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Great Texts Canon

Reading Opens Up a Universe of Meaning

At Convent & Stuart Hall, we believe that reading widely and rigorously across the curriculum is the pathway to critical thinking and the development of the intellectual and reflective self. We believe that an expansive reading list is the foundation for all students to develop the essential cultural literacy that crosses and connects all academic fields.

Our Great Texts Canon invites students to think critically, flexibly and passionately as engaged citizens of the world. The texts that guide this engagement are multi-genre, canonical, classic, historical, controversial, fantastical and more. They invite our students to appreciate the fact that the act of reading opens up a universe of meaning. Our comprehensive and flexible Grade 4–12 reading list engages topics that build a critical and varied perspective of the events, ideas, thoughts and emotions of centuries of human experience.
As one school within a global network of schools, the selected texts represent many cultures and illuminate the human experience from multiple vantage points.
Explore the Great Texts philosophy by watching this video featuring Rachel Simpson, Head of Convent High School and Chief Academic Officer.

Visiting Writers Series

Inspired by the Great Texts Philosophy, the visiting writers series regularly brings distinguished authors and poets to campus to engage both students and the adult community with class visits, workshops and book talks. A diverse range of writers include:

  • Kevin Maillard, spring 2022
  • Angeline Boulley, spring 2022
  • Tommy Orange, fall 2021
  • Jarrett J. Krosoczka, fall 2021
  • Teju Cole, spring 2021
  • Grace Lin, spring 2021
  • Judd Winick, spring 2021
  • Arshay Cooper, spring 2021
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, fall 2020
  • Erin Entrada Kelly, fall 2020
  • David Whyte, spring 2020
  • Madeline Miller, fall 2019
  • Chris Riley, spring 2019
  • Rowan Ricardo Philips, fall 2018
  • George Saunders, fall 2017
  • Billy Collins, spring 2017
  • Naomi Shihab-Nye, spring 2016
  • Matt de la Pena, spring 2016
  • Jacqueline Woodson, 2014
  • Richard Rodriguez, 2013

Learn More About Recent Author Visits

Special feature articles in the school's annual President's Report publication highlight on-campus and virtual author visits.

Spring 2021
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Spring 2021
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Fall 2020
Annette Gordon-Reed 
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Fall 2020
Erin Entrada Kelly
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Spring 2019
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Fall 2017
George Saunders
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Student Profile

Halleluia | Grade 6

The Hoffman Learning Commons is the best because it’s filled with books to read. In my free time I love to read.

Social Studies & English
Hoffman Learning Commons

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