of firm principle overcomes adversity to find employment as a governess. She uncovers a shocking secret and finally finds true love.
Suggested by students.

Chbosky, Steve. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 1999
The story of what it’s like to grow up in high school, told through a series of hilarious and devastating letters.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Courlander, Harold. The African. 1967
A young African boy, Hwesuhunu, is kidnapped from his homeland. His story recreates the horrors of the Middle Passage and of slavery.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher

Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. 2014
The stories of blind, French teenager Marie-Laure LeBlanc and German orphan Werner Pfennig move across the convulsing landscape of the last half of World War II and come together, eventually, in a walled Breton town just before D-Day. 
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Frazier, Charles. Thirteen Moons. 2007
A melodic, melancholy novel narrated by its lead character, Will Cooper, who bears witness to the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, and its aftermath over his  90 years of life.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967
One of the 20th century's enduring works, the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the tragicomic history of a family.
Suggested by students.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. 2004
Amir is the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul; Hassan is the son of Amir's father's servant. As children, the boys are inseparable, running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes their relationship forever.
Suggested by students

Johnson, Adams. The Orphan Master’s Son. 2012
A young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Kline, Christina Baker. The Orphan Train. 2013
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. 2013
But for its lyrical, evocative scenes of life in the Calcutta neighborhood in which her heroes grow up, this tale of two brothers could be set anywhere, in almost any time. Udayan is passionate, idealistic and ripe for involvement in 1960’s political rebellion. Subhash is the “good brother,” the parent-pleaser, who goes off to study and teach in America. But when Udayan ends up a victim of his self-made political violence, Subhash steps in and marries his dead brother’s pregnant wife. His is the proverbial good deed that will never go unpunished; Subhash soon becomes a victim of his own goodness. Lahiri’s prose is lyrical and rich and her story is steeped in history.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn. 1999
Lethem has written a classic detective story with an unusual detective. Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourette’s Syndrome makes him bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways. With three other veterans of St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. When Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel’s world is topsy-turvy. This outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. 

Li, Yiyun. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. 2010
Exquisite stories set in China. A professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student’s true affections. A lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. Six women establish a private investigating agency to battle extramarital affairs in Beijing. This is the “One Chicago One Book” choice for 2012.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. 1990
These stories follow Tim O'Brien's platoon of American soldiers through a variety of personal and military encounters during the Vietnam War.
Suggested by students.

Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping: A Novel. 1980
Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. They live in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience. Ms. Meinke finds this book “beautifully written and magical to read”.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Satrapi, Mariane. Persepolis. 2004
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi describes her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.
Suggested by students

Scalzi, John. Lock In. 2014
A highly contagious virus is exposed to the world. Most who get sick experience mild flu-like symptoms, but 1%, are left fully awake but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The illness comes to be known as "Haden's Syndrome" with its victims called "Hadens". Humanoid robotic personal transport units controlled by a Haden's brain (nicknamed "Threeps" after C-3PO from Star Wars) are developed so Hadens can interact with the outside world. 25 years after the initial virus exposure, FBI agents Chris Shane (who is a Haden) and Leslie Vann are assigned to a Haden-related murder, with a suspect who is an "Integrator" – he can let a Haden use his body.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. 2009
The Lovely Bones unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie, a teenage murder victim, narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.
Suggested by students

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852
This moving, melodramatic novel fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 by condemning the institution of slavery through powerfully realized characters.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Thurber, James. The Thirteen Clocks. 1950
The Thirteen Clocks mixes puns and nonsense in a story complete with a princess, prince, and happy ending.
Recommended by Sr. Correa

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982
Celie’s letters tell the story of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is abused and raped by her father and attempts to protect her sister from the same fate. During her marriage to the brutal "Mister", Celie learns that her abusive husband has kept her sister's letters from her. Her rage and the loving example of her friend Shug, push her toward change. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Suggested by students

Zander, Joakim. The Swimmer. 2014
The Swimmer is indeed a high-octane thriller. A retired spy comes out of retirement because a young woman named Klara is in trouble and he’s the only one who can help her. She's involved in government and she sees something that really endangers her life – a laptop screen that she shouldn't have seen, and the race is on.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Zusac, Markus. The Book Thief. 2007
Liesel Meminger scratches out a meager existence for herself in World War II Munich by stealing. And she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. A selection of One Book One Chicago for 2012.

Welcome to the 9th Grade!

This page will be a resource for the class advisor to post information for announcements. Check back often for updates.

To start, below is the summer reading list, including the summer's topic genre, novels of the future. At the bottome of the page, you'll find three response forms attached.

SUMMER READING 2015

Books are in three categories: science and mathematics; history, biography, and social science; and fiction. Choose books from different categories.

