Sacramento Waldorf School

Summer Reading

Last Updated June 12, 2017

The Sacramento Waldorf School expects all students to read at least three books over the summer break and complete an assignment for each book. Each grade also has a required book to read.  This year all high school students will read Kaffir Boy  by Mark Mathabane for their oral report. See the guidelines under “Oral reports” for further details.  Please know that all students, including seniors, will be required to purchase A Pocket Style Manual  by Diana Hacker. This is available on-line or through local bookstores. Our aim is for students to have a useful writing manual through high school and into college.Please know that all students, including seniors, will be required to purchase A Pocket Style Manual  by Diana Hacker. This is available online or through local bookstores. 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 e-mail one of the teachers in the Humanities Department to make sure it will qualify for the summer reading requirement before you complete your book report.

You should come to school in September with your three book reports completed and ready to turn in to your first meeting with your Humanities teacher.  The oral report will be presented in your first meeting with your advisor. The book assignments comprise 10% of your first quarter Humanities’ grade.

Seniors

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, in addition to your oral report. If you have any questions, please e-mail Mr. Sullivan.

Juniors

In addition to Kaffir Boy and one choice from the “The List”, you are required to choose one book by one of the following authors, for a total of three books:

Sherman Alexie

Maxine Hong Kingston

Amy Tan

Toni Morrison

Alice Walker

Walter Mosely

Sarah Vowel

Bill Bryson

Sophomores

In addition to Kaffir Boy and one choice from the “The List”, choose one of the following books to read, for a total of three books:

The Absolutely True Confessions of a Part Time Indian Sherman Alexie

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Dee Brown

The Chosen Chaim Potok

Freshmen

In addition to Kaffir Boy  you are required to read Maus by Art Spiegelman and one other book of your choice from “The List”, for a total of three books.

The choices given below are intended to give you some flexibility and inspire creativity. Everyone is required to complete an oral report.

Oral Report: All students, 9th -12th, will join the faculty in reading Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane. Please compose five questions you would like to ask of the author and bring them to your first advisor meeting. Your discussion will be centered around this powerful biography set in apartheid South Africa.

For the other two books, please choose only one option per book as your report:

Photo Essay: An example of photo literacy.

  • Take a photograph which most reminds you of the book you have read. This could be a staged photograph or a spontaneous image.
  • Matte the photograph. On a 4 x 6 white cardstock (index card is fine) type a minimum paragraph of ten sentences that explains how this photo reminds you of a scene from the book, a character, a theme or a symbol. Include at least five specific details from the book.
  • Take care in your work and create an eye-pleasing display that will inspire others to read this book!

Book Jacket Cover:

  • Create an original jacket cover for the book, which includes art work, the title and author.
  • Write a book review for the back flap which includes at least five important details from the story. Include your name as the reviewer.

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,

Beth Ghiorso     bghiorso@sacwaldorf.org

Isabelle Tabacot itabacot@sacwaldorf.org

Melissa Hiatt mhiatt@sacwaldorf.org

Andrew Sullivan asullivan@sacwaldorf.org

Dunja Popovic dpopvic@sacwaldorf.org