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Siperstein Library: Teacher Summer Reading 2020

Who read it?

Mr. McCoy

The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts

How do you stage a mutiny when you're only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each job shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears, and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what's best for you? Sunday Ahzmundin is about to discover the components of any successful revolution: conspiracy, code―and unavoidable casualties. -Publisher

Ms. Quinn 
 
​Becoming by Michelle Obama
 
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States..Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations, and whose story inspires us to do the same. - Publisher

 Fr. Mullin

So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo

"A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. In 'So You Want to Talk About Race', ... Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the 'N' word. ... Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans"--Publisher.

 

Mr. Verdi, Ms. Hutchinson, and Mr. Roche

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports...Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family. - Publisher

Mr. Dawybida and Mr. Reese

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before. - Publisher

Ms. Friedlander

Bull by David Elliott

David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, which NPR called “beautifully clever,” Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters. - Publisher

 

Ms. Angermeyer

Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir

Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power and celebrated for his intellect, presided over one of the most magnificent–and dangerous–courts in Renaissance Europe. Never before has a detailed, personal biography of this charismatic monarch been set against the cultural, social, and political background of his glittering court. Now Alison Weir, author of the finest royal chronicles of our time, brings to vibrant life the turbulent, complex figure of the King.  - Publisher

Ms. Piccolo

Into Thin Air: a personal account of the Mount Everest disaster by Jon Krakauer

The author relates his experience of climbing Mount Everest during its deadliest season and examines what it is about the mountain that makes people willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. - Publisher

Mr. Morris

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Olympia, an albino hunchback dwarf, tells of a carnival family who breeds and trains their children for their freak show. - Publisher

Dr. Williams

This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed by Charles E Cobb, Jr.

Visiting Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, journalist William Worthy almost sat on a loaded pistol. "Just for self-defense," King assured him...Drawing on his experiences in the civil rights movement and giving voice to its participants, Cobb lays bare the paradoxical relationship between the nonviolent civil rights struggle and the long history and importance of African Americans taking up arms to defend themselves against white supremacist violence. - Publisher

Profe Powers

Terra Alta by Javier Cercas

Un crimen terrible sacude la apacible comarca de la Terra Alta...Partiendo de ese suceso, y a través de una narración trepidante y repleta de personajes memorables, esta novela se convierte en una lúcida reflexión sobre el valor de la ley, la posibilidad de la justicia y la legitimidad de la venganza, pero sobre todo en la epopeya de un hombre en busca de su lugar en el mundo. - Editor

Mr. Dougherty

Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin

Haviland Tuf is an honest space-trader who likes cats.... Armed with [his] unique equipment, Tuf is set to tackle the problems that human settlers have created in colonizing far-flung worlds: hosts of hostile monsters, a population hooked on procreation, a dictator who unleashes plagues to get his own way . . . and in every case, the only thing that stands between the colonists and disaster is Tuf’s ingenuity—and his reputation as a man of integrity in a universe of rogues. - Publisher

Ms. Casazza

Black Book by James Patterson and David Ellis

The "thrilling" #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller (Karin Slaughter): when three bodies are found in a Chicago bedroom, a black book goes missing . . . and the city has never been more dangerous. - Publisher

Mr. Quinn

What if?: serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions by Randall Munroe

In pursuit of answers [to hypothetical questions], Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics...What If? will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical. - Publisher

Ms. Angermeyer

Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor

Dublin 1907, a city of whispered rumours. A young actress begins an affair with a damaged older man, the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Rebellious and flirtatious, Molly Allgood is a girl of the inner city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. She has dozens of admirers but in the backstage of her life there is a secret. - Publisher

Mr. Verdi 
 
​Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins
 

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare - poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world's top endurance athletes. In Can't Hurt Me, he shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential. - Publisher

Mr. Halloran

The Just City by Joseph O'Connor

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future―all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past. A few years in, Sokrates arrives―the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself―to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell. - Publisher

Ms. McElroy 
 
Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America by Fergus M. Bordewich
 

The story of how Congress helped win the Civil War--a new perspective that puts the House and Senate, rather than Lincoln, at the center of the conflict. - Publisher

THAT SOUNDS AWESOME!

Ms. Singleton and Ms. Dallam

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds 

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America...This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future... Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives. - Publisher

Mr. Irvine and Ms. Quinn

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. - Publisher

Ms. Durante

Stakes is High: Life After the American Dream by Michael Denzel Smith

In a series of incisive essays, Smith exposes the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, holding all of us, individually and as a nation, to account. We've gotten used to looking away, but the fissures and casual violence of institutional oppression are ever-present. There is a future that is not as grim as our past. In this profound work, Smith helps us envision it with care, honesty, and imagination. - Publisher

Mr. Giuliano

The Storm Before the Calm: America's Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond by George Friedman

The master geopolitical forecaster and New York Times bestselling author of The Next 100 Years focuses on the United States, predicting how the 2020s will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture. - Publisher

Ms. Ricca

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed... What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does-or does not-say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. - Publisher

Mr. McGovern

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by June Chang

They were the most famous sisters in China. As the country battled through a hundred years of wars, revolutions and seismic transformations, the three Soong sisters from Shanghai were at the center of power, and each of them left an indelible mark on history. - Publisher

Mr. Dawybida

The Outsider by Stephen King

"An eleven-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad" -- Publisher.

Ms. Fitzpatrick

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions. --Publisher.

Mr. Prescia

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

"A blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II."--Publisher.

