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July 20, 2021

Summer Reading for Teachers in 2021

If you are reading this, I wish for you slow breathing, a leisurely pace, and room for rest as you continue to recover and refresh from the school year.  

As one of the resident bookworms at Teaching Channel, I enjoy writing the Summer Reading blog to share what our staff is reading for work, fun, or somewhere in between. The following is a smattering of suggestions from us to make you think, feel, and learn. I hope you find your next favorite!

From Jim, CEO

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. 

A well-written, semi-true, account of the murder of a family in Kansas around 1960. 

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Churnow

I love history and have read a couple of his books.  They seem well researched and contain a decent amount of primary source material – letters, quotes from speeches and writings, etc.  It is a great accompaniment to a long road trip!


From Betsy, Curriculum and Instruction Team

The Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwall

Perfect, read-in-a-day summer entertainment focusing on protagonist Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner, (inspired by a former Virginia Chief Medical Examiner. These books are a fun ride if you are into mystery, crime, and forensics, tapping into detailed and complicated fields of science and crime scene management. The characters are authentic, human, and well written, and before you know it, you’ll be 20 books into the 25-book series. (or so I’ve heard.)


From Sarah, Curriculum and Instruction Team:

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

It’s a memoir about Stevenson’s work to appeal the murder conviction of Walter McMillian, a Black man who was sentenced to death row for a crime he didn’t commit. I’m reading it for my book club this month!


From Susanne, Curriculum and Instruction Team:

Beach Read by Emily Henry

A different Emily, Emily Henderson, is an Instagram influencer. Recently, she posted that she had to “cancel all meetings” because she was deep into reading Beach Read. Haven’t started it yet but she promises it will sweep you away. Exactly what I need right now.

Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero by Amanda Kloots

During the pandemic, I began following Amanda Kloots’ as she shared about her husband Nick Cordero who was hospitalized with COVID-19.

What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Dr. Bruce Berry and Oprah Winfrey

Written “interview style,” it’s a must-read for all, especially those who work with children. We will use this book for our first-ever Learners Edge Blended Book Study, scheduled for January 2022!


From Keely, Director of Professional Programs

The Push: A Novel by Ashley Audrain (as an audiobook!)

I’ve been purposefully using audiobooks to relax at night and to help me fall asleep. This book, however, is not doing the trick! As the story of a new mom unfolds, I find myself wanting to stay awake to listen further. It talks about motherhood, sacrifice, and what it’s like to not be believed.


From Nichole, Marketing Manager

The Long Walk by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachmann)

100 young men partake in the “Long Walk,” as they literally walk for their lives. It’s a bit dystopian in how spectators view the walk itself, and then it focuses on the main character & his experience, friendships, and fear as he continues to walk with the hopes of outlasting the other walkers. There are moments of humanity and kindness that really showcase the ways that, even in dire circumstances, people can form relationships that matter.

Finding Laura Buggs by Stanley Gordon West

From a late Saint Paul author, this story is about a teen in Saint Paul in the 1940s – it’s a very intriguing story and it’s neat to have Saint Paul as the background. Finding Laura Buggs is a part of a trilogy including Until They Bring the Streetcars Back and Growing an Inch.


From Eddie, Director of Marketing

The Midnight Library by Matthew Haig 

Imagine living with the regret of your choices and then finding out that the path you chose was actually better than some of the others you would have taken.

Ender’s Game – Book 1 by Orson Scott Card

It’s a classic, but the sequel is even better… Speaker for the Dead – the sequel to Ender’s Game, is one of the most profound and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. Orson Scott Card’s understanding of the human condition and what it means to struggle with ethics and emotion is unparalleled. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

I love World War II history, it fascinates me. Growing up, I feel like it was something that was only lightly touched on in high school. This book is so incredible and beautifully written. It is one of those stories that you want to hold onto like a special friend.

The Giver of the Stars by Jojo Moyes

An unexpected delight! This book will take you on a journey with a bit of murder, mystery, and friendship. I couldn’t put this book down and was sad when it was finished.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Have you ever been so alone that you would do almost anything not to be? The depth of emotion in this book is visceral. A story about life and the need for connection with a murder mystery intertwined, I was transfixed. Plus, it is so beautifully written it feels like slipping into a warm bowl of soup on a cold day. 


From Alice, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Currently, I’m reading Llama Llama Red Pajama with my 5-year-old – a gift from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, one of the best children’s reading programs in the country. If your city or state doesn’t have the Imagination Library, contact them and make a difference in the lives of children and families in your community. We teachers and lovers of teachers know there is nothing more important than reading to our children!

With selections like these, I hope you’ve added a few titles to your reading list! Enjoy the summer with these leisurely reads.

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