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Resources for Centering Black Voices and Antiracist Literature

Please see our English Language Arts page (under the Academics menu) for the full list of Centering Black Voices and Antiracist Literature as well as information about summer reading requirements for grades 3-12. 

PK- 5 Summer Reading: For a list of suggested titles by grade level, please visit:

Summer Reading and Community Reads 2020

To the Princeton community,

Summer is upon us, and though this break is bound to be an unusual one, one thing remains constant: the perennial importance of students reading during July and August.

But after months of isolation and suffering brought on by the pandemic, and during the wave of protests brought on by the ongoing violence perpetuated against communities of color, we at PPS deeply believe that summer reading can offer more than literacy gains—it can be an opportunity for students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members to read together, to reflect on information and stories, and to imagine ways of being that value diversity, rather than fearing it.

We thus invite students and parents to join us in a series of Community Reads focused on issues of social justice and the Black experience in America. Each of these texts was selected for its ability to give voice to modern concerns and to provoke meaningful conversation. For rising 9th-12th graders, the text designated for their grade level will fulfill one of their required summer reads. (Students, please consult the directions on the English Language Arts page for your specific grade level; the Community Read option is in red text.) Parents, teachers and community members are welcome to read and converse on any of the texts that appeal to them.

Rising 3rd-5th graders: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, by Rita Williams-Garcia Rising 6th-8th graders: New Kid, by Jerry Craft
Rising 9th graders: The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
Rising 10th graders: So you want to talk about race, by Ijeoma Oluo

Rising 11th graders: A Question of Freedom, by Reginald Dwayne Betts
Rising 12th graders: The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward

Given the uncertainty in the future, we will announce the dates and formats (virtual or in-person) for these forums in late summer. We also recognize that the temporary closure of public library buildings disrupts a common approach for securing summer reading texts, and have thus included a “Where Can I Find My Summer Reading Books?” guide at the end of this packet which outlines options for obtaining both paper-based and free electronic text. We eagerly await the opportunity to gather and share our reflections on these texts!

With best wishes for a healthy and fulfilling summer,

Keisha Smith-Carrington
Supervisor of Humanities, PK-6

Stephanie Greenberg
Supervisor of Humanities, 7-12