This summer East students, parents, faculty & staff are invited to participate in East's first annual BIG Read! All interested parties are encouraged to partake in a shared adventure by reading the same book and participating in various activities and online discussions over summer break.


Academic: Since many students are not reading over the summer they stand to lose the literacy skills that they have worked to acquire over the course of the school year in a process known as Summer Learning Loss.

Social: Having students, parents, faculty and staff all engage in a shared text helps build community among all stakeholders and build common experience on which to build stronger relationships.


Based on the input of students and staff, we have selected the book "I Am Alfonso Jones" by Tony Medina, a graphic novel about a young black male swept up in circumstances outside of his control.


Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school's hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun, and he shoots Alfonso.

When Alfonso wakes up in the afterlife, he's on a ghost train guided by well-known victims of police shootings, who teach him what he needs to know about this subterranean spiritual world. Meanwhile, Alfonso's family and friends struggle with their grief and seek justice for Alfonso in the streets. As they confront their new realities, both Alfonso and those he loves realize the work that lies ahead in the fight for justice.



  • Free copies will be available for students and parents on request at East High School
  • 13 copies are available via the Monroe County Library System
  • Personal copies may be obtained via Amazon.com and other book sellers.


  1. Ask your student to participate with you
  2. Have your student pick up the copies needed from school
  3. Download the google classroom app or register online at classroom.google.com with the access code: tcis5mk
  4. Complete the "Before Reading" preview questions with your student
  5. Start reading!
  6. Share your thoughts on social media with the tags #EastReads and #theBIGreadEast
  7. Check back in to the Google Classroom throughout the summer to participate in the online discussion board!
  8. Join us for a wrap up discussion and ice cream social on August 30th at 6:30, right here - at East!

Questions, Comments or Concerns?

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.