MLK to Malala: A History of Westridge’s All School-Read


Hannah W.

From left to right: “Letters from Birmingham Jail,” Malala’s Magic Pencil, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” “Cinderella’s Stepsisters,” Introduction to House on Mango Street, “Crying in H Mart,” and “Gate A-4.”

As the new year rolls in, the time has come to celebrate Westridge’s 7th annual All-School Read. On this occasion, students in 4th through 12th grade read the same chosen literary piece, creating connection within the Westridge community as well as emphasizing the importance of literature. 

Upper School English teacher Ms. Katie Wei, on behalf of English Department Chair Ms. Tarra Stevenson, said at the schoolwide 2023 All-School Read assembly, “Studying literature gives us a glimpse of how one person, the writer, sees the world. But by putting that work into the world, it’s an opportunity to see if that one experience resonates with any of the rest of us, which is a wholly unifying experience.”

Here are all the literary pieces Westridge has read for the All-School Read thus far: 


2016-2017: “Letter from Birmingham Jail

Author: Martin Luther King Jr. 

Type: Letter/Essay


2017-2018: Malala’s Magic Pencil

Author: Malala Yousafzai 

Type: Picture Book


2018-2019: “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination

Author: J.K. Rowling 

Type: Harvard University commencement speech 


2019-2020: “Cinderella’s Stepsisters

Author: Toni Morrison 

Type: Essay/Barnard College commencement speech

2020-2021: Introduction to House on Mango Street

Author: Sandra Cisneros

Type: Vignette 


2021-2022: “Crying in H Mart

Author: Michelle Zauner

Type: Essay



2022-2023: “Gate A-4

Author: Naomi Shihab Nye 

Type: Poem