Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Slice of summer-reading life

Back to school meetings convened today, with students to join the action next week. As far as I'm concerned, that's as good a milestone as any to close the book (heh, heh) on summer reading. I'm going to use this post to highlight my favorites, borrowing a lens I first encountered in Shannon Hitchcock's blog post for Nerdy Book Club.

  • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner opened a window into how desperation can yield to hope.
  • The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs opened a window into how hope can yield to desperation. 
  • The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner opened windows into magic, coping, and the devastating ripples caused by addiction.
  • Lit Up by David Denby held up mirrors to the literate life I have and the ones to which I aspire with my students.
  • When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin opened windows into how loss can send us reeling and love can pull us back.
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk held up a mirror to the importance of sticking up for principles.
  • All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely held up a similar mirror as Wolf Hollow, in a different age under different circumstances.
  • Originals by Adam Grant opened windows into the science and psychology underlying creativity.
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker opened a window into the bonds between people and pets.
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin held up a mirror to how middle school can sometimes feel unforgiving.
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel opened a window into the ways family life can be fraught.
  • Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle opened a window into living one's dream.
  • The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey held up a mirror to why I compete the way I do and why that works sometimes better than others.
  • DIY Literacy by Kate and Maggie Beattie Roberts opened windows into how simple tools can facilitate more complex writing and reading.
Convalescence turns out to be a boon for reading. The complete slide-show where I tracked my efforts is here.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great list! I thought Wolf Hollow was wonderful! If you haven't read The Girl in the Well is Me, give it a try. The protagonist is memorable.

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  2. Thanks for the great list! I thought Wolf Hollow was wonderful! If you haven't read The Girl in the Well is Me, give it a try. The protagonist is memorable.

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  3. I love your list- I have read many and have added to my TBR list thanks to you! My summer reading ended last week with my own back to school meetings. Students started Tuesday. Enjoy your start- hope the students appreciate a "book wise" teacher. I am doing lots of thinking about mirrors and windows lately and will pass on the idea to my students.

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  4. I love your list- I have read many and have added to my TBR list thanks to you! My summer reading ended last week with my own back to school meetings. Students started Tuesday. Enjoy your start- hope the students appreciate a "book wise" teacher. I am doing lots of thinking about mirrors and windows lately and will pass on the idea to my students.

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  5. It looks like you certainly made the most of your convalescence, and now you are ready to share your ideas enriched by your reading with your students. Have a wonderful start to your new year!

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  6. I love the way you formatted your "opens a window" and "holds up a mirror" reviews. It feels more meaningful, yet also concise. Also, I am inspired by your book slideshow--I think I'll need to do one of these for myself.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Mari. I'm aiming to use a similar window/mirror frame for students sharing reading recommendations this year: https://sites.google.com/a/bvsd.org/16-17-reading-recs/

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  7. Hi Brian,
    What a great list. I had one on mine that was curated from people on Twitter who answered the poll. https://digisandbox.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/summer-reading/ I really like what you did on the slideshow - a sort of a nugget teaser. I did that once with students writing on large strips of paper and taped them to school hallways. Generated buzz of conversation, even with parents who strolled the halls.

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