On My BookShelf

My personal preferences and reading journeys are below but if you are a parent, teacher, or person who needs a good book- I figured I’d keep my favorites here for what I always relied on to get kids reading and let you see the inside of my Book Brain.

I promise I’m not generalizing but really, it’s a trend in our world today that young people don’t like to read – and in the classroom I would combat it the best I could with the following. If I could get students and coworkers to pick these up – you should breeze through them, am I right?

For the Outdoorsy:

The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron 
But really – ANYTHING – by Paul Doiron (I’m from Maine) not that it matters, but he is Maine born and bred and has an extensive series on being a Maine Game Warden.
This book specifically introduces us to Game Warden Mike Bowditch, who is asked to investigate an incident where his father, a well known animal poacher, is the prime suspect in a murder.

For the History Lover

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
World War II like you haven’t read it. Sad and intense, Vianne the main character is forced with a tough decision after tough decision to keep her family alive. While this book specifically focuses on a females depiction of a war torn world, it is indeed for everyone.

For the Non-Fiction Sport Lover

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.
This book follows professional athletes of all walks discussing what makes someone a “natural” success in sports. The sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein attempts to solve the age old debate, can super-star athletes be built or born. Even tackling controversies of race and gender, he dives deep but still holds the attention of us all.

For the Fantasy or Graphic Novel Lover

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adiyemi
Filled with magic, drama, and adventure this novel has made waves everywhere and is already options for a film without being released for a full year.
If you know someone who would enjoy getting lost in a world of magic that is as deep as Game of Thrones then suggest this to them, or pick it up yourself. The only way to understand it is to start.

I’m dropping two here because there is one that is probably getting less attention and I am obsessed with it.

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation) by Laura Hillenbrand
Follows the story of a crashed military plane in 1943 and its survivor who hops on a survival raft during World War II. The abandoned sea is not the only thing that Louis Zamperini faces on his trek to safety. This specific addition has beautiful visuals and adds such depth to the story.

Because, Well, They’re my Favorites

The Round House by Louise Erdrich
This is definitely mature in nature – but completely well done and exquisite. The story follows a young man on a Native American Reservation forced to confront a crime that devastates his family.
Suspenseful and heartbreaking at the same time this book makes my top list every single time.

Educated  by Tara Westover 

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“Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home” from the Amazon Description!

It reminds me of my other favorite, The Glass Castle. A story of a child born to a wayward family on a search to discover what it means to be educated.

 The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil


So I should add that I do like Non-Fiction, ever since I taught Advanced Placement Language to juniors, I’ve been on a reading tear of anything vaguely true, real, or researched. This is one of the more serious reads I have engaged in this summer, but it’s framed in a sunny manner about a young Refugee who comes to America from the Rwandan Genocide. You should definitely care about Refugees, but let’s say you’re not interested in that topic, you may be more enthralled to hear about Clementine’s unique family dynamics and appearance on the Oprah Show.

 Can’t Help Myself by Meredith Goldstein.


I am from New England, so this was a must if you ever caught Goldstein’s love advice column in the Boston Globe this may ring a bell. But also, as someone who can’t help but read other people’s social media accounts and self-help blogs, it is a great reminder to see what actually goes on in those writers’ lives behind the scenes. Meredith is funny, relatable, and at times poignant about the serious parts of life. If you want a read that walks the line of Joyous and Moving, pick it up peeps!

The Wild Card


For educators! Helping us all to be the Wild Card in the lives of our students by channeling Creativity in the Classroom, and Life. This awesome book asks us all to discover our “why” for being in the field of education and shows two different perspectives of a Husband and Wife teaching duo.

Everybody Always by Bob Goff


In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

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