A Conversation with Anita Diamant, Author of APH’s All-School Read, The Boston Girl

As beloved an APH tradition as the all-school handshake, the Holiday Book Exchange, or Chef Rich’s chocolate chip cookies, there’s the all-school summer read. At the end of each academic year, students, faculty and staff come together to select the all-school summer read.

In the past, all-school reads have included Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani and Wolfpack by Abby Wambach. This year, APH chose The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.

The plot of The Boston Girl is as follows: “Addie Baum was born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine – a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.” (GoodReads)

This year, APH’s core value is Resilience, a theme echoed throughout the narrative of Addie Baum’s life in The Boston Girl. The major word used to describe Addie was “gumption.” Gumption essentially is not being afraid to get what you want. Resilience is when you don’t get it – you keep trying. There were familiar local settings throughout the book, like Good Harbor Beach, The North End, and Rockport which connected readers to the history of where we are–where APH resides. The story of Addie’s story of resilience is an example we can reflect on throughout this new academic year.

Inviting Anita Diamant to speak to our students was one of the highlights during APH’s back to school week. She is the bestselling author of the novels The Red Tent, Good HarborThe Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night, and the collection of essays Pitching My Tent. An award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting, she is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life. And of course, she is the author of The Boston Girl.

On Wednesday, September 1, author Anita Diamant spoke with our APH students virtually about The Boston Girl, what inspired her to write Addie Baum’s story, and her advice to future writers!

Watch our conversation with Anita Diamant below: