booktalks, Uncategorized, YA lit

February Break Reading Challenge: Read or listen to a book on a FREE platform

MACKINVIA – our free CAS audiobook platform (& ebooks!)

Select City As School

Log in WITH DOE email username/password (find easily here with your OSIS #):

SORA–Our public library platform

WITH DOE email username/password (find easily here with your OSIS #):

What I’m reading:

2021 Youth Media award winner, excellent and realistic story about going to college and working out your life as Nigerian immigrant.


Noteworthy events at our library and New York City’s public library!

City-As Students and staff are eligible for FREE digital delivery of The New York Times.
Please email using your cityas email with subject heading ADD ME.

No Earth without Art, the CAS lit/art/culture mag, is calling for submissions of photos, poems, stories, artwork, songs. Get published!
Send submissions to by Jan 31, 2021. Staff entries are welcome also: docs, jpegs, mp3s & mp4s are all accepted. Teachers can nominate student work with student permission.
Virtual Book Clubs & EVENTS:

NYPL and WNYC’s Virtual Book Club
Oprah’s Book Club
Andrew Luck’s Book Club
Queens Public Library Virtual Teen Programs
Brooklyn Public Library Virtual Teen Book Club
Brooklyn Public Library’s Night of Ideas
Black Health and Healing Virtual Summit–Queens Public Library

Welcome back to School Fall 2020!



Students can place a hold on physical books at City-As by logging into our CAS catalog with their DOE username & password: nyclib16. Teachers use their DOE login & own password. Or email me at

City-As Grab and Go services start 10/1 in the courtyard: pick up a great selection of free books, crafting materials, and your CAS library holds. Build your home library and study space this fall. New genres & crafting materials every week with quarantining instructions included (see below).

@New York Public Library (NYPL)

  1. Get your NYPL library card on the app SimplyE. It is free.
  2. With that login and password, you can place holds on physical books at NYPL, and
  3. Pick them up at Hudson Park Library on Leroy Street (tutorial), a block away from school. Check out their new titles.
new books…..
reading, Uncategorized

Aidan E.’s reading recs on Personal Finance

Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel (read for free)

A controversial book, but one which holds water. One of the main themes is that no type of analysis outperforms the market, or that no matter how hard you try to pick stocks, nothing will be stronger than simply purchasing the S&P 500 and holding onto it.

Specifically states that no prior knowledge is necessary for reading it, something I think points towards a positive.

Distinguishes Investing vs Speculating.

Will have to do more reading, but I would say this is a worthwhile purchase.

Burton Gordon Malkiel. A Random Walk down Wall Street : The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.

Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (read for free)

Likely the best investing book ever written, but very difficult and filled with jargon and terminology. 

Would recommend it only for advanced readers, but it truly is the best book for those who have that level of skill. Practically unmatched.

Somewhat more expensive than other books on the list, but the full 500 pages likely makes it worth it. 

Focuses not only on stocks, but on every area of investment, such as bonds.

Taught Warren Buffet how to invest

Believes in intrinsic value and trading based on intrinsic value

Formulaic approach to investing

Graham, Benjamin, et al. The Intelligent Investor : A Book of Practical Counsel. New York, Harper Collins, 2013.
The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason

As much of a philosophical text as a financial one, The Richest Man in Babylon is a time tested classic, illustrating the path to wealth through hard work, frugal living, and wise investing.

This is told through the story of Arkad, a lowly scribe in Babylon’s Hall of Records. He observed the realities of the free market: having strength and value will make you earn money for others, and therefore yourself. And he shows you how he turned money into wealth, through saving and investing, repeatedly learning from his own and other’s mistakes.

This text provides a valuable understanding of wealth which anyone, struggling to earn and grow wealth, can benefit from. Living within your means will make those wins and vacations feel 10x better than when one enjoys them borrowed.

Clason, G S. The Richest Man in Babylon. Bn Publishing, 2008.
The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know

The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance by Michele Cagan & Elisabeth Lariviere

A picture filled, easy-to-understand book on understanding one’s own money. 

Encourages and helps young people to adapt the pillars of financial independence, which have been popularized by people like Dave Ramsey. You may not learn how to be Bill Gates with this book, but you will be able to build your wealth and make a solid plan for the future. 

Teaches that money is amoral, it can be used poorly or well. Start learning and gaining control of your money when you are young! You will never have to worry about it later.

Talks about investing, budgeting, insurance, financial planning, the whole nine yards.

