Summer Reads for the Tired Teacher
It’s summer! That magical time when teachers take a deep breath, unload the dishwasher, and forget what day of the week it is. After a trying year of meetings, reteaching, professional development, and holding your bladder, it’s time to relax and unwind!
That can actually be difficult for some teachers, myself included. The easiest way I’ve found to unwind and decompress after a long school year is to get lost in someone else’s story.
Here, I’d like to offer you some book suggestions that you can sink your teeth into and get lost for an hour, or seven! These are absolute must reads and are guaranteed to sweep you away!
Anything by Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah took the world by storm with The Nightingale, a #1 New York Times Best Seller and Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year winner. It is France, 1939 during World War II. The Nazis are set to invade France and change Isabelle and Vianne’s lives forever. Sisters of almost opposite personality traits simultaneously, yet from a distance from each other, do everything in their power to survive and thwart the Nazi terror campaign in France.
Hannah’s writing in The Nightingale so closely resembles poetry, in my opinion. Pure poetry. From the first sentence until the last, you will not be able to put this book down. You may even shed a tear or two! If you’ve already read The Nightingale, I would snag her latest book The Four Winds!
Anything by Michael Connelly
If you’re into fictional crime and courtroom drama, I’d suggest reading anything by Michael Connelly. With a repertoire that reaches far and wide, you will lose yourself in either the Detective Harry Bosch, Counselor Mickey Haller, or Detective Renee Ballard storylines.
Read them in chronological order of publication or by story lines. Either way, you’ll instantly get lost between the pages! Connelly puts out at least one novel yearly, so be sure to look out for the next novel with Detectives Bosch and Ballard set to be released in November 2021!
Young Adult Quick Reads
Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a good Young Adult novel! The titles below are guaranteed to grab your attention right away and keep it throughout the entire book.
Among the Hidden
Among the Hidden, book one of a seven-part series, is easily one of my favorites! In the future, food becomes scarce and to conserve food, the government passes a law restricting parents from only having two children. Luke, the narrator, is a “shadow child”, or a third child. Third children like Luke are illegal.
Luke lives his life by hiding in his parents’ attic and living in the shadows. Until he meets Jen, a fellow third child, and she turns his world upside down. Book one sets into motion a revolution years in the making. I promise, you will not be able to put this book down!
Long Way Down
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds has won several prestigious literary awards including the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature, the Newbery Honor, the Michael L. Printz Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for Peace, Non-Violent Social Justice, and Brotherhood. Told in narrative poem form, this novel demonstrates firsthand the collateral damage of gun violence.
Long Way Down is starting to make its way not only through the hands of teenagers, but also adults. If you haven’t yet seen it in your own school’s curriculum or course guides, you’re sure to see it within the next few years. It’s that good!
There is no shortage of Holocaust novels on bookshelves and in school curriculum, but Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz stands out among the most popular. Gratz’s novel follows Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Poland during World War II as he survives a total of ten concentration camps. A truly harrowing story about the atrocities man is capable of if power is left unchecked. You will not be able to put this book down!
Not many people know that in 1793, just ten years after the Revolutionary War, there was a yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia. In Fever 1793, critically acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson follows Mattie Cook, daughter of a widowed mother and grandfather, as she tries to survive a spreading disease and a city in turmoil. All by herself. It is her courage and bravery that saves not only her own life, but the lives of her neighbors and family.
Perhaps you’ve heard and even read the novels listed here? If that’s the case, recommend some other titles for us to absorb!