Savory Summer Reads
from NCTE INBOX 6-18-13
Sometimes the things we read during "down times" like summer breaks and holidays can turn out to be the most memorable and influential reads of the year. It could be because we're more relaxed and better able to focus, or for some of us, because we cherish these small breaks in routine and use them to savor books we've been waiting to read for months. Here are some books NCTE members, leaders, and volunteers have set aside to savor this summer, including both fiction and nonfiction titles. What's on your list?
Doug Fisher, one of the editors of Voices from the Middle, would like to read Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scot Berkun this summer.
Nancy Frey, another editor of Voices from the Middle, is planning to read
- Distributed Leadership by James Spillane, as well as
- Andrew Solomon's Far from the Tree. (After reading more about that title, I think I will add it to my list too!)
David Bloome, NCTE past president, current Board of Directors member, and co-chair of the Jewish Caucus, is planning to read
- Singer's Typewriter and Mine: Reflections on Jewish Culture by Ilan Stavans,
- Until We Are Strong Together: Women Writers in the Tenderloin by Caroline Heller, and
- A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Young Black Men by NCTE member David E. Kirkland and Pedro Noguera.
Roxanne Henkin, former NCTE journal editor and current co-chair of the Jewish Caucus, is planning to read
- Technology and Critical Literacy in Early Childhood by NCTE member Vivian Vasquez,
- Teaching and Learning Multiliteracies: Changing Times, Changing Literacies by Michele Anstey and Geoff Bull,
- Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon, and
- Endings & Beginnings: A Story of Healing by Redi Tlhabi.
Jeff Sommers, editor of Teaching English in the Two-Year College, has on his reading list the May issue of Teaching English in the Two-Year College, in addition to
- The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson,
- All Other Nights by Dara Horn, and
- News from Heaven by Jennifer Haigh.
Patty Dunn, chair of the NCTE College Section, plans to read some books to teach in upcoming classes. For her YA Lit class, she wants to read
- Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, by Karen Blumenthal and
- the graphic novel Blankets, by Craig Thompson.
For her Disability Studies class, Patty hopes to read
- Simi Linton's new book, My Body Politic.
Share your suggestions in the Connected Community, on Facebook, and by Twitter (@ncte #summerreading)!
-- Lisa Storm Fink,
NCTE Members Share More Summer Reading Suggestions
from NCTE INBOX 6-11-13
I like to set reading goals for myself in the summer. I try to read a certain number of titles or I attempt to complete an entire series. One summer, I challenged myself to only read nonfiction. Donalyn Miller publicly announced her intention to read a book for every day of summer break. One book every day! Here are some additional summer reading lists shared by NCTE members, leaders, and volunteers.
Carol Jago tweeted as @CarolJago, "Series books make fabulous summer reading: Ender's Game, Gossip Girls, Breadwinner, Encyclopedia Brown, Alexandra Quartet!"
A few responders mentioned that they wanted to read books that had turned into films. Peggy Albers, Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Amy Seely Flint, Teri Holbrook, and Laura May, editors of Language Arts, are planning to read The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. Nancy Frey, one of the editors of Voices from the Middle, said she is planning to read The Great Gatsby. (Isn't everyone?!) I invited my daughter to read it so we could see the film together. In turn, she asked me to read Bruiser by Neal Shusterman so we could talk about it together.
Some folks are planning to read award-winning texts. Doug Fisher, another of the Voices from the Middle editors, is planning to read In Darkness by Nick Lake, recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, and Every Day by David Levithan, winner of the Young Adult Choice Award. Leslie Rush, co-editor of English Education, would like to read books that were nominated for the 2013 Literacy Research Association's Edward B. Fry Book Award.
Several of the titles shared with me can be read on a mobile device like a Kindle. Some were professional readings that can be considered white papers or books: Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century and Digital Media and Technology in Afterschool Programs, Libraries, and Museums. Another was Growing Up With Technology: Young Children Learning in a Digital World.
NCTE members Shari Frost, Katherine Sokolowski, Clare Landrigan, Tammy Mulligan, Donalyn Miller, and Jennifer Vincent share these additional reading suggestions, both personal and professional titles.
If you like to discuss what you're reading with other educators, consider signing up for one or more of the upcoming NCTE Principles in Practice Facebook book clubs. Each free, two-week club focuses on a different title in this popular series, with topics like culturally relevant writing instruction, digital literacies, and reading assessment.
Do you find there is a theme to your reading list? Share your suggestions in the Connected Community, on Facebook, and by Twitter (@ncte #summerreading)!
--Lisa Storm Fink, ReadWriteThink
Members Reading in the Summer
from NCTE INBOX 6-5-13
The 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:
-- Lisa Storm Fink, ReadWriteThink