I have selected the books for for the 2017-2018 Head of School Book Club series, listed below.
Fall Book Club
Wednesday, December 6, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Drawing on the revelatory results of a landmark study, William Damon brilliantly investigates the most pressing issue in the lives of youth today: why so many young people are “failing to launch”—living at home longer, lacking career motivation, struggling to make a timely transition into adulthood, and not yet finding a life pursuit that inspires them.
Spring Book Club
Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
HIllbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans.
Originally delivered as a lecture at a 1938 conference, Experience and Education is the best concise statement on education published by John Dewey, the man acknowledged to be the preeminent educational theorist of the twentieth century and one of the main influences on Helen Taylor Bush, founder of The Bush School.
Additionally, I would like to share recommendations for summer reading from each of our division directors.
Recommendations from Pri Alahendra, Lower School Director
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.
Friends broaden our children’s horizons, share their joys and secrets, and accompany them on their journeys into ever wider worlds. But friends can also gossip and betray, tease and exclude. In this wise and insightful book, psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and children’s book author Catherine O’Neill Grace, illuminate the crucial and often hidden role that friendship plays in the lives of children from birth through adolescence.
In a world of modern, involved, caring parents, why are so many kids aggressive and cruel? NurtureShock is a groundbreaking collaboration between award-winning science journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They argue that when it comes to children, we’ve mistaken good intentions for good ideas. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, they demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring—because key twists in the science have been overlooked.
Recommendations from Jay Franklin, Middle School Director
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
Drawing on her vast knowledge of the latest research related to happiness, productivity, and elite performance, Christine Carter, a happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, followed every strategy that promised to give her more energy—or that could make her more efficient, creative, or intelligent. Her trials and errors are our reward. In The Sweet Spot, Carter shares the combination of practices that transformed her life from overwhelmed and exhausting to joyful, relaxed, and productive.
Recommendations from Ray Wilson, Upper School Director
Hailed as “an absolute must-read” (Jean Twenge) and a book that “will change your kids’ lives” (Jack Canfield), UnSelfie by Dr. Michele Borba explains what parents and educators MUST do to combat the growing empathy crisis among children today—including a nine-step empathy-building program with tips to guide kids from birth through college, and beyond… In UnSelfie Dr. Borba pinpoints the forces causing the empathy crisis and shares a revolutionary, researched-based, nine-step plan for reversing it.
Waking Up White is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As I unpack my own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, I reveal how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated my ill-conceived ideas about race.