Ahhh… I love summer! Time to relax, turn a darker shade of pasty, hang out with the munchkins, and READ! There are several books on my “done” list and several still on my “to read” list. I’ll share my two lists and keep you up-to-date. Also, the hyperlinks bring you to the Amazon listing and review… you know, for your convenience. 🙂
Books I’ve Read
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Okay, so please don’t throw tomatoes at me. I enjoyed the book. I cried and laughed. But honestly, I didn’t like it nearly as much as Looking for Alaska. Green develops the characters well and I appreciated the humor and realness of the plot. I can definitely see why teens enjoy it and why it was turned into a movie (which, by the way, I haven’t seen…). I just feel that it was extremely predictable.
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – I’m not kidding.. this should be on everyone’s “To Read” list. A phenomenal book about the struggle of introverts in our society to fit in and feel “normal” when extroverts clearly have the preferred personality type. I always considered myself an extrovert, but after reading, I realized that I am a pseudo-extrovert or an amnivert (a mix of the two). I see so many applications for me as a parent, spouse, teacher, church-goer… I can’t say enough about this book! I am SO pumped to facilitate a book club for this book in my school district.
- Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana – So this book was a freebie at the International Reading Association Convention this year. I didn’t have high hopes. But I picked it up in June… and finished it the next day. It’s a riveting story about a 10-year-old girl’s plight to survive Hurricane Katrina and care for her 2 younger siblings after she is separated from her parents. I bawled and I didn’t want the book to end. Lamana is a brand-new author who, as an educator, helped orphaned/lost children after the Hurricane. Her emotional connection to the event was clear, and I hope she writes more books.
- Perfect by Rachel Joyce – We read this for the book club I participate in with my husband. We’ve read some amazing books, but this wasn’t one of them. Constant flipping between perspectives and time periods, slow character development, and very few characters that I actually liked. But I did enjoy the discussion and snacks at our meeting. 🙂
Books I Plan to Read
- The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale – This is one of the books for the WI Battle of the Books competition, and I’ve been asked to write questions for it. I’m excited for the opportunity! Reviews are very positive and summaries have me intrigued.
- Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth – It’s a guilty pleasure. Don’t judge me.
- Endangered by Eliot Schrefer – This was a National Book Award finalist that I bought off of Amazon. I may not get to it, but I hope I can!
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – This is another award winner from this year. Unfortunately, my plans to read this were thwarted by a fire-alarm-pulling 8th grader who borrowed it before I got to read it and was suspended for the rest of the school year for her antics before I could get the book back. Arg. Still waiting for it from the library.
- Inspiring Dialogue: Talking to Learn in the English Classroom by Mary M. Juzwik et al – I’m in a book club for this one, and I’m excited to try out the suggestions in the book within my classroom.
- Nonfiction Notebooks: Strategies for Informational Writing by Aimee Buckner – I bought this at the Wisconsin State Reading Association Convention in February… and promptly forgot about it. I’m hoping to get to this one because I really enjoyed and appreciated Buckner’s presentation at WSRA.
- Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning by Mike Schmoker – My principal gave this to the leadership team at my school. I’m hoping to get to it… the verbal reviews I’ve heard are very positive.
- Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations by Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth – Another book club book that will probably be my next read (because we’re meeting in less than a month!). Laminack presented at WSRA this year as a keynote speaker, and he was hilarious and poignant.
- Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction by Jim Knight – I feel blessed that our district has adopted the Jim Knight philosophy for instructional coaching. They are bringing in a team from Kansas State (Knight’s home base) to train us in August. We’ve been tasked with reading the book prior to the training. Nice!
Well, that’s all for now. What books do YOU suggest for me? I’d love to hear your reviews and suggestions!