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INBOX Ideas - Previous Revision

Reading in the Summer

picture of a book by a lakeThe highlight of my summers has always been the chance to read -- and read a lot. Growing up, I would go to the library every day. While I enjoyed the programs the library had to offer, I really loved the chance to peruse all of the books available. In college, summer meant I would finally have choice in my reading material after reading for courses all year. As a teacher, my school year reading was usually in preparation for what my students would be reading. Summers were times to choose for ME, and I enjoyed creating my summer reading list. This year I wrote to many NCTE members asking them to share with me the titles on their summer reading lists. Join us in the next several issues as we share their titles and also suggestions from YOU!

Peggy Albers, Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Amy Seely Flint, Teri Holbrook, and Laura May, editors of Language Arts, shared an extensive list of titles, including:

  • Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner: the author's take on how to cultivate creative and innovative thinkers; while it is geared to parents, it is also interesting from a teaching standpoint (this title is an interactive transmedia text)
  • T. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks: the story is told from the perspective of the imaginary friend of a boy with autism
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: YA lit but relevant to folks of all ages; this book is known as a "cancer love story," but it's said to be a funny book (this title was also shared by Doug Fisher, one of the editors of NCTE's Voices from the Middle)

Teri Lesesne is a voracious reader and shares her reading lists with readers on her blog. This summer she is focusing on reading "Picture Books for the Young and the Not-So-Young":

  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: a fable about migration and immigration
  • Forest Has a Song: a collection of poems about a forest; short poems; powerful poems
  • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: with motifs and archetypes and HUMOR
  • The Mystery of Darwin's Frog: nonfiction with simple yet scientific text plus glorious photos and illustrations
  • Martha Speaks: Canine Comics: a series of stories based on a picture book character and the TV series about that book character (About this series, Teri says, "I can see using these texts with young children in read-aloud or story time. Older readers will be able to see even more, to dig beyond the seemingly simple story.")

Lisa Scherff, NCTE book author and coeditor of English Education, is using this summer to prepare for her return to full-time high school teaching. She is planning to read

  • Penny Kittle's Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers
  • poetry titles, including Nikki Giovanni's collection The 100* Best African American Poems and also Open the Door: How to Excite Young People about Poetry by editors Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan
  • a book she has never read: Jack Kerouac's On the Road: The Original Scroll ("I love that the subtitle is 'The legendary first draft—rougher, wilder, and racier than the 1957 edition,'" Lisa said.)

David Kirkland, a member of NCTE's College Section and Black Caucus, shared a number of professional titles:

  • Critical Media Pedagogy by Ernest Morrell et al.
  • Schooling Hip Hop by Marc Lamont Hill and Emery Petchauer
  • Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S. by H. Samy Alim, Geneva Smitherman, and Michael Eric Dyson
  • Digital Griots by Adam Banks

What is on your summer reading list? Share your suggestions:


In the Connected Community
Twitter @ncte #summerreading


-- Lisa Storm Fink



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