05/23/2021 / Education

Building My "Summer" Reading Stack

I love books. Do I need another book? Of course not, but my stacks keep growing, my bookcases keep overflowing, and I keep searching for that next great book!  
My "To Be Read" pile has now become part of my "Summer Stack". It is eclectic to say the least as the range of titles are newly published, books that "I had to have" and then sat  in my bookcase, or books that I will read to hopefully recommend to my students.  Here are a few of my middle grade literature books to share as a sample of my stack: 

See you in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng. Copyright 2017: Kid literature: This book came highly recommended from a former student. They were so excited to tell me about this story because of how they related to the main character, Alex,  who loves space so much he named his dog after his hero, "Carl Sagan". The story is told through "recordings" that Alex makes using his iPod, that reveal his inner most fears, feelings and wonderings. Alex wants to use his hand built rocket to send his recordings into space in hopes that intelligent space creatures will listen. Sometimes other characters conversations are picked up by Alex's iPod that add to the plot of the story. Just thumbing through the book you can see each chapter is entitled "New Recording" with the story being told through the transcripts of the recordings.

Each TIny Spark by Pablo Cartaya. Copyright 2018. This book was recommended by a friend who is a librarian. The main character is Emilia, a 12-year-old Cuban American girl growing up in a small town in Georgia. Emilia is dealing with ADHD, changing family relationships, and community issues. This Penguin-Random House link provides a synopsis and an audio sample from the book.

Don't Check Out This Book by Kate Klise. Copyright 2020. This title was highly recommended by a former student and a librarian. The Teaching Books Blog offers a virtual book tour with author Kate Klise.

An old book is an old friend: 

Now there are a few books that I really want to read again. The first is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott which I have not read since I was a child. I guess watching the latest rendition of this book turned into a movie stirred up some questions I have about how a few characters were portrayed.  It will be fun to experience reading about the four March sisters with adult eyes. 

A few weeks ago, I had written about revisiting books by the late beloved author, Beverly Cleary. I can't seem to get her infamous characters, Ramona and Henry Higgins, off my mind, so I think this summer I will be revisiting my childhood with a few good books by an iconic children's author. 

Finally, there is nothing better than getting book recommendations from other book lovers. I know I have created a never ending TBR pile transformed into a "Summer Stack", but that is the beauty of being a reader- reading is a never ending adventure. 

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Kathleen Palmieri

Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Learning Facilitator, and a fifth grade educator in upstate New York. She reviews professional texts and is an educator researcher and writer. As a writer with a passion for pedagogy, Kathleen's focus is on education practices, and strategies, as well as her own experiences as an educator. Educator well being is a priority, thus the name "Mindful Teaching Moments". Mindfulness along with knowledge is important. She has presented at math conferences, writing workshops, actively collaborates in literacy projects, and networks globally.