In spite of the adjustment back to the school year, I managed to have a great reading month in September. I didn’t read as much, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything I picked up.
Here’s everything I read in September, why you should pick it up, and what’s teachable:
*The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. For a remarkably well-told family saga with spectacular character development and fascinating insights into relationships.
- Can I teach it? Absolutely! This is a fantastic modern classic to bring into the classroom.
*The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames. For an original and compelling depiction of female friendships and how both our mistakes and our redemption define us.
- Can I teach it? Probably not although this would be a great book for college-age girls.
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. For a tragic and hopeful memoir that dissects how luck, privilege, and individual choice influences our lives.
- Can I teach it? This is already in so many classrooms and rightfully so. I used this with my sophomores this month and it is a great book to open up conversations about really important social issues.
*The Plateau by Maggie Paxson. For an inspiring story of hope and human connection during World War II and a depiction of how to live a good life.
- Can I teach it? Yes!! The writing is well-done and the interweaving of the personal with the historical makes for an interesting structure to discuss. Plus I love the idea of giving students a hopeful look at an unbelievably dark time in history.
*The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. For a fast-paced, easy read that makes for a satisfying follow-up to it’s more brilliant predecessor, The Handmaid’s Tale.
- Can I teach it? I wouldn’t choose this over The Handmaid’s Tale but I’ll definitely recommend it to my students after we read the first book, and it’s so plot-driven that some students may end up liking it more.
*Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. For a witty and critical, yet remarkably earnest collection of essays that examine how the internet, social media, scamming, Sweet Green and more are altering our identities.
- Can I teach it? I’d love to give my students this collection to demonstrate what exceptional writing looks like and that essays can be about authentically engaging topics. There’s some content that may be prohibitive in some environments, but I think there’s a way to either excerpt pieces or just work through the difficult content with students.
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*Starred books were graciously gifted to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.