Sacramento Waldorf School

Summer Reading

Last Updated June 1, 2018

The Sacramento Waldorf School expects all students to read at least three books over the summer break. Please also note that all students, including seniors, will be required to have in their possession by the start of school A Pocket Style Manual  by Diana Hacker. Our aim is for students to have a useful writing manual through high school and into college.

We believe that the students should be well read in order to be successful in school and in our modern culture.  The books on “The List” are readily available and can be read with pleasure by anyone of high school age.  If you are drawn to a book not on “The List,” by all means read it, but contact one of the teachers in the Humanities Department to make sure it will qualify for the summer reading expectation.


Seniors are required to read the last chapter in Walden by Henry David Thoreau,  Nature (the 1836 version), and the essay “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson over the summer in preparation for your course in American Transcendentalism. This is a significant read so give yourself some time, and be ready to discuss in depth during the first weeks of class. You are required to write book reports for two of the three selections. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Sullivan.


In addition to books from “The List”, you are encouraged to choose from the following authors:

Sherman Alexie

Maxine Hong Kingston

Amy Tan

Toni Morrison

Alice Walker

Walter Mosely

Sarah Vowel

Bill Bryson

Joan Didion

Leslie Marmon Silko

Ralph Ellison

Nella Larsen

Tommy Orange


In addition to books from “The List”, you are encouraged to choose from the following titles:

The Absolutely True Confessions of a Part Time Indian Sherman Alexie

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Dee Brown

The Chosen Chaim Potok

There There by Tommy Orange


Choose any books from “The List” for your summer reading.

We hope that your summer reading goes well beyond the required and into the realm of the pleasurable and adventurous.  There are few things better than a good book on a long summer’s day.

Happy reading!

The SWS Humanities Department,

Isabelle Tabacot

Melissa Hiatt

Andrew Sullivan

Dunja Popovic

Andrew May