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.
-Danielle Favorite, Linden Grove Middle School
-Jim Laurain, Maple Street Middle School
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
I am currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It is a book we are considering for our Honors College common read for next year!
-Jane Baas, Milwood Street Magnet Middle School
Coordinator of Medallion Scholars
-Jennifer Grace, Milwood Elementary
I just finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which I loved even more than the movie. I am now reading salt.by Nayyirah Waheed; a book of her poems. It’s pulling on the strings of my heart.
-Tanequa “Te” Hampton, Maple Street Magnet Middle School
Pretty Lake Camp Director
-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 Americanah by 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:
-Richard Thompson, King-Westwood Elementary School
I just finished The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.
-Roberta Sportel, Northglade Montessori Magnet School
-Lisa Holmes, Prairie Ridge Elementary
Just this very moment, I am on Anna Maria Island looking at the Gulf and reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
-Rosalie Novara, King-Westwood Elementary & Maple Street Magnet School
-Nanette Keiser, King-Westwood Elementary School
I belong to the International Murder Mystery reader’s group at the Portage Public Library. Our selection for this month is Night Soldiers by Alan Furst.
-Judy Riccio, Woods Lake Elementary
I just finished the Orphan Train which was the community read by Kalamazoo Public Library.
-Stephen Ohs, Lincoln International Studies School
Yesterday, I finished reading Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call From Heaven. I am about to start reading Encountering God, written by an old friend of mine, Mark A Johnson, with a major assist from his parents.
-Dewey Walker, Prairie Ridge Elementary
I am reading The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. It is a good read and starts back in the early 1900’s about a Jewish family and their relationships and how they cope with life and world events.
-Nancy Laugeman, Prairie Ridge Elementary
I am currently reading the entire series of Dune. A great sci-fi series that has great insight into life and is also a great and easy read.
-Paul Ferguson, Washington Writers’ Academy
I am reading: Newspapers – Kalamazoo Gazette, Detroit Free Press, New York Times; Magazines- Time, National Geographic, Military History; Books – Budapest 1900/A Historical Portrait of a City and its Culture by John Lukacs, Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor, and One For the Money by Janet Evanovich. With my Bible study group I am also reading Jeremiah, the 24th book of the Old Testament.
-James (Jim) W. Smith, Woods Lake Elementary
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.
-Bob Spradling, Woods Lake Elementary
Reading Love Will Steer Me True by Jane Knuth and Ellen Knuth; and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell.
-Amy Morris, Northeastern Elementary School
Right now I’m reading John Adams by David McCullough.
-Diane Tultz, King-Westwood Elementary School
-Susie Knox, Kalamazoo Central High School
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
Our Unitarian Universalist Association suggests a “Common Read” each year and People’s Church accepted the recommendation of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Recently, we held a group discussion of this book and related themes. My own book club is reading The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing and we also participate in the Kalamazoo Common Read, currently The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.
-Kay Spade, Lincoln International Studies School