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Community Reading for 2019-20
Posted 06/05/2019 10:38AM

At York, we believe that summer reading supports the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of our students. Summer reading encourages students to read during the break, is a way to enrich our curriculum, and is an essential part of our teaching program. Likewise, our Community Reading titles comprise a suggested reading list for the York community (students, parents, and teachers) over the school year that enriches our understanding of the world, each other, and both the art and science of teaching and learning. The aim is to foster engagement with texts that are guided by research, speak to our mission, and inform our learning community. Whether it be over the summer or during the school year, we hope you will consider reading one or all of them. Then, join us at York during the school year as we feature discussions inspired by these texts at York Parent meetings and other community events.

Attack of the Teenage Brain by John Medina

Marvel at the neuroscientific reasons why smart teens make dumb decisions!
Behold the mind-controlling power of executive function!
Thrill to a vision of a better school for the teenage brain!

Whether you're a parent interacting with one adolescent or a teacher interacting with many, you know teens can be hard to parent and even harder to teach. The eye-rolling, the moodiness, the wandering attention, the drama. It's not you, it's them. More specifically, it's their brains.

In accessible language and with periodic references to Star Trek, motorcycle daredevils, and near-classic movies of the '80s, developmental molecular biologist John Medina, author of the New York Times best-seller Brain Rules, explores the neurological and evolutionary factors that drive teenage behavior and can affect both achievement and engagement. Then he proposes a research-supported counterattack: a bold redesign of educational practices and learning environments to deliberately develop teens' cognitive capacity to manage their emotions, plan, prioritize, and focus.

Attack of the Teenage Brain! is an enlightening and entertaining read that will change the way you think about teen behavior and prompt you to consider how else parents, educators, and policymakers might collaborate to help our challenging, sometimes infuriating, often weird, and genuinely wonderful kids become more successful learners, in school and beyond.

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin Rees

Humanity has reached a critical moment. Our world is unsettled and rapidly changing, and we face existential risks over the next century. Various outcomes—good and bad—are possible. Yet our approach to the future is characterized by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. In this short, exhilarating book, renowned scientist and bestselling author Martin Rees argues that humanity’s prospects depend on our taking a very different approach to planning for tomorrow.

The future of humanity is bound to the future of science and hinges on how successfully we harness technological advances to address our challenges. If we are to use science to solve our problems while avoiding its dystopian risks, we must think rationally, globally, collectively, and optimistically about the long term. Advances in biotechnology, cybertechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence—if pursued and applied wisely—could empower us to boost the developing and developed world and overcome the threats humanity faces on Earth, from climate change to nuclear war. At the same time, further advances in space science will allow humans to explore the solar system and beyond with robots and AI. But there is no “Plan B” for Earth—no viable alternative within reach if we do not care for our home planet.

Rich with fascinating insights into cutting-edge science and technology, this accessible book will captivate anyone who wants to understand the critical issues that will define the future of humanity on Earth and beyond.


Previous Years’ Community Reading Texts: Our Greatest Hits List

The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace, Dr. Patrizia Collard

The Self Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, William Stixrud PhD and Ned Johnson

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, Matthew Walker, PhD

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, Warren Berger

Make It Stick, Peter C. Brown

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well Lived, Joyful Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, Catherine Burns

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, Benedict Carey

Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tang

The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle

Grit, Angela Duckworth

Mindset, Carol Dweck

Focus, Daniel Goleman

Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

How to Raise and Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims

A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink

Hamlet’s Blackberry, William Powers

How Children Succeed, Paul Tough

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