Last week, as part of National Reading Month, we learned what some of our Communities In Schools (CIS) volunteers are reading. (You can click here if you missed the post.) This week, some of our CIS staff tell us what they are reading…
The Lovely Ladies of Literature Book Club (my book club) is currently reading, Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America by C. Nicole Mason.
–Artrella Cohn, Senior Director of Community Engagement and Student Investment
I’m currently reading Gilded Cage, Book 1 in the Dark Gifts Series by Vic James. It is a dystopian fantasy set in present day England where magical aristocrats rule over the non-magical commoners, forcing them to serve as slaves for 10 years in order to become full citizens. I absolutely love it and can’t wait for the rest of the series to come out!
–Donielle Hetrick, CIS After School Coordinator, Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts
The last book I read and was able to finish was The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies (who happens to currently be on the faculty at University of Michigan!) The book explores different aspects of the Asian-American experience through four individuals who live during different time periods of U.S. history. I also started (and hope to finish) Angela Lee Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
–Emily Kobza, Director of Development & Business Engagement
Annually, during Black History Month, I revisit W.E.B. Dubois’ book, The Souls of Black Folk. It serves as a reminder of two things for me. First, that the plight of social justice has always been worth the work, and second, there is literally nothing new under the sun.
-Stacy S. Jackson, CIS After School Coordinator, Edison Environmental Science Academy
I am current reading Arena 3 by Morgan Rice—the third book to the Arena Series. This is a dystopian fantasy book, which takes place after the second American Civil War where there is nothing left except visions of what was and Arena’s ran by slave-runners seeking to capture survivors to fight in death stadiums in the most barbaric of ways, which promises to leave no survivors.
–Aisha Coulson-Walters, Senior Site Coordinator Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary
I have been reading the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card; I had to special order the last book, The Crystal City, and I’m waiting… I also just finished the book our school is reading for Literacy Night, Hidden Talents, by David Lubar—fun book about kids with psychic abilities. I’m currently reading a book of short stories by Ted Chiang entitled Stories of Your Life and Others.
–Katherine Williamson, CIS After School Coordinator, Hillside Middle School
I am currently rereading both Real Boys: Rescuing our sons from the Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack and Long Walk to Freedom, the autobiography of Nelson Mandela.
–Emily Demorest, CIS Senior Site Coordinator,Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts
I’m listening to an audible version of The Trespasser by Tana French (audio is needed to capture the fantastic Irish accents) and reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene.
–Deb Faling, Social-Emotional Health Initiatives
I just finished The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.
–Maggie Walters, CIS After School Coordinator, Milwood Magnet School & CIS Success Coach, Loy Norrix High School
I am in a SKYPE book study with friends in Indiana and Pennsylvania. We are reading The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. In spite of the fact that these men, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, have lived more than 50 years in exile and endured many hardships their lives are filled with joy. How do they do it? How can we? Through this book we are in the daily presence of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop for an intense one week period. It is an interesting book to read because you have a peek into this special time together. They enjoy being with each other and sharing stories and laughter as they consider obstacles to and pillars of living a life of JOY.
–Linda Thompson, Senior Director of Site Services
I am currently listening to Duet by Kimberley Freeman. A story of passion, greed, secrets, and lies. Before that, I read Wildflower Hill, also by Kimberly Freeman. (This one should be read with several boxes of tissues on hand.) A story of family and secrets and the redemptive power of love.
–Debra Newsome, Senior Director of Finance, Human Resources and Administration
I am currently enjoying Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series as there is one going in each room of our house. Next up will be the Who Was/Who Is series with Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling. I read what my kid reads. We most recently finished all the Harry Potter books. We read and re-read The Adventures of Tashi, by Anna Fienberg recommended by Derek at Bookbug. Highly recommend that for readers of all ages. (Bookbug and Tashi!)
–Molly Appeldoorn, CIS After School Site Coordinator, Milwood Elementary School
The most recent book I’ve finished is Americanah by Chimanada Ngozi Adichie, which I LOVED. This very complex story is difficult to summarize, but what I appreciated most was following the modern immigration journey of the main character, Ifemelu, as she comes to terms with her blackness in the U.S. as a young woman from Nigerian. I just started reading The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death, and America’s Dilemma, which is about the unresolved murder of a young black teenager in the early 90s, and the racial divide that exists between Benton Harbor and St. Joe, Michigan.
–Brionne Fonville, CIS After School Coordinator, El Sol Elementary
I am currently reading the New Testament and I am in Romans. I absolutely loved the story of Paul in Acts which I just finished. I am also reading a book called God’s Promises edited by Jack Countryman.
–Keith Platte, Senior Site Coordinator, Milwood Magnet School
I am reading Program Evaluation for Social Workers by Richard Grinnell, Peter Gabor, and Yvonne Unrau.
-January Haulenbeek, CIS Site Coordinator, Northglade Montessori Magnet School
I’m reading several books (slowly)…
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – a memoir of his experience as a lawyer in the judicial system and the lack of justice, particularly that people of color and youth are receiving.
Also reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – another powerful story of racial tensions and injustice in our communities.
With my small group: Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr – speaks to the exploration of how we move from the periphery to the center in our spiritual lives.
With my kids: The Wingfeather Series (book 4) by Andrew Peterson – sort of a mix of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for kids – really fun and engaging.
For Work: just finished Lost at School by Ross Greene (this is what we covered in PD last Friday!) and continuing to work through Bloom: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids by Lynne Kenny and Wendy Young – the title kind of says it all.
–Cara Weiler, LMSW, Associate Director of Site Services
I am currently reading The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth by John C. Maxwell.
-Deborah Yarbrough, CIS Site Coordinator, Kalamazoo Central High School
I am reading the Bible, which I do daily. I am starting Judges today. I am also, like Cara, trying to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult which my mom recommended because she is an avid reader. I use to be, but not so much anymore.
–Tracie Hall, Finance Coordinator
It’s my trifecta: life, work, and hobby.
Life: The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton.
Work/Life: Teaching with Poverty in Mind by Eric Jensen, recommended by Principal Micole Dyson.
Hobby: Dronings from a Queen Bee: The First Five Years, preparing for my spring hive inspections.
-Maureen Cartmill, CIS Site Coordinator, Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. It’s non-fiction. “William E. Dodd was an academic historian, living a quiet life in Chicago, when Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him United States ambassador to Germany. It was 1933, Hitler had recently been appointed chancellor, the world was about to change.” Also, The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai. It’s fiction. “The Hundred-Year House may be crowded with the tropes and tricks of classic horror, but make no mistake: It’s not a horror story. Rebecca Makkai’s style, a patchwork of ambition and aw-shucks charm, lets in just enough sunlight to scatter those things that go bump in the night.”
-Keely Novotny, CIS Site Coordinator, Edison Environmental Science Academy
I am reading Persuasion by Jane Austen and The Book of Joy by the Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu.
-Amy Terzino, Executive Assistant
I am reading two very different books—
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Tom Friedman (whose other books, e.g. The World Is Flat I have very much appreciated).
The other book is Our Black Sons Matter edited by George Yancy, Maria del Guadalupe Davidson and Susan Hadley; it is a series of conversations and essays by mothers. I just started it so don’t have a feel for it yet.
-Pam Kingery, Executive Director
Thank you all for sharing! Keep checking in with us at Ask Me About My 12,000 Kids to find out what some of our CIS partners and board members are reading.