  1. All students will read one of the selected novels of the future.
  2. Teachers will also read at least one of the selected novels of the future, and more as they are able.
  3. All students will read two additional books from two different categories.
  4. Seniors may substitute books relating to their senior project research topic if approved by their faculty advisors. Seniors must still fill out response forms for the books they read.

 

SIX NOVELS THAT IMAGINE THE FUTURE  

Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. 1950
The Martian Chronicles follows a "future history" structure. It is a series of short stories, complete in themselves, that are also episodes in a larger three-part story of the human settlement of Mars. The overall structure is in three parts, punctuated by two catastrophes: the near-extinction of the Martians and the parallel near-extinction of the human race. The story takes places between 1999 and 2026.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. 1915
Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society composed entirely of women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order free of war, conflict, and domination.

Hopkins, Nolo. Brown Girl in the Ring. 1999
Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. Still, when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1931
Far in the future, World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harboring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.

LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness. 1961
This novel takes place many centuries in the future. Genly Ai is an envoy sent to the planet Winter ("Gethen" in the language of its own people) to convince the citizens to join an interplanetary league called the Ekumen. The inhabitants of winter are unique in the galaxy because they are "ambisexual," spending the majority of time as asexual "potentials." They only adopt sexual attributes once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility, called kemmer, in which individuals can assume male or female attributes, depending on context and relationships. The complete absence of sexual prejudice has shaped the development of civilization on Winter. Among other things, the planet has never known war.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Player Piano. 1952
Kurt Vonnegut's first novel takes place in a near-future society that is almost totally mechanized, eliminating the need for human laborers. This widespread mechanization creates conflict between the wealthy upper class—the engineers and managers who keep society running—and the lower class, whose skills and purpose in society have been replaced by machines.

 

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

Becker, Robert. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. 1998
Becker describes the role electricity plays in healing, challenging the traditional mechanistic model of the body. These discoveries that offer new possibilities for fighting disease and harnessing the body's healing powers.
Recommended by Mr. Gleichauf

Birkhead, Tim. Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird. 2012
Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but it is not just wings that make birds unique. How does a nightingale improvise as it sings? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate? Tim Birkhead explains in fascinating detail how birds interact with one another and their environment.

Braasch, Gary. Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. 2014
A comprehensive look at the world-wide effects of climate change, its implications, and what countermeasures are being taken. Dramatic photographs show how the earth is being changed right now. Braasch concludes with a vision of how we can slow global warming and improve the lives of people everywhere.

Carroll, Sean. The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. 2012
Before discovering the elementary particle, the Higgs boson, scientists did not know if anything at the subatomic level had mass. Now a doorway is opening into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The electron was only discovered just over a hundred years ago and that discovery has taken us from nuclear energy to quantum computing. The inventions that will result from the Higgs discovery will be world-changing.

Cohen, David Elliot, ed. What Matters: The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time. 2008
In 18 stories, each made up of photos by leading photojournalists and elucidated by short essays by public intellectuals and journalists, this book explores environmental devastation, war, disease, and the ravages of both poverty and great wealth.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Durrell, Gerald. My Family and Other Animals. 1958
As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodrigues fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."
Recommended by Ms. Vig

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. 2008
Barbara Kingsolver, her husband, and two daughters made a twelve-month commitment to eat only locally grown foods. This entailed a move away from their home in non-food-producing Tuscon to a family farm in Virginia, where they grew and raised their own food and supported local farmers.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke and Ms. Gambill.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction. 2014
Kolbert takes us on an around-the-world journey. In Scotland, Peru, Italy, the Great Barrier Reef and more, she profiles the rise and fall of species both present and ancient. By the end, the hubris of Homo sapiens emerges as particularly shortsighted: we may be the first species to actively kill ourselves off.

Livio, Mario. The Golden Ratio: The Story of Pi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number. 2002
A captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics; this ratio impacts so many facets of our lives that it has fascinated us through the ages.

McKibben, Bill. The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing about Climate Change. 2011
Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, this is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon's discovery in the late 19th century to the present. What is happening to our planet—and what can we do about it? 
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Sacks, Oliver. Hallucinations. 2012
Dr. Sacks elegantly and compassionately summarizes his lifelong fascination with the life-changing visions he and others have experienced. He investigates what hallucinations tell us about the structure of our brains, how they have influenced folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all.

Sobel, Dava. A More Perfect Heaven. 2012 
Ms. Sobel imagines how a German mathematician convinced Nicholas Copernicus to share his heretical ideas about the movement of the planets with the world.

Sobel, Dava. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. 1995
The little known story behind the greatest innovation in navigational science; an 18th century version of the Global Positioning System.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Taylor, Graeme. Evolution’s Edge. 2008
Evolution's Edge shows that limitless economic expansion is impossible on a finite planet. Our growth-based global system is headed for collapse as critical resources become scarce and major ecosystems fail. Evolution's Edge is a practical guide to a sustainable future, showing how a common, cooperative vision can accelerate constructive global change.
Recommended by Dr. Kotz

Watson, James. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. 1968
A compelling description of scientific process and human betrayal in the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule.