Encouraged by veteran financial literacy teacher Tony, likely the most powerful and attention grabbing title on this list (From a layman’s standpoint).

Cagan, Michele, and Elisabeth Lariviere. The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance : A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know. New York, Adams Media, An Imprint Of Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2017.

Big thanks to Aidan for his passion, Naima for her guidance, and for Tony. All books are on order for our CAS collection. If CAS students would like them as an audiobook, please reach out via email to


Reading & Book clubbing at home

Here are some of our folks at home, reading and participating in all things bookish. In our 3-day intensive, we had discussions on Meet, chatrooms, and reflected on our books via mindmaps and beautiful long pages of writing. Our Read-a-thoners created two collective poem, and you can see their book picks!

“A Month” by the Read-A-Thoners, composed 4/16:


Looking out, looking in                       

Distancing and connection

Insanity                                                                      Peace                         Change

Our collective quote poem, “Snatches of Truth”:

‘What should I believe?’ thought Shadow, and the voice came back to him from somewhere deep beneath the world, in a bass rumble: ‘Believe everything.’” (American Gods by Neil Gaiman-Matthew)  

“It’s like I’ve been walking up the walls of a tower my whole life,” “My body parallel to the ground, and then, the world turns and I’m standing straight up, and the tower is lying flat on the ground. Everything is now distorted but my head is up again, and I’m walking forward. But the truth is, I don’t know which way is up.” (Braised Pork by An Yu–Hayden)  

“The boy knelt by the hearth, his jacket sleeves rucked up on his wrists like an accordion.” (Anarchists’ Club by Alex Reeve–Nick)

  “Dusk is an uncomfortable time, the way the light is.” (Klickitat by Peter Rock-Lissa)  

“Just a little bomb and all these people would be gone…” (Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie–Cash)

“In major cities wracked by the drug war, [4 of 5] young African-American men are subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives” (The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander–Olivia)  

“You get to the other side of the tightrope….” (Love Hurts by Rodro Linzler–Desiree)  

“I was living in a self-destructive riot of sensuality, and while my schoolmates saw me as a leader, a devil of a fellow and a damned sharp and clever guy, deep inside me hid a timid soul fluttering with fear” (Demian by Herman Hesse–Hannah)


WEEKLY PICKS for reading & exploring

Calling all writers: Join the Why I Rise Poetry contest: deadline is May 8th
“Turn a bad experience into something good” Details here.

This is a short doc about the Why I Rise movement:

Along with ART, we celebrate the EARTH with the Staten Island Museum–April 25th at noon a whole playlist of How-to videos will drop….how to make ink with walnuts, how to make a hydroponics system using a recycled 5-gallon water bottle, how to infuse cooking oils with seeds and herbs, and much more!

NY Wild Film Festival – Watch films about our EARTH….check out the free streaming movies on darkness and endangered “language of light” of fireflies celebrating WILD NYC:

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night from BonSci Films on Vimeo.

NYC’s 520 miles of waterfront!:

And, as always, find some time each day to immerse yourself in a book to de-stress, empathize with others and know you are not alone…..Here is a curated list of ebook & audiobooks for City-As-School students & staff. For access for those outside of our community, please send a request!





Queer New Year at City-As-School with Kelly Fernandez

Comic book artist Kelly Fernandez came to give our student artists a glimpse into the ways young artists move with integrity, hope, and poise into the publishing world. She was warm, creative in her presentation and very hands-on in her demo of zine making. With the funds from the NYCDOE grant to support our Respect for All events to promote underrepresented voices, we were able to invite her and give students a copy of Latinx comic anthology Tales from La Vida. 

The students said her talk was VERY helpful–here is a glimpse. Can’t wait for her debut graphic novel, Manu, in Fall 2020.


Our CAS Reads Reading and Discussion Club

Dear Readers&Writers,

Abdii of the Beacon Program and I are co-hosting a discussion and writing group around speculative fiction. Come join us Wednesdays and Thursdays at lunch. We will send stories out a week in advance and meet to discuss them together or write together using prompts.

For our first week of cycle 2 (Wed Nov 20 & Thur Nov 21), we will discuss the 1-2 of stories we read cycle 1: 
There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury
“Repent, Harlequin, said the Ticktock Man” by Harlan Ellison (request pdf via email–email me to get a copy!)
A Descent into the Maelstrom” by Edgar Allan Poe
“Was it a Dream” by Guy de Maupassant
“The River” by Adrienne Maree Brown (request pdf via email–email me to get a copy!)