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.

Slice of Life: Summer Reading Plans


Summer. The very word conjures images of long afternoons with a book. Whether at the beach or stretched out in hammock under a tree, I’m looking forward to reading. A lot. Except for Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Echo, my stack of middle-grade novels is embarrassingly out of date. I’ll be making regular trips to the library to find more recent titles, including The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and picture books like Yard Sale by Eve Bunting and Julia Sarcone Roach’s The Bear Ate Your Sandwich.

A small portion of my TBR stack. This was taken last week, and I finished Hattie Ever After over the weekend. I loved it!

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I also have a pile of professional books that includes Colleen Cruz’s The Unstoppable Writing Teacher and Vocabulary Is Comprehension, by Laura Robb. I’m looking forward to having the new Units of Study for Teaching Reading, by Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project sometime in early July.


Finally, there are several poetry books I’m looking forward to reading, including Jane Hirshfield’s Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World and The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects, selected by Paul B. Janeczko.

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This list may change over the weeks ahead. Another joy of summer reading is having time to browse the library stacks or tables at the bookstore and find an undiscovered gem. What will you be reading?

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.