Summer reading 2018

Get your red hot summer reads right here!

summer reading 2018Or your chilling-in-the-AC-far-away-from-sunlight summer reads. We don’t judge. For educators, summer is a time to relax, recharge and maybe fit some professional development in, but honestly, not til like, August, easily*.

Katy Farber

“Summer and reading. The best! So many good books and ways to take on more than ONE book at a time now.

I am a big fan of audio books, especially for some reason non-fiction, while driving. You can subscribe to Audible and get the latest books on audio for cheaper than the hardback, or, as my financially savvy friends know, you can download the Overdrive app on your phone and access audio books from your local library.

Right now I am listening to So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olou and it is a profound, moving, angst-inducing book about systemic racism and its impacts. (Also I imagine radical, audacious hope, but I am not there yet).  I’m only on chapter two, and it has already given me a much needed lens on our society and the systems that have oppressed so many for so long.  One thing I am learning and re-learning is that in our rural state, in predominantly white spaces, we have to address race, identity, and current events regularly as teachers and with our students to protect, educate, and provide opportunities for all of our students to understand this nation’s past, to build our collective humanity and empathy, and to work for a more equitable future.

Also in my summer reading pile is Better Conversations by Jim Knight and Restorative Practice Meets Social Justice: Un-Silencing the Voices of “At Promise” Student Populations by Anthony H. Normore and Antonia Issa Lahera.

But that’s not all…

(cue infomercial music…)

Also, I love reading middle grade and YA fiction on my own and out loud to my daughters.

I just finished The Poet X (to myself) by Elizabeth Acevedo and am currently reading aloud Amal Unbound by Ashida Saeed. I am just jumping into The First Rule of Punk (and immediately want to create a zine and listen to Blondie).

Happy summer and I’d love to connect with you on Goodreads to hear about your reading. You can find me here.

Audrey Homan

“I’m excited to be taking a readcation this summer. It’s a lot like a vacation and a staycation, only with even less venturing outside than advertised.

I have a mad stack of books as my lack-of-traveling companions:

summer reading 2018

And they’re a wide-ranging bunch.

And of course, Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, because it just never gets old.

(I’m actually writing this from a library, which is a new level of commitment to ‘living your blogpost’).

On the off-chance that I do make it outside this summer, I have the perfect inspiration for putting some serious time in on my bike:

See you on the flip side…”

Emily Hoyler

“I am a total #bookclubaddict (I may be part of at least four regularly meeting groups, and several other one-time conversations).

As such, my stack is tall.

First, I just finished The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle (for book club #4 – and check out the Wakelet  capturing the recent #vted twitter chat on the book). Highly recommended! This book digs into what strong cultures are made of, and the answers may surprise you.  Coyle’s thesis is supported by hundreds of amazing vignettes, making this an easy, breezy and inspiring summer read.

I’m also reading The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath.  Another pop culture book, this one explores the conditions under which memorable moments are created, and how we can create more.  For example, we already celebrate the 100th day of school, why not celebrate the 1000th?


Next up, in the vein of “How do we save the world from all this madness?” are Donella Meadows’ Thinking in Systems and Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy. The former has been waiting for me on my bookshelf few a few years, and the latter is the book my (fifth) book club — the Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy alumni group — is reading.  Heavy, but hopeful too.

In fiction, I’ve just started The First Rule of Punk by Celia Pérez (for book club #3) which promises to be a solid YA tale about identity and resilience. And book club #1 is reading Philip Roth’s American Pastoral which I don’t know much about yet, but I’m sure to soon find out!  Find me on Goodreads here!

Scott Thompson

“Summer time is exciting to me for some many reasons. Most notable is a slower pace of life and the ability to start digging into the daunting reading list. Every time I talk with my amazing colleagues I leave with two to three book recommendations I want to tackle. So here’s what’s next on my list

Professional Read: The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

Suggested by many folks, this book hits on something many of think about (and struggle with) as it pertains to schools. I’m exciting to think about the culture of schools perhaps through a different lens.

Personal Read: A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain

I have been a fan and follower of Anthony Bourdain for years. While this may seems slightly outside a “normal” suggestion his recent segment on Parts Unknown highlighted the culture of West Virginia after the coal mining industry had collapsed. Additionally, he examined this impact on education in the state. His ability to use food as a vehicle to tell a communities story is unparalleled. Plus his edgy, matter of fact approach is fascinating read.”

Life LeGeros

“I am constantly amazed at the resilience of educators.

The emotional roller coaster of a school environment is unique in its complexity, intensity, and opportunity for fulfillment. Elena Aguilar’s newly released Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators provides strategies for building resilience based on existing strengths. She presents her 12 tips in an interesting way that tracks across the year in the life of a teacher. You can get a preview by listening to Aguilar’s appearance on the Cult of Pedagogy podcast.

I am eager to venture far down the sci-fi tunnel by reading Cixin Liu’s The Dark Forest, which is the second book in a trilogy. I read the first book, The Three-Body Problem, during the depths of winter and it was like nothing else I have encountered. The science is dense, the cultural context is fascinating, and the sociology of humanity interacting with aliens is engrossing. Apparently the author is considered one of the greatest Chinese science fiction writers and this second book is better than the first. I can’t wait!

And then I’ll be reading lots of YA.

I have a long list that I’ve been meaning to get to, including novel-in-verse Poet X by slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo; the also-in-verse Long Way Down by my hero Jason Reynolds; and the play book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and others, because one of my kids has read it and she doesn’t understand the concept of ‘spoilers.'”

Jeanie Phillips

“I’m going to read a ton of YA this summer (as usual!). I always read books from the Green Mountain Book Award list for the upcoming year (a librarian habit I can’t break).  I’m really looking forward to digging into Piecing Me Together, a book that is in part about a black teenager facing micro-aggressions from well-meaning educators and community members. I’ve loved other books from this current list and highly recommend Far From the Tree, a book written from the perspectives of three adopted teenagers, and Devils Within, an inside look a white supremacy.

I’ll also read some titles from the DCF Book Award listThe Stars Beneath Our Feet is #1 for me on this list, but if you haven’t read The First Rule of Punk you should! It’s a great book about identity and would be an awesome read aloud for the start of the school year.

The Poet X is not on either of these, but it is on Life’s list and it is one of my favorite YA books of all time.  If you are looking for a quick, satisfying book to rock your world this is the one!

My professional reading includes Students at the Center: Personalized Learning with Habits of Mind – a primer on student voice, co-creation, social construction, and self-discovery.  And I’ll be reading What’s Race Got To Do With It? How Current School Reform Policy Maintains Racial and Economic Inequity.

Are you on Goodreads?  Want to connect?  You can find me here, I’d love to see what you are reading!  Happy summer everyone!”





Yes, MGI is the exception. *mwah* all you MGI kittens doing intensive PD in June, right after school ends.

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