Here’s what a few of the 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.)
I have just finished reading The First American by H.W. Brands on the life and times of Benjamin Franklin. A well written and fascinating insight into this famous American. On a lighter note, I am almost finished with the Dan Brown thriller, Origin. It is a page turner as well!
-Bob Spradling, Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts
I just finished Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jeffersonby Gordon S. Wood. It was very good. It traced the friendship/relationship of Adams and Jefferson from the American Revolution until their deaths on July 4, 1827. I also just finished The Last Balladby Wiley Cash. It is a novel inspired by actual events that occurred in the late 1920’s during the unionization of the cotton mills in North Carolina. The author is the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
I would recommend both books to anyone who enjoys history.
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.)
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
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 Godby 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.
National Reading Month has us wondering, what are Communities In Schools (CIS) volunteers reading? To appease our curiosity, Kaitlin Martin, CIS Volunteer Services Coordinator asked them. Here’s what 26 of these wonderful folks who share their time and talents to benefit students throughout the Kalamazoo Public Schools had to say:
What a great idea! I’m an avid reader myself. I am currently reading Memories by Lang Leav. She is a talented poet my friend recommended to me and I adore her beautiful poetry.
I just finished The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy; good story. I don’t read a lot of books because I read a newspaper every day and subscribe to two magazines, and then there is all that mail, both snail and electronic. Also, I read stories off the Internet.
-Karen Tinklenberg, Lincoln International Studies School
-Kailee Smith, Northglade Montessori Magnet School & Prairie Ridge Elementary
I finished Orphan Train by Christine Baker-Kline a few weeks ago: interesting and heartbreaking novel based on true events between 1854-1929 depicting the lives of abandoned children from East Coast cities put on so-called orphan trains carrying thousands of them to the farmlands of the Midwest where their fates would be determined by pure luck; intermixed with a storyline set in modern day foster care.
I am now well into Americanahby Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a fascinating novel about immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color. A full immersion opportunity to think outside the American box.
-Mary Reaume, Prairie Ridge Elementary
I am always reading multiple books at a time. Currently, my books of choice are:
A series written by English author, Jacqueline Winspear. These books are set in England and France between WWI and WWII. They are historical mysteries. The main character is Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. The storyline contains delightful characters, many of whom continue from book to book. Besides the plots being well developed and interesting, Winspear’s use of the very rich vocabulary of the English is fun to explore. My Kindle allows me to find word meaning and usage on the spot! The historical settings are well researched.
-Diana Spradling, Woods Lake Elementary
I received your email and thought it was an interesting project to list what CIS folks are reading. Right now, I am reading The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia. It is a fascinating history of civilization as it developed on the Mediterranean from 22000 BC to the present. It will be interesting to see what others are reading.
Dead Wake by Erik Larson—about the sinking of the Lusitania. Strangers in the Bronx by Andrew O’Toole—about the transition from DiMaggio to Mantle in the Yankee dynasties. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough—about the development of the first successful airplane. A Man and His Ship by Steven Ujifusa—about the man who conceived and supervised the building of the ocean liner “United States.”
-Wayne Connor, Edison Environmental Science Academy