My Fall reading list has a wide range of topics, but all of the books on the list have the same underlying theme– supporting students. From sleep, to neuro development, effects of the pandemic on children, to youth sports, the reading list presents the most recent research and findings in the four areas. I encourage educators and parents to check out the four books listed below.
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker– It is no secret I love a book about sleep! In this book Dr. Walker dives into the science behind sleep and dreams and every chapter I was blown away to learn more and more about the power or sleep. The book goes beyond talking about the importance of sleep, and looks at it from an evolutionary perspective. He also discusses the importance of sleep for overall health and learning. While it is dense with science, it is an amusing read. Dr. Walker keeps it light by saying that if the reader falls asleep while reading he will be delighted instead of offended.
Straight Talk about ADHD in Girls by Stephen P. Hinshaw– This book is written by Dr. Hinshaw, the leading ADHD expert from UC Berkeley. One of his current projects is the Berkeley Girls with ADHD Longitudinal Study (BGALS) for girls with ADHD, and much of the information in this book is from the study’s research. ADHD was believed to be a “boys only” diagnosis when first discovered, but Dr. Hinshaw shows that ADHD is much more common in girls than originally suspected. The book is written for parents of girls with ADHD but it is also an important read for educators to understand how we can best support students with ADHD. He aims to eliminate the stigma around the developmental disorder and encourages “radical acceptance of difference” and “radical commitment” to supporting girls diagnosed with ADHD (2), which is something we can all work towards.
The Stolen Year by Anya Kamenetz– A good book will cause the reader to feel emotions they didn’t know they had, and this is exactly what author Anya Manetz accomplished on the first page for me. I opened the book, and when it described March 12, 2020, a flood of memories from the day we closed our school for over a year came rushing back. It was an uncertain time, and although we were doing our best to keep our community safe from COVID, we couldn’t have known the effects of not being in school would have on our students. The Stolen Year is about how the pandemic affected children’s lives on a deep level and essentially stole years of their lives from them. Some of it is painful to read, but Manetz is correct that we need to come up with solutions to support this generation of students and caregivers and create change to move forward.
Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports by Linda Flanagan– I am excited to read this book about the current climate of youth sports. Author Linda Flanagan points out that youth sports have lost the perspective of having fun, being active, and being a part of a community and is now a $19 billion dollar industry (5). In the book, Flanagan provides solutions for both parents and coaches to work together to bring sports back to serve the kids instead of making a profit. She also gives “bold” ideas for change at the college level (213). So far everything that I have read in this book I found myself clapping and nodding my head saying “Yes! This is what we need!” and I will be buying copies of this book for all youth coaches I know.
I hope you enjoy the books! I would also love to hear what you are reading too. Email me your book recommendations.