I was perusing Twitter the other day and saw a tweet from Kerry Gallagher, an educator in Massachusetts about her summer reading. I loved the idea and was challenged by her to share my list with others…so here goes. This is a work in progress and I hope to read more than I did last summer…
Personal Books I’ve Chosen For This Summer
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – it’s a book about family, school, love and determination. Joe has to interview a grandparent or an elderly person for a college class but he doesn’t know any and all of his grandparents are gone, so he hits up the local nursing home and decides to interview Carl Iverson, a paroled murderer. The story also involves his neighbor Lila, his mother and his brother Jeremy who’s autistic. The book had me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t want to put it down.
Here’s what Amazon.com said, “College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder. As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?”
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – I have just begun reading this book but it’s about a young man who works at night as an “Internet Security Officer” whose job is to read flagged messages and report them but chooses not to for two girls that email each other often throughout the workday. He becomes intrigued by their story and cannot wait to continue reading when he arrives at work. I just finished this book and I loved it! A great story about relationships and happy endings.
Here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say…”In sweet, silly, and incredibly long digital missives, best newsroom pals Beth and Jennifer trade gossip over their romances—Beth with her marriage-phobic boyfriend, Chris, and Jennifer with her baby-mania-stricken husband, Mitch. What they don’t know is that the newly hired computer guy, Lincoln, an Internet security officer charged with weeding out all things unnecessary or pornographic, is reading their messages. But lonely Lincoln lets the gals slide on their inappropriate office mail and gets hooked on their soapy dalliances, falling head over heels for the unlucky-in-love Beth. Debut novelist and real-life newspaper columnist Rowell has the smarts for this You’ve Got Mail–like tale of missed connections, but what doesn’t work so well is the firewall between the traditional narrative reserved for Lincoln’s emergence from shy guy to Beth’s guy, and heroines who are confined to the e-epistolary format. Despite the structural problems, there’s enough heart and humor to save these likable characters from the recycle bin. (Apr.) “
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Running with Scissors is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny. But above all, it chronicles an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.”
HERE ARE SOME PROFESSIONAL BOOKS I’VE CHOSEN TO READ
Notice and Note Strategies for Close Reading By Kylene Beers ad Bob Probst. Here’s what Amazon.com says…”In Notice and Note Beers and Bob Probst introduce 6 “signposts” that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and encourage students to read closely. Learning first to spot these signposts and then to question them, enables readers to explore the text, any text, finding evidence to support their interpretations. In short, these close reading strategies will help your students to notice and note.
In this timely and practical guide Kylene and Bob:
- examine the new emphasis on text-dependent questions, rigor, text complexity, and what it means to be literate in the 21st century
- identify 6 signposts that help readers understand and respond to character development, conflict, point of view, and theme
- provide 6 text-dependent anchor questions that help readers take note and read more closely
- offer 6 Notice and Note model lessons, including text selections and teaching tools, that help you introduce each signpost to your students.
Notice and Note will help create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly, and reflect on what it means in their lives. It should help them become the responsive, rigorous, independent readers we not only want students to be but know our democracy demands.
I am posting this now but will be adding more when I arrive back home from #ISTE2016.