After months of tireless commitment to helping our candidates through school closures and remote learning, as well as endless Zooms, it’s time to unplug. UVEI faculty and staff share their summer reading lists, pulling from the worlds of social justice, antiracism, deeper learning, and national trends to inform their work with novice teachers, experienced educators, teacher leaders, and principals. 

Page Tompkins

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. 

I read Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You with my family during quarantine, and we found it challenging, provoking, and meaningful. I’m excited to read the grown-up version. Also, I read Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist earlier this year, and I’m eager to keep examining and challenging my own problematic thinking.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis 

Stamped rekindled my interest in Angela Davis.

Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning by Linda Darling-Hammond & Jeannie Oakes

I’m continuing my longstanding exploration of deeper learning this summer and asking myself what else could UVEI be doing to prepare teachers to help students use their minds well.

The Successful President of Tomorrow: The 5 Skills Future Leaders Will Need (Chronicle of Higher Education) 

As UVEI takes our final lap on our 50 year journey from non-profit program to fully integrated graduate school, my role is changing – leading me to think about my leadership in new ways.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) by Suzanne Collins. Can you really ever get enough of the Hunger Games?

Nan Parsons

Fullan, M., Quinn, J., & McEachen, J. (2017). Deep learning: Engage the world change the world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Deeper Learning has been a research and practical application focus for the UVEI faculty and school partners for the last two years. Collectively, we’ve examined the concept of collaboration as a key skill in deeper learning for students. I am curious to learn more about what Fullan, Quinn, and McEachen see as their framework for deep learning (The 6 Cs) and how they broaden and deepen the work for teachers and students.

Leahy, R. L. (2006). The Worry Cure: Seven steps to stop worry from stopping you. New York: Harmony.

Each year as a teacher, principal, and now in higher education, I have worked with students and teachers who face significant anxiety impacting their experiences as learners and/or employees. This book not only examines the science behind the purpose that worrying or anxiety serve, both helpful and not so helpful, but also deepens understanding of responses.

Whitehead, C. (2019). The Nickel Boys. New York: Doubleday.

Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an Antiracist.  New York: One World/Ballantine.

After reading the book White Fragility by Robin Diangelo, I am searching for a better understanding of my role in supporting racist policies and substantiating those policies with racist ideas, knowingly and unknowingly, and how I can be engaged in supporting antiracist policies that lead to racial equity. Part of this deepening of my understanding will come by continuing to develop new ways of thinking about myself and others in a system that values some lives as more important than others.

The Nickel Boys was a story the author came upon in 2014. When I think about this, I see that it all is a pattern of how America and Americans respond to such discoveries as this historical fictional account of a reform school in Florida. The response is often acknowledging the horror of slavery, sometimes recognizing the endless and continuous crimes committed against Black Americans, celebrating rare hopeful moments such as civil rights laws and the election of a Black President, then silence and moving on until the next discovery or event leads us back to the conversation on race.

How to be an Antiracist by Irbram X. Kendi caught my attention with Kendi’s statement: “If we focus on power instead of people, if we focus on changing policy instead of groups of people. It’s possible if we overcome our cynicism about the permanence of racism. We know how to be racist. We know how to pretend to be not racist. Now let’s know how to be antiracist.” These statements alone drew me to the book.

Ingelman-Sunberg, C.A. (2016). The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. New York: HarperCollins.

I have no idea what this book is about. My granddaughter is presently reading it and all I hear is laughter as she reads. I’ll give you all an update when I finish it.

Prange, G., Goldstein, D., & Dillon, K.V. (1986). Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History. New York: McGraaw-Hill.

My father entered the war at age 17 just after Pearl Harbor and I visited the site in Hawaii many years ago. War fascinates me because it is so much more than we as private citizens see on the surface. This book explores the backroom decisions made by politicians and the military when America entered the Pacific War.

Kristen Downey

National Council of Teachers of English member Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop wrote this succinct metaphor for the purpose of sharing multicultural literature with children and young people: 

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books. (1990, p. ix)” 

I want my summer reading to help me recommend great books that can be mirrors, windows, and doors for the students of next year’s teacher candidates.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

Award winning author, Jaqueline Woodson, tells the story of her childhood, in verse.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

I loved Thomas’s debut novel, The Hate U Give, so I must read her second novel.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

A Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy novel. Um, yes, please.

Chris Ward

The Racial Contract, Charles Mills

Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, Linda Darling-Hammond and Jeannie Oaks

We’re planning on this year’s Barnes Initiative to focus on Deeper learning for Teacher Learning (with a focus on racial equity and justice). I want to revisit Darling-Hammond and Oaks’s book as a springboard for this work. 

How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi

Early Childhood Math Routines, Antonia Cameron

Becky Wipfler

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Since leaving full time work in education, I have not read many YA books. Jason Reynolds is one of my favorite authors and I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at a conference several years ago. We all have a responsibility to delve into ourselves to uncover hidden racism and it is a challenging, necessary topic to discuss with students.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The literacy coach’s handbook: A guide to research-based practice by Sharon Walpole and Michael McKena

We are launching the Literacy Specialist program at UVEI for the 2020-2021 school year! 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

I heard Glennon talk about this book on The Good Life Project podcast and instantly ordered the book. Her story and her authenticity is invigorating.

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown

I love Brene Brown’s work!

Marie McCormick

The Resisters by Gish Jen

Gish writes about a divided dystopian society where baseball is illegal and an act of rebellion. 

The Soul of Central New York by Sean Kirst

Supreme Inequality by Adam Cohen

Northeast Foraging by Leda Meredith

Andrea Feid

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Best-selling YA novel about a Black teenager who witnesses a police shooting first hand, and finds her voice.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This novel was more or less required reading for every 8th grader in America, and White educators are questioning now more than ever how the book fails to challenge essential attitudes about race.

The Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together by Van Jones