This June, The Hewitt School introduced Anti-Racist Summer Reads, a K-12 initiative designed to inspire and deepen conversations about equity, racial injustice, and racism among our students, parents and guardians, and faculty and staff. Like our newly established Anti-Racism Task Force, Hewitt’s Anti-Racist Summer Reads program was inspired both by our new mission’s focus on equity, and by our commitment to working individually and collectively to make Hewitt an anti-racist institution.
After working alongside administrators and members of our Parents’ Association to develop the Anti-Racist Summer Reads program, Hewitt’s grade-level deans and faculty members curated a list of Anti-Racist Summer Reads that are both developmentally appropriate and appropriately challenging for lower, middle, and upper school students. Students in grades K-12 have been assigned a specific book or invited to choose from a curated list of books. To help facilitate meaningful conversations around these texts, parents and guardians will read the same books as their children, and teachers will choose books from the list of texts assigned to the students they will teach in September. “We are glad that every member of our community is participating in this summer read because books bring people together. Conversations about these important books will give students, teachers, and families a common ground for exploring ideas and experiences that are deeply familiar to some people and new for others,” said Middle School Head Launa Schweizer.
We look forward to engaging in discussions about and learning from our Anti-Racist Summer Reads. This fall, we will host a variety of gatherings, including grade-level book talks for students and teachers and a series of community conversations for parents, guardians, faculty, and staff, so that members of the Hewitt community can discuss their reading, ask questions, and commit to actions that address institutionalized racism at Hewitt and in the world.
To join the Hewitt community in our K-12 Anti-Racist Summer Reads, we invite you to explore the titles below.
Families in grades K-4 will read at least one book from the list below.
- The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
- Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham
- Skin Again by bell hooks
- Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
- All the Colors We Are/Todos Los Colores de Nuestra Piel: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color/La Historia de Por Qué Tenemos Diferentes Colores de Piel by Katie Kissinger
- Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester
- A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
- Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
Students in grades 5 and 6 will choose one book from the list below. Parents and guardians will read the same book their students have chosen.
- The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
- Blended by Sharon Draper
- For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington
- What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado
- A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée
- Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Students, parents, and guardians in grades 7-11 will read the book assigned to their grade.
- Grade 7: You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino
- Grade 8: Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- Grade 9: I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- Grade 10: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Grade 11: So You Want To Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo
Students, parents, and guardians in grade 12 will choose at least one book from the list below.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- So You Want To Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo
- Hands Up Don’t Shoot, an online literary collection.