Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Upper School Summer Reading
The goal for Worcester Academy’s Summer Reading program concerns both enjoyment and enrichment for our students. We want you to read for pleasure, pursue topics of interest, discover new passions, and broaden your thinking. Additionally, we hope that you find some intellectual community in sharing books and ideas with teachers and peers alike.
All Upper School Students must complete the following 3 activities.
1. Read Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee, the Upper School Community Read.
2. Read an independent reading book of their choice.
3. Complete 1 of the following activities:
- Listen to a list of curated podcasts (linked below).
- Read one of 3 books (listed below).
See below for more details.
Upper School Community Summer Read (2019)
Every Falling Star by
Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who was forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.
2019 Summer Reading
For the Independent Read, students can read any book they wish. Use the tabs above to view suggestions from students and faculty and choose a book from this list or any book you want to read.
For the Independent Read, students should respond to the book in one of the following ways:
- Write a review of the book
- Keep a reading journal
- Write a letter to a character, the book's author, or a friend about the book
- Present a book talk for advisory
Independent reading selections will be discussed in advisory in September and all students are expected to turn in one of the above options for each book to their advisor. Each response should be around 250 words.
For the Choice Activity, students can either read 1 of the 3 books listed below or listen to one of the curated podcast lists linked below.
Pick one list and listen to all podcasts in the list.
North Korea Podcasts
These 3 podcast episodes will provide context and background information about the sociopolitical setting in Every Falling Star.
This playlist includes episodes on how art helps homeless students, wearable tech, and the secret to scientific discoveries.
Pick one book to read.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship--the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents' expectations, but lately she's finding that impossible to do. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech. But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana's plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated and decide to whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition.
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by
The true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East. At thirteen, Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn't learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to apply for an after-school job, but couldn't because she didn't have a Social Security number. Fear of deportation kept Sara up at night, but it didn't keep her from being a teenager. Americanized follows Sara's progress toward getting her green card, but that's only a portion of her experiences as an Iranian-"American" teenager.
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604