We have a tradition at UVEI that each summer the faculty and staff share what is on their reading lists. This year’s lists include a common “book club” title, various other books in the education field, and “just for fun” books that we are making time for this summer.  We would love for you to engage with us as we read and learn this summer, and there are several ways to do so:

  1. Join our book club on Wednesdays from 9:15-10 am. We’ll be reading Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities by Ann M. Ishimaru. See more details about the book, including our reasons for choosing it, in our reading lists below. Discussions will be informal, hybrid in-person and over zoom – your choice. Attend whichever Wednesdays you are able starting on June 28- email ptompkins@uvei.edu if you are interested.
  2. Share your own reading lists with us at staff@uvei.edu.
  3. Look over our reading list below, and email faculty or staff members directly (links provided) if you have a shared interest in any of the books or topics – from education to sci fi to fishing. We would love to talk with you!


See below for our faculty and staff reading list!


Adam Norwood (anorwood@uvei.edu) 


The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Anni Murphy Paul. This book was recommended by my sister.  “The Extended Mind suggests that the things and the space around us have a profound effect on how we think, feel, and develop. There are profound cultural implications and socioeconomic implications that are essential for us to understand.”  How could I resist?


Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall.  I heard Monica talking about this book one day and decided to look into it more.  “From the excesses of world expositions to myths of better living through technology, modernist design, in its European-based guises, has excluded and oppressed the very people whose lands and lives it reshaped. Decolonizing Design first asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the harmful project of colonization—then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories.”  I want to learn more!


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Somehow, I made it through high school without ever reading this book.  And after paying a visit to UVEI LIteracy Specialist candidate Larissa Hebert’s AP English Literature class this past spring and watching her introduce this novel to her students, I was immediately hooked.


Andrea Feid (afeid@uvei.edu) 


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd: Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved. (based loosely on a true story)


Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan: A riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves. (about a trans gender relationship)


The Light we Carry by Michelle Obama: The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.


Chris Ward (cward@uvei.edu)


Teacher Learning of Ambitious and Equitable Mathematics Instruction: A Sociocultural Approach by Lani Horn and Brette Garner. I’m curious how Horn and Garner add to the vast literature on teacher community and learning by adding a specific focus on teachers learning ambitious instructional practices. Definitely looking forward to this.


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I was looking for an offbeat, funny, strange, dreamlike novel and this seems to be a classic in that genre. I hadn’t heard about it until recently and am excited to get lost!


Elijah Hawkes (ehawkes@uvei.edu)


Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities by  Ann M. Ishimaru.  I heard that Kristen and Monica are reading this and I’d love to join them in conversation about it!  I’m also finding that the topic of Family & Community Partnerships is an area of passionate interest to many candidates in the Principal Internship Program – so perhaps there could be a connection to the PIP curriculum that arises from this reading.  


Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty.  From the publisher: “Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy.”  I was given this book last year and haven’t read it yet.  A friend who now works at the Great Schools Partnership just asked me if I’d read it, wanting to discuss. I’ve got lots of good reasons to put it on my summer reading list. 


Kristen Liu (kliu@uvei.edu)


Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities by  Ann M. Ishimaru. Monica recommended this book to me (and I’m hoping we can book club them this summer!) and I am excited to finally sit down and read in my graduate program, there was a huge focus on family partnerships and how to not only engage with families, but also make the partnership more equal. I’m excited to continue thinking about this work in Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities.


The Literacy Workshop: Where Reading and Writing Converge by Maria Walther, Karen Biggs-Tucker. At UVEI, we’ve been talking a lot about how to make our classrooms more interdisciplinary to provide more opportunities for deeper learning for our students. I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile to think about how to provide both our TIP interns and literacy candidates more ideas on how to do a literacy workshop, as opposed to separating reading and writing.

