Choosing All School Reads

Mirrors & Windows

An assortment of book choices to use as mirrors and windows.

During summer, I am working with other dedicated educators to select anchor books our school community will read throughout the upcoming school year. What is the best way to choose books that can have impact on students both personally as a reflection of their identity, and also as a broadening aspect to widen their worldview? Last year, a highlight for me was our experience with the book Meet Polkadot (Danger Dot, 2016). We read it school-wide as an ebook, which was all I could find at the time. The physical book recently came in, and I feel it is even better in print. What a powerful, beautiful book about gender identity! I think we will refer to it again and again; I look forward to more books from this series.

So here we are, deep into summer. What journey will the next round of books take our students on? How will the election in November have an impact in shaping us in the near future? Which books can help our students grow into people who will create more peace and acceptance as a way to END ALL THE HATRED? I want to provide us with mirrors and windows. Below are some resources that have been helpful.

Reading While White – each year, individual teachers select a growth area as a focus. I want to continue to grow into a social justice educator, but am still learning how to strip away the biases and fixed mindsets I possess that roadblock my process. This blog is helping me to understand that this will require uncomfortable experiences and conversations as I strip away from my perspectives of privilege. For my growth focus this upcoming school year, I want to step more willingly into discomfort in order to have more of an impact.

Lee and Low Books – this publishing company is amazing! I’m specifically linking to a booklist regarding current events and conflicts that I would like to find a book to start conversation. However, there are so many resources from them that I refer to time and time again. Thank you, Lee and Low!

ISTE Denver 2016 – I’ve just returned from this conference last week, filled with inspiration and challenging new ideas. The key notes, presentations and conversations I had have convinced me that we CAN create a more peaceful, accepting world through technology as our students grow into digitally literate people. How will I use what I’ve learned in my role as an educator next year to help create this?

I am left with more questions than answers which stir the friction I feel to create acceptance and understanding in our world. I want to achieve this through books and information (digital). I am on the journey – but we all do it together.


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