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Top 5 Summer Reads For Teachers

Article • 9 min read • May 3, 2021 3:13:41 PM • Written by: Sarah Sandelius

 As an educator, it can be difficult to shut your brain off. You constantly want to improve your abilities to teach and stay on top of new methods. However, after such a difficult year, it’s time to decompress. Let’s explore the Top Five Summer Reads for Teachers and allow yourself to absolutely waste some time. You have earned it.


Note to Self…And Others… From ABC founder, Sarah Sandelius

Keep it light – especially on vacation!  Over spring break, my family went to Charlottesville.  Part COVID-friendly road trip, part trip down memory lane to visit my old law school haunts, part learning about history, and mostly to relax.  I chose a book that was an incredible read, but heavy.  The moral of the story?  If you don’t want to spend your vacation worrying about the state of our country’s education systems, chose something else!  That’s why we’re offering a few summer choices in the blog below.


The Getaway Girls - Dee Mcdonald

 “The Getaway Girls”–Dee McDonald

If you want an absolute “feel good” book with hijinks, hilarity, and second chances, then this is the book for you. Live vicariously through Connie McGill as she travels in a luxury camper van along the beaches of France with unlikely friends.


“The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot”–Marianne Cronin

In this gorgeously poignant novel, two lives are reaching their conclusion in the same Glasgow hospital. Lenni is 17 and Margot is 83, and both join an arts and crafts class and decide to create 100 paintings to portray the years of life they have between them. It’s unexpectedly funny, touching, and uplifting. 


Black Buck - Mateo Askaripour“Black Buck”–Mateo Askaripour

Darren’s big break comes while he’s making espresso for white-collar New Yorkers on their way to the office. After impressing the owner of an up-and-coming company, Darren is offered a job. The rest of the satire proceeds at breakneck speed as Darren falls in and out of love with his workplace. Black Buck weaves in commentary about gentrification, class, race, and the American dream in between its punchy jokes. 


Read the book that everyone is going to be talking about this summer. Curtis Sittenfeld writes Rodham from the perspective of Hillary Clinton. Part thought experiment, part page-turner, Rodham imagines what would have happened to Hillary if she had turned down Bill Clinton’s marriage proposal. 


The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides“The Silent Patient”–Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides’ new psychological thriller will keep you guessing right until the very end. You won’t be prepared for the shocking conclusion after reading pages of psychotherapist Theo Faber’s obsession with his mute patient, Alicia Berenson. Alicia was committed into a mental health facility after being charged with killing her husband. Though she hasn’t spoken since the murder, you learn about her story through Theo’s observances.  

The knowledge gap - Natalie WexlerAnd for those of you wondering…Here is the Spring Break book

In The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–and How to Fix It, Natalie Wexler focuses on the relationship between our current largely content-free elementary curriculum and the so-called achievement gap. The book will take readers inside schools and classrooms, showing them what the skills-focused approach to literacy instruction looks like, explaining how and why it has become so entrenched and charting possible routes to the knowledge-focused instruction that is our best hope of achieving educational and social equity.


We hope you enjoy this JUST FOR FUN, brain-turnoff time. Remember that The Ability Challenge site is a resource for you not just as an educator, but as a fellow person. You deserve downtime, too! If you need material to continue your professional development, we’ve prepared courses on that as well. However, we want you to prepare to have a fun summer along with the rest of your students! Enjoy!

We have the right resources to improve your skills.

Sarah Sandelius