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 Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins, 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 5 books (listed below).
See below for more details.
Upper School Community Summer Read (2020)
Forward Me Back to You by
Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she's having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in India and is reluctant to take on his future. If he can't find his roots, how can he possibly plan ahead? Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places--a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds build between the travelmates, Robin and Kat discover that justice and healing are tangled, like the pain of their pasts and the hope for their futures. You can't rewind life; sometimes you just have to push play.
2020 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 5 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.
OR read 1 of these books:
Love from A to Z by
When Zayneb gets suspended for confronting her teacher over racist remarks, she heads to her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Then her path crosses with Adam's. Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam's stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam's also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
With the Fire on High by
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago's life has been about making the tough decisions--doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it's not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.
What If It's Us by
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it's that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn't be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend's things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can't nail a first date even after three do-overs? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn't try hard enough? What if life really isn't like a Broadway play? But what if it is? What if it's us?
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by
Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it's senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal's not who he thought he was, who is he?
Frankly in Love by
Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong? Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California. Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white. As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love--or himself--at all.
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604