I’m also starting a new series, The Norsunder Wars, by one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors, Sherwood Smith. My favorite book by her is the Crown Duel series – a great comfort reread – and I’m just catching up on her newer books. Supposedly, these books have references to characters in her older series (young adult novels) but as her characters have grown up, so have her readers! I LOVE fantasy, so if anyone has recommendations, let me know!


Marie McCormick (mmccormick@uvei.edu) 

Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy. I don’t think I’ve read a parenting book since my 10-yr-old son was a toddler, but there have been many times that I have needed some good advice. This title hooked me, and from what I’ve looked at so far I believe that it is a good fit for me and the parent I strive to be.


I’m also at the point where I truly enjoy reading the book series that my son is reading – sometimes as a family, and other times on my own. Books I am looking forward to at the moment are Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer, Explorer Academy: The Dragon’s Blood by Trudi Truett, and The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles) by Rick Riordan. I haven’t yet figured out which ones will be read this summer, but I don’t think I can go wrong with any of these.


Monica Nachemja-Bunton (mnachemja-bunton@uvei.edu)


Making Coaching Matter: Leading Continuous Improvement in Schools by  Sarah L. Woulfin, Isobel Stevenson, Kerry Lord. Page recommended this book to me, and I’m excited to read and discuss with him. Coaching is such a powerful tool for change, and this book feels accessible and grounded in solid research. My hope is to use it to continue to improve the work we do around coaching in the Leadership Program, and to grow my own coaching of teacher and literacy candidates! 


Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities by  Ann M. Ishimaru. A friend of mine recommended this book to me a year ago, and I’m really excited to finally dig into it. We’ve used some of Ishimaru’s writing in our Literacy Educators Program, and I’m expecting this book to continue to inform the work we do around reimagining family-school partnerships. One potential outcome is for this to become a text we use in our Literacy Educators Program. 


Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education by Alex Shervin Venet. When I came across this book, it reminded me of all the conversations I’ve had with teacher candidates and their mentors this year. We have a lot of teachers who work with students with various levels of trauma – personal, familial, in their community, systemic, etc. – and I think this book could ground how we support teachers to support their students. It could also provide insight to different and deeper lenses on equity. I’m curious if this could serve as a foundational text in our teacher program in the Learner and the Learning Environment strand. 


Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. I read Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji last summer, and it was so devastatingly beautiful that when I saw Freshwater at Still North in Hanover, I picked it up without thinking twice. 


Landmarks by Robert Macfarland. Another repeat favorite author, I read Macfarland’s Underland a couple years ago. Landmarks is one of his earlier works, and I can’t wait to dive into his lyrical prose that makes you fall in love with the landscape around you.


Page Tompkins (ptompkins@uvei.edu)


Making Coaching Matter: Leading Continuous Improvement in Schools by  Sarah L. Woulfin, Isobel Stevenson, Kerry Lord. Sarah was a colleague of mine at UC Berkeley, and I admire and have been inspired by her work on coaching for a long time. This book looks like it is thoroughly research based while also being practical. It will not be a “10 tricks to…” book (a flavor of education literature that I truly loathe). Instead, I expect that it will be a textured and nuanced look at the conditions under which coaching can be an effective tool for school improvement.


Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities by  Ann M. Ishimaru. Monica recommended this one to me, and I am excited to read and discuss it with other UVEI faculty (and hopefully other educators) in our Wednesday-morning summer book club. While I have long been interested in school improvement, and recognize family and community ties to the school as an essential element of school improvement, I feel like this is a weak spot in my understanding relative to other essential elements (such as leadership, staff development and collaboration, instructional guidance, and school climate). I’m excited to update my thinking in this area!


For fun: The Guide, by Peter Heller. This one looks to combine my desire for fun summer reading (I read a lot of education journals during the year, summer is a time for page turners!) and my current obsession with fly fishing (I’ve been at it for 3 years, am not very good, but it does occupy an inordinate amount of brain space during the season…), can’t wait to dig into this one between trips to the river!