Each summer, IMS faculty and staff dust off their local library cards and check out some of the summer’s top books. We also keep our minds sharp by reading educational, thought-provoking book selections to help inform and inspire our work. Required reading for faculty and staff is closely aligned with our strategic priorities, including teaching for relevance and purpose. Modeled after our English curriculum for students, we aim to have diversity of voices and perspectives.
Amy Julia Becker introduces us to a childhood in a Southern state still finding its footing after the tension of the civil rights movement, and an adulthood in a Northern city whose social inequities have been carefully hidden from view. We’re reminded that the white picket fences that seem so pristine and good and even virtuous can function as a wall, even a prison, that prevents us from knowing and loving our neighbors, and experiencing the world as it truly is and the God who invites us to carry a blessing into it.
A true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix America’s broken system of justice — from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted lawyer’s coming of age, a moving portrait of the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.
Our rising ninth graders are required to read this selection. Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo conveys a bewildering age of global change and inequality-made-human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. Based on years of uncompromising reporting, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.