June 2022 Reading Update

The end of the school year is busy. The end of this school year, when we could finally get back to so many fun events, was busier than ever. It seemed like we had night events every night for the last 6 weeks of school! While I enjoyed so much of that, there was not as much time for reading as I would like. Add to that a travel weekend full of concert fun and my list looks sparse this month. This June I read:

  • Finding Me by Viola Davis [audiobook] – I love listening to a memoir read by the author, especially with a beautiful, storytelling voice like this incredible actress. I heard good things about this from a variety of sources, but honestly could only name a few of the movies or shows I have seen Davis in. Her memoir was so much more than her journey to being a hard-working, talented, and finally celebrated actress. It was really a story about a childhood full of abuse, in a family that loved big with little money or support, in a town of mostly white people, where a young Black girl wanted to become an actress. Viola worked so hard for every step in her career, supporting her family as much as possible along the way, after overcoming some truly horrible situations and experiences. It was hard to hear some of her stories, so I cannot imagine how hard they were to write about or perform in this audiobook. I have so much more respect for her as a person and a performer after hearing her stories. This is the value and importance of taking time to listening to the stories of others, especially people who have very different lived experiences that I do.
  • Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome – I saw a teacher reading this to her 5th graders and she told me it was good. I thought it was a fictionalized version of Langston Hughes’s childhood, but I was wrong! I young boy named Langston recently moved to Chicago with his father after his mother’s death. As Langston struggles to find his way, he stumbles into a library that changes his life. He learns who he was named after, he learns he enjoys poetry that reminds him of home, and he learns about himself and his father along the way. This was a short, sweet story!
  • The PD Book: 7 Habits That Transform Professional Development by Elena Aguilar and Lori Cohen – My love for ALL of Elena Aguilar’s books is well-documented on this blog (see…). I appreciate that she brought in a co-author for this interesting look behind the curtain at how to facilitate purposeful professional learning for adults. I appreciate the level of detail included in this book. Elena and Lori are skilled facilitators of in person and virtual workshops of varying lengths, with diverse audiences. I underlined and tagged multiple points to remember in every chapter. I plan to use the what-why-how agenda template for future meetings, along with other valuable resources.
  • True Biz by Sara Nović – I LOVED this book! I started it, then had to put it aside for my book club monster reading, and was happy to get back to it and then finish it in about a day. I love the characters of Charlie, Austin and February, two Deaf students and a CODA (Child of deaf adults) who now runs a Deaf school. As they all struggle, we, as the reader, learn about Deaf culture, the challenges with Cochlear Implants, and the value of ASL. Years ago I worked at a school that had a DHH program, and I wish now that I learned more about the students and staff in the program, took time to learn ASL, and understand the pros and cons of C.I. You don’t know what you don’t know – this book can teach people a lot about the Deaf community.
  • *** As part of my Stephen King summer book club, we are reading IT. This is a 1,200 page book! In June I read the first 890 pages, for our first meeting. We will finish the book in July and watch the movie (eek!), so it will be on my July list. However, since I read more than 2+books worth of pages already, I wanted to document it here for June as well.

Favorite book(s) this month

Fiction: True Biz
Nonfiction: The PD Book: 7 Habits That Transform Professional Development

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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