Summer 2019 Advisor

12 CEA ADVISOR SUMMER 2019 READING Summer vacation can be a great time to catch up on reading…for pleasure. Here are some CEA staff recommendations. KATE FIELD, CEA TEACHER DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST Educated, by Tara Westover One of the best biographies I’ve read in years! An enthralling story of a girl born in the mountains of Idaho, the daughter of survivalists opposed to public education (among other things, like modern medicine). The author attends school for the first time at the age of 17, having learned to read, write, and do basic math only because her older brother decided to teach her. Despite her lack of formal education, and serious deficits in knowledge of major events such as the Holocaust, the author succeeds, through remarkable grit and determination, to graduate with distinction from Brigham Young University, going on to obtain a Ph.D. in history from Trinity College, Cambridge. An inspiring story of the power of education to transform individuals and our world for the better. The Huntress, by Kate Quinn An intriguing blend of mystery, history, and love story makes this the perfect summer read. Set in the years immediately following World War II, it tells the fictional tale of a former Nazi living in hiding in the United States and the investigators who will do anything to track her down and bring her to justice. An enjoyable read that is fast-paced and well-written, it is also an interesting rumination on humanity’s capacity for hate, destruction, bravery, self-sacrifice, and love. The Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes Written by the creator of Grey’s Anatomy , Scandal , and How to Get Away with Murder , this book is helpful for anyone who feels stuck in a rut. Rhimes, a Dartmouth grad and an extraordinarily successful writer and television producer, is also an introvert, far more comfortable spending a Friday night at home with a glass of red wine than out on the town. When challenged by her sister to spend one year saying yes to new opportunities, Rhimes reluctantly accepts the challenge. Much to her surprise, once she starts saying yes instead of no, extraordinary things begin to happen—like meeting the Obamas! Warning: Don’t read this book in public (especially on an airplane) because you will laugh so loud people will think you’ve lost it. I say this from experience. The book might also inspire you, as it did me, to embark on your own year of yes, resulting in many unexpected experiences, funny stories to share, and beautiful new friendships to nurture. MICHELE RIDOLFI O’NEILL, CEA EDUCATIONAL ISSUES SPECIALIST Circe, by Madeline Miller A fresh take on a lesser-known ancient Greek character who is nonetheless tied to many seminal myths, this book tells the story of the nymph Circe, and how the disapproval of her Titan father, the sun god Helios, and her nymph mother cause her to turn to humans for companionship. Her resulting love for a mortal fisherman and subsequent discovery of her talents and gifts sets into motion a chain of events that cause the king of the gods, Zeus himself, to fear and ultimately exile her. Over the course of millennia, Circe encounters the creatures Scylla and the Minotaur, the great inventor Daedalus, and the fabled hero Odysseus and his son Telemachus, and each of these characters is indelibly tied to her. Through simple but beautiful prose, Miller allows Circe to tell her story—which is, at its heart, the tale of a woman in search of her place in this world—in a way that is both new and relatable at the same time. Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner This sprawling, multi-decade narrative, told alternatingly from the points of view of sisters Jo and Bethie (allusions to Little Women , perhaps?), is—as are so many of Weiner’s novels—a study of the dynamic of sisterly relationships and exploration of women’s struggles in a world that hasn’t always been kind or welcoming to those who don’t fit neatly into societal boxes. It follows the sisters from childhood to older adulthood, from Detroit, to Ann Arbor, Atlanta, and Connecticut, through abuse, sexual exploration and orientation, addiction, marriage, and motherhood. The fundamental question Weiner asks is this: Can Jo and Bethie navigate the world while remaining true to themselves and their ideals? Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher MacDougall Like so many other runners (myself included), MacDougall, who is a journalist, suffered injuries from running. Unlike many of us, however, MacDougall—in his quest to determine the cause of his pain—ends up in the Copper Canyons of Mexico, where the search for a mysterious figure nicknamed El Caballo Blanco puts him in contact with a relatively isolated tribe of people called the Tarahumara. Known for their ability to run hundreds of miles seemingly without rest or injury, they inspire MacDougall to learn their secrets, and in the process, put into motion a series of events that lead to the creation of a punishing footrace that pits the best American ultrarunners against the best Tarahumara runners through inhospitable and dangerous terrain. Will the American ultrarunners, with their sponsorships, running shoes, and carefully honed training plans, come out on top, or will the simple-living, joyfully running Tarahumara prevail? Part narrative and part running manual, MacDougall’s account of his journey offers insight and inspiration and encourages each of us to believe that we are, indeed, born to run. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo In my role as Educational Issues Specialist at CEA, I have the privilege of being one of the trainers for our Implicit Bias workshops and meeting lots of educators from districts across the state. I was introduced to this thought-provoking book by a colleague who recommended it for those interested in exploring their own biases and challenging their own thinking. In it, author and educator Robin DiAngelo challenges us to examine the status quo of white-dominated culture and asks white people to explore their relationship to it, as well as their behaviors and reactions when confronted with it. DiAngelo asks readers to question, dialogue with others, reflect upon, and ultimately work to disrupt racist systems and structures. It is the perfect book to begin a dialogue with anyone who’s ever uttered the words, “I don’t see color,” or, “I’m not racist; I have lots of black friends.” If you’re planning on using this as a book club book in your schools, I recommend going to the Beacon Press website and downloading the free Reading Guide and Discussion Guide for Educators . BOOK TALK, ANYONE? Interested in discussing any of these books? Email micheleo@cea.org . Summe� �e��ing �ec�mmen��ti�ns

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