Last summer I was a little too ambitious in my plans for summer reading. While I did get most of the books read, it took me through Christmas break to get through the list (and I did skip a couple of the books altogether). This year, I am more realistic. I have picked three professional learning books and four young adult novels, but I’m also planning to use the audio versions of a couple of the books to keep me company this summer while I train for the my first marathon, run errands, chauffeur my kids, mow my yard, and complete other daddy chores. I’ll also continue reading blogs and tweets along with new issues of Phi Delta Kappan, Mac|Life, and Runner’s World.
Here’s my summer reading list (as it now stands) and why I’ve chosen each book:
- An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students by Ron Berger – I picked this book based on Suzie Boss‘s recommendation, but Berger has worked with Project Zero, which holds a lot of weight around these parts. I’m especially looking forward to reading more about the topics of chapters three (work of excellence) and four (teaching of excellence).
- Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry by Jane Krauss and Suzie Boss – This book is part of my ongoing professional development connected with project-based learning. I’ll explain more later, but I’m continuing to refine and redesign my class to use PBL, and I hope this book will help me on my journey.
- The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School by Grant Lichtman – Jamie Feild Baker recommended this book to me last summer before I’d met Grant and host him in my classroom. Unfortunately, I haven’t read his book even though Bo and Jill refer to it all the time in the posts so I feel like I’ve read it. Soon, I’ll truly be in the know.
- Inexcusable by Chris Lynch – I picked this book because it was a National Book Award finalist and apparently is “an interesting companion piece to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.” The subject matter is disturbing, but Speak moved me so I’m interested in reading this book, too.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart – I’ve had this book on my shelf for several years, but I’ve never read it. Recently, I’ve noticed it recommended on several lists of good “read aloud” books. I’ll let you know my thoughts after I read it.
- Sway by Amber McRee Turner – I was in the middle of this great story in April when my life got crazy and I dropped everything to take care of family business. I just found time to pick Sway up again this week. It’s wonderful so far, and I think you ought to read it, too. Full disclosure: I went to school with the author and consider her a dear friend.
- One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia – This is another book that I’ve had on my shelf for a while, but just haven’t taken the time to read. It’s won tons of awards, and I’m betting it will fit well in the Civil Rights unit that I teach.
What about you? What’s on your summer reading list? What feedback do you have about the books on my list? I’d love to hear your thoughts.