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My Top Summer Reading Recs for Social Studies Teachers and Educators

In the summer, I usually have more time to sit down and dive into books that have been added to my ever-growing book list. When I was growing up, we had a bedtime but my parents made the rule that we could stay up as late as we wanted as long as we were reading. Let me tell you, I sure stayed up late! Now in my mid 30's, I find myself staying up way too late reading a good book. But with summer break, it means no alarms and more time to dive into a good book.

I often share book recommendations and reviews on my Instagram, and I also have an entire section of my website devoted to Book Recommendations. I do my best to update this periodically. With summer break on the way, I want to share a few of my recent favs. These book recs aren't exactly light summer reading. But what I love is that books can provide windows and mirrors, and the best learning is when it's the unfamiliar.

This book has been around for a few years, and if you haven't read it yet, I would definitely add this to the top of your list. This memoir by Tara Westover shares her story of grit and resilience in overcoming the many obstacles of growing up in a Mormon survivalist home. From the mountains of Idaho with an improper home education, she finds her way to a doctorate degree from Cambridge University.

This book by Lauren Markham shares the story of two identical twins that escape the violence of El Salvador to build new lives in the United States. The author, who worked with the two boys at a U.S. school, does an excellent job of unpacking the many complexities of immigration through this single story. You might be interested in checking out the adapted version for young adults too.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this memoir by Albert Woodfox is a powerful story of endurance, friendship, and activism. Albert Woodfox spent four decades in solitary confinement in Angola prison in Louisiana for a crime he did not commit. If you are looking to better understand America's criminal justice system, this is one to read.

This book is written by a sociologist who followed 8 families over the course of several years to understand the complexities of poverty and profit in U.S. housing. This book reads like a novel while uncovering the many layers of housing discrimination and poverty.

While you can read this book from cover to cover, it's also a great reference book to have on hand. This book covers many of the myths that have been ingrained in our society-- Columbus discovered America, sports mascots honor Native Americans, most Indians are on welfare... These myths are rooted in fear and prejudice. Let's rethink how we teach the Indigenous story.

You might be familiar with aspects of this story as it made major headlines in 2015. Chanel is willing to share the raw details of being sexually assaulted and the court case, People vs. Turner that followed. This is an incredibly heavy memoir, but one worth bearing witness to.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links to make it easier for you to find the books shared in this post.


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