 

HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

Braun, Adam. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change. 2014
Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “a pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving a prestigious job to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 250 schools around the world.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Brierly, Saroo. A Long Way Home: A Memoir. 2015
At five years old, Saroo Brierley found himself in Kolkata, India, alone, lost, and more than 1,000 miles from his family. He lived on the streets until he was taken into an orphanage and ultimately adopted by an Australian couple. Years later, with nothing but memories to guide him, Brierley began searching for his childhood home on Google Earth — and you'll have to read the book to find out what happens next.

Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods. 1998
The Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine is the classic hiker’s challenge, and Bill Bryson is the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy folks he meets along the way – along with a couple of bears. 

Dyer, Geoff. Another Great Day at Sea. 2014
A lanky, elderly Englishman in a deeply American world, Dyer brilliantly records daily life on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush. In the process it becomes clear why he has been praised as one of the most original and funniest voices in literature.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. 2009
Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born painting contractor, stays in New Orleans to protect his property while his family flees Hurricane Katrina. After the levees break, he uses his canoe to rescue people, before being arrested and swept into a vortex of bureaucratic brutality. When a guard accuses him of being a member of Al Qaeda, he sees that race and culture may explain his predicament.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965
Alex Hailey collaborated with Malcolm X to outline Malcolm X’s philosophy of black pride, Black Nationalism and pan-Africanism, as well as his conversion to Islam.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. 2003
Paul Farmer is a renowned infectious-disease specialist and a world-class Robin Hood whose life’s calling is to diagnose and cure diseases and to bring modern medicine to those in need. He is both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti, and he blasts through convention to get results.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege and Ms. Gambill

Kingsolver, Barbara. Poisonwood Bible. 1998
Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist takes his family – a wife and four daughters - to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as missionaries. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Recommended by Ms. Desouches

Larson, Erik. Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. 2004
A true story that reads like a novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. 2014
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history. Even as millions of girls followed her adventures, Wonder Woman's progressive politics panicked conservative sorts, like the psychiatrist who testified to the Senate about the comic's terrifying vision that "women in these stories are placed on equal footing with men."

Levitt, Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Levitt gives a new spin to things we thought we “knew” about how society works. For example, analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make less than minimum wage.

Lewis, Michael. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. 2004
Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues on a small budget. Believing that games could be won affordably with such methods as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who got lots of ground outs, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young players and castoff veterans.

Marcus, Greil. The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. 2014
No writer puts you inside the experience of music the way Greil Marcus does. His descriptions of songs unfold like thrillers or romantic rhapsodies, sucking you in and revealing aspects of each beat or vocal trill that you'd never have noticed on your own. Here, he re-imagines the very idea of rock history as a series of associations rather than chronological events. You may have never thought to connect Joy Division's “Transmission” to Buddy Holly's “Crying, Waiting, Hoping," or Christian Marclay's video-and sound-installation Guitar Drag to the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him is to Love Him,” but you'll think of music differently because Marcus did.

Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. 2011
In 2000, Wes Moore had recently been named a Rhodes Scholar when he read a newspaper article about a man named Wes Moore who was on his way to prison. Both were young black men raised in inner-city neighborhoods by single mothers. Stunned by the similarities in their names and backgrounds and the differences in their fates, one Wes Moore contacted the other and began a long relationship.
Recommended by Mr. Holdrege

Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. 1995
President Obama’s autobiography describes his early years.

Steiner, Rudolf. The Story of My Life. 1928
Rudolf Steiner’s autobiography in which he traces his life through age 46. Rather than focusing on outer events, he describes the path of his soul development and the struggles he went through to develop his world view.
Suggested by students.

Strayed, Cheryl. Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. 2012
At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. 
Suggested by students.

Tobar, Hector. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories Of 33 Men Buried In A Chilean Mine, And The Miracle That Set Them Free. 2014
It was a miracle watched around the world on live TV. On Oct. 13, 2010, 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days inside the San Jose mine were raised to the surface of the earth — resurrected — through a freshly drilled escape tunnel into which a capsule was lowered and raised by a giant crane.

 

FICTION

Asimov, Isaac. I Robot. 1950
Nine stories share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. Together they tell a larger story of Asimov’s fictional history of robotics.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Benioff, David. City of Thieves. 2008
In 1941, the Germans circled Leningrad, starving its citizens. Lev Beniov, caught out after curfew, is thrown into prison and expects to be executed. He is joined by a gregarious, literature-spouting soldier, Kolya, imprisoned for desertion. Their lives are spared, but the impossible task of acquiring a dozen eggs for the wedding of a colonel’s daughter takes them into a series of dark adventures.

Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine. 1979
A twelve-year-old boy's magical summer in small town Illinois in 1928. These linked stories have a bittersweet edge.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847
A mild-mannered young woman of firm principle overcomes adversity to find employment as a governess. She uncovers a shocking secret and finally finds true love.
Suggested by students.

Chbosky, Steve. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 1999
The story of what it’s like to grow up in high school, told through a series of hilarious and devastating letters.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Courlander, Harold. The African. 1967
A young African boy, Hwesuhunu, is kidnapped from his homeland. His story recreates the horrors of the Middle Passage and of slavery.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher

Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. 2014
The stories of blind, French teenager Marie-Laure LeBlanc and German orphan Werner Pfennig move across the convulsing landscape of the last half of World War II and come together, eventually, in a walled Breton town just before D-Day. 
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Frazier, Charles. Thirteen Moons. 2007
A melodic, melancholy novel narrated by its lead character, Will Cooper, who bears witness to the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, and its aftermath over his  90 years of life.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967
One of the 20th century's enduring works, the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the tragicomic history of a family.
Suggested by students.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. 2004
Amir is the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul; Hassan is the son of Amir's father's servant. As children, the boys are inseparable, running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes their relationship forever.
Suggested by students

Johnson, Adams. The Orphan Master’s Son. 2012
A young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Recommended by Ms. Huckabay

Kline, Christina Baker. The Orphan Train. 2013
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. 2013
But for its lyrical, evocative scenes of life in the Calcutta neighborhood in which her heroes grow up, this tale of two brothers could be set anywhere, in almost any time. Udayan is passionate, idealistic and ripe for involvement in 1960’s political rebellion. Subhash is the “good brother,” the parent-pleaser, who goes off to study and teach in America. But when Udayan ends up a victim of his self-made political violence, Subhash steps in and marries his dead brother’s pregnant wife. His is the proverbial good deed that will never go unpunished; Subhash soon becomes a victim of his own goodness. Lahiri’s prose is lyrical and rich and her story is steeped in history.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn. 1999
Lethem has written a classic detective story with an unusual detective. Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourette’s Syndrome makes him bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways. With three other veterans of St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. When Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel’s world is topsy-turvy. This outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. 

Li, Yiyun. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. 2010
Exquisite stories set in China. A professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student’s true affections. A lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. Six women establish a private investigating agency to battle extramarital affairs in Beijing. This is the “One Chicago One Book” choice for 2012.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. 1990
These stories follow Tim O'Brien's platoon of American soldiers through a variety of personal and military encounters during the Vietnam War.
Suggested by students.

Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping: A Novel. 1980
Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. They live in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience. Ms. Meinke finds this book “beautifully written and magical to read”.
Recommended by Ms. Meinke

Satrapi, Mariane. Persepolis. 2004
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi describes her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.
Suggested by students

Scalzi, John. Lock In. 2014
A highly contagious virus is exposed to the world. Most who get sick experience mild flu-like symptoms, but 1%, are left fully awake but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The illness comes to be known as "Haden's Syndrome" with its victims called "Hadens". Humanoid robotic personal transport units controlled by a Haden's brain (nicknamed "Threeps" after C-3PO from Star Wars) are developed so Hadens can interact with the outside world. 25 years after the initial virus exposure, FBI agents Chris Shane (who is a Haden) and Leslie Vann are assigned to a Haden-related murder, with a suspect who is an "Integrator" – he can let a Haden use his body.
Recommended by Ms. Harwood

Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. 2009
The Lovely Bones unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie, a teenage murder victim, narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.
Suggested by students

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852
This moving, melodramatic novel fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 by condemning the institution of slavery through powerfully realized characters.
Recommended by Mr. Welcher.

Thurber, James. The Thirteen Clocks. 1950
The Thirteen Clocks mixes puns and nonsense in a story complete with a princess, prince, and happy ending.
Recommended by Sr. Correa

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982
Celie’s letters tell the story of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is abused and raped by her father and attempts to protect her sister from the same fate. During her marriage to the brutal "Mister", Celie learns that her abusive husband has kept her sister's letters from her. Her rage and the loving example of her friend Shug, push her toward change. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Suggested by students

Zander, Joakim. The Swimmer. 2014
The Swimmer is indeed a high-octane thriller. A retired spy comes out of retirement because a young woman named Klara is in trouble and he’s the only one who can help her. She's involved in government and she sees something that really endangers her life – a laptop screen that she shouldn't have seen, and the race is on.
Recommended by Ms. Goodwin

Zusac, Markus. The Book Thief. 2007
Liesel Meminger scratches out a meager existence for herself in World War II Munich by stealing. And she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. A selection of One Book One Chicago for 2012.