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Summer Reading for NCCS Upper School Students 2019: Faculty Books

Mrs. Carroll

A mystery or a comedy? Yes! This short novel follows 15-year old Christopher on a quest to find out who mysteriously killed a neighborhood dog. When he's falsely accused, he decides he has to find out who really did the crime, taking a page from Sherlock Holmes's playbook. Because Christopher is on the autism spectrum, he looks at life in patterns, numbers, and sequences.  He's straight-talking and very funny. I loved this book -- it's quirky, smart, funny, and English, which for me is a home run. 

Mrs. Carroll

Mr. Fredo

The Wall Street Journal: “Sapiens is learned, thought-provoking and crisply written.”
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates: “I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun,
engaging look at early human history…you’ll have a hard time putting it down.” 
Yuval Noah Harari traces, in fascinating detail, the evolution of Homo sapiens. For the
intellectually curious, hungry to learn more about the origin of our species, the author serves a
veritable feast.

Mr. Fredo

Mr. Giggi

Recommended especially for rising 9th graders

I read this book last summer and honestly found it to be the best "page-turner" I've read in a long while.  Meet great characters from the University of Washington rowing team, see a brilliant picture of Hitler's Germany during the 1936 Olympics  and read a wonderful testament of teamwork at its highest level.

Mr. Giggi

Mrs. Goddard

This book explores the importance of mental health and wellness.  It recognizes that we don't always feel OK, and places an appropriate spotlight on adolescence. As one source summarizes, Turtles is “A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control.” I am hopeful that this story may resonate with students as well. 
Mrs. Goddard

Mr. A. Johnson (Math teacher)

I chose this book because it has such a unique perspective on the Civil War. Seeing the war through the eyes of a women (in a time when they were not allowed to be in the military). This is historical fiction at its best. 

Mr. Johnson

Mr. M. Johnson (English/History teacher)

A very well-written and captivating account of the earliest days of the U.S. Forest Service in the first years of the 20th century, this book takes the reader on a ride through one of the worst forest fires in American history by examining President Theodore Roosevelt’s role in the disaster. A very fascinating look at our first efforts to protect the American wilderness. 

Mr. Johnson

Mr. Khuen

Laurie Halse Anderson is a gifted writer who tackles different periods of American history and brings them to life with fictional characters. Thoroughly researched and eloquently written, Fever, takes the reader into Philadelphia during an outbreak of Yellow Fever in 1905.  

Mr. Khuen

Mrs. Lansdale

"A book like this shouldn't exist, and yet it does..."  This is a collection of student essays that capture the raw aftermath of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida.

Mrs. Lans

Mrs. Latimer

I can remember reading The Outsiders during the summer before my 8th grade year of NCCS. Not only did I enjoy the story but I was so impressed that the author was 16 years old when she wrote the book. The story is about peer pressures, cliques, and teenage struggles. I look forward to chatting with readers about this book when we return from summer vacation.  Enjoy!

Mrs. Latimer 

Mr. Lilley

This book is about human biology and the strange ways that our bodies work. The human body wasn't designed; it evolved, and that process is messy and slow and quirky. And like an elaborate Rube Goldberg contraption it results in some truly bizarre features: bad knees, extra bones, finicky immune systems, and millions of letters of DNA gibberish in our genes that we copy every time we make new cells. But it works. Consider reading this book if you're curious about human biology and evolution.

Mr. Lilley

Ms. Liu

In this adapted memoir, Trevor Noah writes about his childhood as a mixed-race kid growing up in Apartheid South Africa.  He writes about his family life, including the abuse that he faced at the hands of his stepfather, and other experiences of poverty, racism, injustice.  Through humor and honesty, Trevor Noah uses his own life story as a tool to consider social issues thoughtfully, and to learn essential historical lessons. 

Ms Liu

Ms. Louie

I admire scientific geniuses, but I love fearless, curious and funny people.  Feynman was both.                            Ms. Louie

Mrs. Lundquist

I read this book just a few years ago and loved it.  It centers around a young girl who steals books while trying to survive World War II Germany.  Some themes are: love, family and self-discovery. I couldn't put the book down and highly recommend it!

Mrs. Lundquist

Mr. Maliakal

A fascinating read that explorers the science of giant waves. Not only does Casey describe some of the largest waves ever documented, she also gives us a first hand account of what it's like to race dow the face of a 60 foot wave on the back of a jet ski, driven by big wave surfer Laird Hamilton.  This book, and its vivid accounts will no doubt transport you to a world that few people experience.

Mr. Maliakal

Mrs. McAndrews

In this suspenseful mystery set in rural Vermont, you learn of the tragic death of a young girl and the diary that links it to a present day missing person. Into horror stories, mysteries, and the supernatural? This is the book for you!

Mrs. McAndrews

Mr. McDonald

In this book Travis Roy gives a revealing and honest description of his mindset as he deals with a spinal injury suffered only eleven seconds into his college hockey career. Despite having his dreams taken from him, Travis’ perseverance and positive attitude in the face of adversity are an inspiration for all.

Mr. McDonald

Mr. McDonough

New Canaan author

In 2004, Conor Grennan quit his job to travel the world and ended up volunteering at the Little Princes Children's House in Nepal. When he realized the boys at the house were not orphans, but were in fact trafficked, he committed his life to reuniting the children with their families. The story is hilarious, harrowing, and empowering as Conor shows what one human is capable of when they say "I can".

Mr. McDonough

Mr. Palmgren

The jacket summary of A Few Red Drops piqued my interest after having lived and taught in the Detroit suburbs leading up to the 50th anniversary of the 67’ Race Riots.  While living in Michigan, I became more and more absorbed in the history of the riots, the underlying causes, the catalyst and the long-lasting impact on the city of Detroit and surrounding areas.  Whether it be the ’43 or ’67 riots in Detroit or the 1919 Riots in Chicago, as presented in A Few Red Drops, or the 1921 Tulsa and Greenwood riots, understanding this part of American history is essential in understanding who are as a nation.  

Mr. Palmgren

Mrs. Pepe

It's an incredible adventure novel that features love, wrongful imprisonment, escape  treasure and revenge.

This is a big book (over 1,000 pages), but it's so worth it.  DO NOT read the abridged version. It's not as good and it's confusing.

Mrs. Pepe

Ms. Ramsey

I’m choosing Stargirl because I love how it teaches us that it’s ok to be different and it challenges us to be ourselves and not worry about what people may think. 

Ms. Ramsey

Mrs. Romeo

I enjoyed this book for two reasons: 1.) because it was set in Norway, which is a country that does not typically serve as the setting of WWII novels, and 2.) because the female heroine, Marit, serves as a reminder to young women about how powerful they can be.

 Mrs. Romeo

Ms. Skvir

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.
 
I picked up this book because I found the cover to be really quite intriguing. It's a curious book that is slightly mystery, partially fantasy, friendship-based, and young adult. The book takes place in Nigeria, and the main character is an American-born albino girl who realizes that she has very special powers. It's a great read that moves quite quickly -- I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to read a book that's a bit different than the usual title!
Ms. Skvir