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My Summer Reading List

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My Summer Reading List

My summer reading list was disrupted at the beginning of this month. Along with my usual search for student book selections and my focus in the last years of  ‘own voice’ text,  I had learning to do.  I have to learn to be an antiracist, not just a non-racist.  I have to learn to be an antiracist so I can talk honestly to students and teachers about the texts we choice,  the messages we send, the words we share… not just when there’s a crisis, but every day as we build our habits, our understandings, our futures and those of those children in our care.

So I’ll be reading a different book list this summer and along with that reading, I’ll be listening to voices that can teach me because it’s imperative that I learn.  I have been a learner.  I have met students and families where they are.  I have provided texts that were representative of the diversity of the students in our school community. Now that’s not enough.  I’m not sure yet what will be enough, but I know that when I talk about the American Revolution, it feels parallel to current events.  When I read biographies with students, I want them to think what lessons should we learn.  This is a very different post than many I have written,  I would love to hear your suggestions, your book lists, your wonderings, so that we may grow together.

My early summer reading list.

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While we are buying these books, we might also buy them from black-owned bookstores.  Here is a resource of independent black-owned bookstores by state.

We are fortunate in our TeachersBooksReaders blog to be surrounded by educators that have recommended tremendous own voice children’s books over the course of this year.  Look forward to more to come in the fall.  Some of my personal favorites:

Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 9.03.23 AMThe Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Mohammed

  Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 9.00.14 AMThe King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

  Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 8.36.13 AMSome Places More Than Others by Renee Watson

Can I Touch Your Hair  by Irene Latham and Charles Waters




Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 8.19.47 AM    Saturday by Oga Mora


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The Seasons of Styx Malone  by Kekla Magoon



Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 8.48.33 AMJust Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton


Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 8.51.33 AM   Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson


2 thoughts on “My Summer Reading List”

  1. This is a terrific list to get started, Susan! I also like that it is SHORT. Four books seem doable for most teachers. I love those long lists stuffed with 30 must-read titles, but it’s also a bit overwhelming. Of course it’s terrible that I am praising your short list and then adding a title but one that I think you would really like and that is a super fast read that packs so much necessary guidance is Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s Cultivating Genius. Thanks, too, for highlighting Black-owned bookstores.

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