English Teachers’ Book Picks: Fall 2019

October 23, 2019

Mrs. Peters

Mrs. Peters holding her book. By: Frances Bottorff

Mrs. Peters’ favorite book she read this summer was called Next Year In Havana by Chanel Clinton. It is a World Literature book and takes place in two different time periods. 

“It is the perspective of a woman’s grandmother who grew up in Havana, and then a granddaughter, who’s coming back to Havana to spread her grandmother’s ashes. And so it just gets a picture of what Cuba was like pre Fidel Castro, and then after Fidel Castro.” 

Mrs. Peters says she would definitely recommend it to students.


Mrs. Fettweis

Mrs. Fettweis holding her book. By: Frances Bottorff

Mrs. Fettweis’ favorite book that she read this summer was Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. She liked it because she loves historical fiction.

“This is a book about the Grimke Sisters who were abolitionists and women’s rights activists in the 1860s. it tells this fictionalized story of the Grimke Sisters themselves. But focuses on Sarah Grimke, but alternates between her perspective and that of a slave girl who the author invented but imagining what it would have been like to be a slave in Charleston, South Carolina in this period. And on Sarah Grimke’s birthday, she’s given the slave of the gift. And she doesn’t want to own it, so they develop this friendship, but it shows how real friendship can exist in this period with the power dynamics.” 

Mrs. Fettweis would recommend it to students who are interested in history, African American experience during this time period, and students who enjoyed. the Secret Life of Bees because it is written by the same author.


Mr. Peters

Mr. Peters holding his book. By: Frances Bottorff

Mr. Peters, an English teacher found a very intriguing to read over the summer. It is called Educated by Tara Westover. 

It is a great book. It’s A Memoir book about a young girl growing up in the woods of Idaho. And she’s a very uneducated little girl and her family is very religious. They never go to doctors or anything like that. They don’t believe in it. They think God will take care of everything. And It shows her whole life story of how she goes from that culture all the way to Harvard and Cambridge to study abroad and is successful. And it is a fantastic read. I think it’s just a beautiful portrait of, of how education and how it can change a person.”

 While this book is pretty in-depth, Mr. Peters would recommend it.


Mrs. Basile

Mrs. Basile holding her book. By: Frances Bottorff

This summer, Mrs. Basile read Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe. She really liked how it resembled a good high school movie. 

“But [the book] gave me an opportunity to also bring in my own perception of how everything looked, felt, was, within the book.” 

 Mrs. Basile would highly recommend it to students. 

“I really liked the way these characters talk. I always look for young adult literature where the dialogue is really authentic to how teenagers actually communicate. And the protagonist in this one has this very dry sense of humor. That is a little bit unsettling at times but also is refreshing to have kind of a anti-hero at the at the helm of a story like this.”


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