Mr. Reese

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Friends Hetty, Byatt, and Reece go to extremes trying to uncover the dark truth about the mysterious disease that has had them quarantined at their boarding school on a Maine island. --Publisher.

Mr. Halloran

Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11 by Kevin Tuerff

"Channel of Peace is a beautiful account of how the people of the Gander area rallied with boundless acts of generosity and compassion for the "plane people," renewing Kevin's spirituality and inspiring him to organize an annual and growing Pay It Forward 9/11 effort. His story, along with others, has reached thousands of people since it was incorporated into the Broadway musical Come From Away." - Publisher.

Ms. Friedlander

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laure Halse Anderson

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Shout) and artist Leila del Duca reimagine Wonder Woman's origins in this timely story about the refugee experience, teenage activism, and finding the love and strength to create change. - Publisher

Ms. Singleton

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. - Publisher

Dr. Hartling

Bonfire of the Vanities by Thomas Wolfe

Tom Wolfe’s modern American satire tells the story of Sherman McCoy, a Wall Street “Master of the Universe” who has it all — a Park Avenue apartment, a job that brings wealth, power and prestige, a beautiful wife, an even more beautiful mistress. Suddenly, one wrong turn makes it all go wrong, and Sherman spirals downward in a sudden fall from grace that sucks him into the ravenous heart of a New York City gone mad during the go-go, racially turbulent, socially hilarious 1980s. - Publisher

Mr. McCoy

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident. Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion. - Publisher

Mr. Dougherty

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

Meticulously researched and artfully told, Live by Night is the riveting story of one man’s rise from Boston petty thief to the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner. - Publisher

Ms. Friedlander

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. - Publisher

Mr. Morris

Too Much and Never Enough by Mary Trump

In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.- Publisher

Dr. Hartling

Mrs Queen Takes the Train: A Novel by William Kuhn

An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn—author of Reading Jackie:  Her Autobiography in Books—Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. - Publisher

Mr. Dexter

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society--not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.- Publisher

 

I totally want to check this out now!

Mr. Bouley 

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both. - Publisher

Ms. McElroy

No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation's Founding by Sean Wilentz

No Property in Man invites fresh debate about the political and legal struggles over slavery that began during the Revolution and concluded with the Confederacy’s defeat. It drives straight to the heart of the most contentious and enduring issue in all of American history. - Publisher

 

Mr. Welch and Mr. Reese

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. - Publisher

 

Mr. Horan

Trust Exercises by Susan Choi

Students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble...two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love. The outside world of family life and economic status fails to penetrate this school’s walls―until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true―though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place. - Publisher

 

Ms. Bagg

The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal 

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity...Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her. - Publisher

Ms. Siracuse

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. Forced to flee, Odie O’Banion and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. This Tender Land is an en­thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole. - Publisher

Mr. Dexter

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world. - Publisher

Ms. Torres

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause by Tom Gjelten

In this widely hailed book, NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten fuses the story of the Bacardi family and their famous rum business with Cuba's tumultuous experience over the last 150 years to produce a deeply entertaining historical narrative. --Publisher.

Dr. Williams

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel , How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben

Are trees social beings? In The Hidden Life of Trees forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families.- Publisher

Mr. Roche

The Devil in the White City: murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America by Erik Larson

Tells the parallel stories of Daniel Burnham, the main architect of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and serial killer Henry H. Holmes, discussing the challenges Burnham faced in creating the hugely successful White City, and looking at how Holmes used the opportunities afforded by the fair to lure victims to their deaths. - Publisher

Mr. Irvine

Houdini: The Elusive American by Adam Begley

Nobody knows how Houdini performed some of his dazzling, death-defying tricks, and nobody knows, finally, why he felt compelled to punish and imprison himself over and over again. Tracking the restless Houdini’s wide-ranging exploits, acclaimed biographer Adam Begley tells the story of a mystifying man’s astonishing career. - Publisher

Ms. Ricca

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

An African-American woman searches for a fulfilling relationship through two loveless marriages and finally finds it in the person of Tea Cake, an itinerant laborer and gambler. - Publisher

Mr. Morris and Ms. Quinn

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Receiving a horrific essay from a GED student with a traumatic past, high-school English teacher Jake Epping is enlisted by a friend to travel back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a mission for which he must befriend troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald - Publisher

Mr. Dawybida 

The Institute by Stephen King

"In the middle of the night, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis's parents and load him into a black SUV . . . Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there's no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents--telekinesis and telepathy. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute"--Publisher.

Ms. Hutchinson

Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

When detective Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a P.O. box, Detective Stallworth does his job and responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a white man. Thus begins what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. - Publisher

Ms. McElroy 

Revolution on the Hudson: New York City and the Hudson River Valley in the American War of Independence by George C. Daughan

The riveting untold story of the fight for the Hudson River Valley, the decisive campaign of the Revolutionary War. --Publisher.

Ms. Singleton

The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Prep Parent!)

Lynch mobs, chain gangs, and popular views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow South are well known. We know less about the role of the urban North in shaping views of race and crime in American society...The idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime. Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, Khalil Gibran Muhammad reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies. - Publisher

Mr. Morris 

Sandman, Vol 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

An occultist attempting to capture the physical embodiment of Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power to reclaim his reign. From there, one of the greatest series in the history of the graphic novel genre begins. --Publisher.

Mr. Reese

Catherine House by Elizabeth Thomas

A gothic-infused debut of literary suspense, set within a secluded, elite university and following a dangerously curious, rebellious undergraduate who uncovers a shocking secret about an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige. Trust us, you belong here.- Publisher