National Reading Month has us wondering, what are Communities In Schools (CIS) volunteers reading? Here’s what a few of these wonderful volunteers who share their time and talents to benefit students throughout the Kalamazoo Public Schools told us. (We note what school they volunteer at within the Kalamazoo Public Schools.)
Troublemaker by Leah Remini and Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg (and often Little Blue Truck and a Llama Llama with my littles at bedtime).
–Theresa Hazard, Milwood Magnet Middle School
I have recently finished reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and James Madison by Lynne Cheney. I am currently working through The Federalist Papers by Hamilton and Madison as well as Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. I say ‘working through’ because these latter two are not easy reads due to somewhat archaic prose and the fact that, as a scientist, I am not a traditional reader of political history!
-Paul Runnels, Edison Environmental Science Academy
I just finished, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. It was a very interesting read about the Kennedy family. The book was about Rosemary’s disability and how the family dealt with it. Her disability eventually led the family to seek out medical advice. Unfortunately, the wrong medical advice.
-Sherry Garrett, Hillside Middle School
I am reading Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. It is about his unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show that began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison.
More about the book: “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
-Nanette Keiser, King-Westwood Elementary School
I just finished True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize, the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement (2017). The book is by Jon Else, a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer who writes about both his experiences as a young man working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the South in the 1960s, and his roles in making the famous documentary Eyes on the Prize in the 1980s.
-Denise Hartsough, King-Westwood Elementary School
I just finished reading Margaret Verble’s Maud’s Line and Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I’m now reading Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s Writings on the Wall, this year’s Reading Together book with lots of special programs in Kalamazoo and an author visit coming up in March.
Like crime fiction? Read my son’s book, Dodgers, by Bill Beverly. It’s winning lots of awards and is available at local libraries and bookstores.
-Martha Beverly, Lincoln International Elementary School
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben
-Sherry Brodock, Spring Valley Elementary School
I have just finished reading Simon Winchester’s Map That Changed The World, the story of William Smith and the birth of modern geology. A very interesting account of one man’s curiosity about the landscape of England and what was under it in terms of geological strata. I have just started Desert God by historical novelist Wilbur Smith. It is a fictional story of ancient Egypt and it’s too early yet to know where it is going but the characters and historical setting are interesting.
-Bob Spradling, Woods Lake Elementary School
I am currently reading Inside the O’Briens and Wonder, which the fifth graders I work with turned me onto!
-Katie Weirick, Lincoln International Elementary School
Thank you all for sharing!
Keep checking in with us at Ask Me About My 12,000 Kids as, in the weeks to come, we’ll find out what some of our CIS partners, staff and board members are reading.