Slice of Life: Summer Reading

Today is really only the second day of my summer break. (I don’t think the weekend should count.) I am working hard at looking busy and being productive. But honestly, I haven’t accomplished much and feel a little adrift.

One thing I have managed to do is read the first chunk of I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson for an online reading group organized by Sally Donnelly. This Printz Award winner and Stonewall Honor Book was on many Best-Book lists when it was published, deservedly so. At first, I was so caught up in the story that I missed the nuances of Nelson’s writing. I’m rereading now with ever-increasing awe at the power of this book.


I have stacks of novels and professional books I want to read this summer. Sunny, the third installment in Jason Reynolds’s amazing Track series is next on my list, followed by Refugee, by Alan Gratz and The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo. Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle’s 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents is at the top of my professional stack. Ellin Keene’s Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning and Jeff Anderson’s Patterns of Power are also on my list. Wish me luck!


What are you reading this summer?

Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDeb, KelseyMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

16 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Summer Reading

  1. Welcome to summer vacation, Catherine! I highly suggest taking some time off from being productive, though I certainly do understand that “adrift” feeling. I’ve been writing more and have realized recently that that has taken a toll on my reading. This really bothers me! I’m determined to amp up the reading again in all categories–personal, professional and kid-lit. I have a few titles that overlap with yours (Patterns of Power is one I’m really looking forward to!) and piles of good intentions. We’ll see how it all pans out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished “I’ll give you the sun” on our overnight train ride to Montana. I loved this book and I also plan to reread for the nuances. The writing is so unique and engaging. How does she do that? Happy summer to you! Enjoy be No adrift for a while. It feels freeing.


  3. Love your list! Especially, Ellin’s book – I devoured in a weekend – so good! I just put lots of books on hold at the library, including Every Day by David Levithan and The Sun is Also a Star on CD as Bahni Turpin was just recommended as a great audio voice! I am reading (along with I’ll Give You the Sun), a book Julianne recommended – My Name is Lucy Barton. And I just finished Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – loved it! Happy Summer Reading!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a great list of books! I loved reading I’ll Give You the Sun. I’m also reading 180 Days and plan to read Linda Rief’s new Quickwrites book

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy summer vacation!
    I haven’t had the chance to read anything yet. (Maybe because I’ve been run-run-running with Isabelle who is on the swim team this summer.) Hoping to have the chance to dive into some books for pleasure soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I devoured I’ll Give You the Sun and I agree, I must reread. Can you imagine having that book when we were in the middle school, high school years? Add into it the Jason Reynolds’ books and the professional reading our teachers would have had access too, imagine what readers we would be now?

    I’m in the midst of Sarah Ahmed’s Being the Change, Jewel Rhodes’ Ghost Boys and I think my next book on the adult literature front is Educated by Tara Westover. I’ve got 180 Days and Ellin Keene’s book on my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A friend “assigned” me the Harry Potter books. I’ve finished the first one (I’m so late to the party.) I’m also reading Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford. I have the same professional books on my stack, too! Got my eyes checked today so that I can see better and hopefully read longer!
    We haven’t met yet, but I’m also a friend of Sally’s. Will you be at TC Writing in August?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved The Poet X and Refugee. I’m currently reading an ARC of Jacqueline Woodson’s new book coming out in August, Harbour Me. No professional books for me (I’ve finally quit buying them), but I do have some poetry books that I’d like to explore. I recently read a light, adult book – The Library at the Edge of the World. Just perfect for me after I slogged through The Handmaid’s Tale, something I’ve always felt I should read and I’m glad I read it, but I was definitely ready for a light read after that. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Summer…happy reading!! I just finished two giant stacks of picture books for the Huck Award. I’m ready for a novel and a professional book now!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s