Educators are always reading, aren't we? As you wind down your semester and perhaps think about the nerdy friends on your shopping lists, we thought we'd share what we're reading in the Los Angeles office of Facing History and Ourselves.
What are YOU reading right now? Share your book(s) in the comments below!
The Boy on a Wooden Box, by Leon Leyson
Leon Leyson was the youngest member of "Schindler's List." We lost Leon this year, but as a speaker for teachers and students he had a phenomenal way of sharing his story of survival during the Holocaust that brought me both tears and hope...every single time. He lived to write his memoir though not long enough to see it published. I hope this book will bring his story to millions more. It is a great read for young adults, and conveys his voice and his own hope beautifully.
Chasing Utopia-A hybrid (of poetry and prose), by Nikki Giovanni
I had the opportunity to hear Nikki Giovanni speak recently. I loved the way she wove in African American culture, family, history of the civil rights movement, and optimism around youth today. She also has a wicked sense of humor.To me, reading her work is like sidling up next to an elder who teaches through family stories.
The Circle, by Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is my favorite author, so it was natural to pick up this book. I find myself thinking about the creep of social media - the small steps that seem harmless but reduce our privacy. Eggers points out the extreme of what happens with the sharing nature of social media - the tracking of every move, task, and idea. It's a thought-provoking read for anyone who overindulges on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ....
The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
I heard Brene Brown speak on Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday." The book has me thinking about compassion and self-awareness. We're all busy, but sometimes we need to take a break and remember we're dealing with real people along the way, not just working for an end result. I find myself thinking about how to be more aware of starting from a place of compassion rather than waiting until I hear something that elicits compassion.
Hitlerland, by Andrew Nagorski
This is just one of many books on the Holocaust that continue to deepen Facing History's understanding of current scholarship. I found it made me think more deeply about the role of the "outsider." Were American journalists complicit in inadequately conveying the dangers of Nazi Germany? Were they bystanders or effective witnesses? Hitlerland details the choices and actions of individuals leading up to World War II.
West of Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War, by Heather Cox Richardson
Facing History is working on a new case study around Reconstruction, which has a number of us reading this and other books on the time period. I had always looked at Reconstruction as a regional episode in the American experience, but Richardson presents a panoramic view of how Reconstruction affected the North, South, and West of the United States. This comprehensive look at the impact of Reconstruction on our nation could help greatly with an episode that is often shortchanged in K-12 classrooms.
The 20th Anniversary Benefit Dinner for Facing History in Los Angeles!
It's not all about books. Jenny has been reading, and re-reading our Benefit invitation getting ready to celebrate 20 years of Facing History in Los Angeles. We are so pleased to be honoring Karen Sulzberger, whose vision and support have been esential to our growth in the last two decades. Among her many contributions, Karen was founding chair of the Los Angeles Advisory Board for Facing History and Ourselves, and was instrumental in bringing Facing History's Choosing to Participate exhibit to the Los Angeles Public Library, where it was seen by thousand of visitors. To find out more about our Benefit Dinner, please click here.
Want more books to explore? Check out this list of graphic novels:
- Five Graphic Novels to Engage Readers of All Ages from the Facing History Librarian, Tracy O'Brien