All-School Read

The All-School Read (ASR) is an opportunity for the entire Berkshire community, from students to alumni, to engage in a body of work from a traditional literary perspective as well as a scientific, economic, philosophical, or historical one.

It’s a chance for students to interact with talented authors and thinkers, while considering a given topic in a real-world context. This examination promotes critical thinking and provides an opportunity for a collective conversation on campus. The program launches in the fall with a kick-off event, and the book's theme is studied within the curriculum and revisited during special events throughout the year.

2019 ASR


The 2019 ASR is We Should All Be Feminists, an essay by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Published in 2014 and adapted from the popular 2012 TEDx talk of the same name, this essay uses examples from Adichie’s personal life to define the term “feminist” and to argue how important it is, in our modern lives, that we all embrace ideals of gender equality.

Since its publication in 2014, We Should All Be Feminists has been translated into 32 different languages and is read across the country and around the world. In fact, in 2015, every 16-year-old student in the country of Sweden received a copy of the book.

The 2019-2020 school year marks the 50th anniversary of coeducation at Berkshire and this book was selected in order to mark this celebration. We hope to see Adichie’s witty and accessible writing open conversations across our school community about gender roles and gender equality.

About The Author


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents, Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie. While the family's ancestral hometown is Abba in Anambra State, Chimamanda grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Chimamanda's father, who is now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, located in Nsukka. He was Nigeria's first professor of statistics, and later became Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female registrar at the same institution.




SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Gina Barreca, author of numerous books including Untamed and Unabashed: Essays on Women and Humor in British Literature and Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League, will visit Berkshire School this fall for a Q&A with students. A reading from Babes in Boyland is also planned.



Past All-School Read Programs

ASR 2018


Station Eleven, a novel by Emily St. John Mandel, was chosen as 2018's All-School Read. At once a gripping, post-apocalyptic page-turner and an elegy for a lost civilization, Station Eleven's themes explore the resilience of the human spirit and the power of the relationships that bind us together.

ASR 2017


Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time by Andrew Forsthoefel is the story of the young author's journey walking across the United States and the many people he met along the way. It's part adventure story and part portrait of our nation in the 21st century.

ASR 2016


Emmy-nominated political comedian W. Kamau Bell visited Berkshire to present his show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour. The show was part of the School's 2016 All-School Read program, which focused on Between The World and Me by award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates.

ASR 2015


New York Times Bestselling Author and environmental activist Bill McKibben visited Berkshire for the 2015 All-School Read. McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, is the founder of

ASR 2014


Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, addressed the Berkshire community during 2014's All-School Read program. A graduate of Stanford University, Shiza is the co-founder and CEO of the Malala Fund, an organization that works to empower girls through education.

ASR 2013


Author Tracy Kidder's Strength in What Remains explores the journey of Deogratias "Deo" Niyizonkiza through the horrors of civil war and genocide in his native Burundi, to medical school and a life of healing. Niyizonkiza, founder of Village Health Works, visited the school for the inaugural All-School Read program in 2013.