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Summer Reads


Every year I say this, but every year it’s so true.  I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone!  I blinked and time flew 9 weeks.  My calendar was intentionally set to do little, so I could slow down, take a deep breath.  And it still went by too fast!

I had great goals of reading a bunch of books, (you can see my what-to-read-stack here), but between camping, going to the coast, day trips, finishing a quilt, spending time with extended family, and a week of PD training, (I am going through the process of becoming Nationally Board Certified–eek!), I didn’t get through nearly as much as I thought.

But the three books I did read this summer were really good, and if you have some time before school starts, you should read one!



Genre–fantasy; mythology

Summary–This is the backstory of Circe from The Odyssey, by Homer.  If you teach this epic poem, or just really enjoyed the story, then you’ll love the author’s spin on the witch who turns Odysseus’ men into pigs.  It begins with her childhood through being stranded on an island to meeting the warrior king himself.  Lots of twists and turns.

Why I liked it–It’s mythology!  It’s a really unique story and I liked how she incorporated so many other gods and goddesses into the plot.  Great character development.  You’ll wish Odysseus stayed with her instead of going back home (but you already knew that).


BookThe Newcomers

Genre–non-fiction; education

Summary–Author Helen Thorpe follows the lives of 22 newly immigrant high schoolers in Denver as they navigate learning English, trying to push their past behind them.  These young adults come from all over the world and some have heartbreaking stories.  Tremendously sad, unbelievable stories.  But through it all, these brave students try to push past their hurts to learn English and graduate high school–making a better world for themselves.

Why I liked it–Can I just say eye-opening?  The beginning was a little slow for me, but it really began to pick up a few chapters in.  Thorpe captured these vulnerable students so well and made me deeply care about people I have never met.  As an educator, I spent a lot of time thinking about the political and educational landscape we now live in and what changes can be made to help students like these have a bright future.


writer workshop

BookWriting Workshop in Middle School

Genre–teaching resource

Summary–If you’re looking to incorporate writing workshop in your classroom, this book is a great place to start.  Lots of practical advice for running and maintaining a space for students to write.

Why I liked it–I am new to this.  Confession–I thought I did writer’s workshop until I read this.  Then I realized that I don’t.  Huh.  Having students work on different writing pieces all at the same time will take some time for me to incorporate, but I am beginning to dabble my toes in the water.  Lots of good advice and practical ideas to use and try this year.  Dog-eared many pages and taken lots of notes!  This book will be one I will be coming back to for years.


What books have you read this summer?  I am always on the lookout for new books to read.  Happy teaching!

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Thanks for stopping by! I love baking and hope these recipes inspire you to create something wonderful in your kitchen. xoxo

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