For the past few years, before the start of summer, I have made a list of professional books I plan to read during the break. Like many educators, I was overwhelmingly exhausted at the close of this very unusual school year and I never made a professional reading TBR list for this summer. Although I haven't posted a list here on my blog, my summer reading will include some professional books.
The first professional title I have read this summer is Life, Literacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Supporting Our Immigrant Refugee Children Through the Power of Reading by Don Vu. One of my favorite quotes from the book, which is encompassing of the rationale for why this book is necessary is the following:
Vu's book is about how to build a school culture of literacy that will support all students, but especially immigrant and refugee children, as they become proficient readers. It's about the power of reading and the need to promote lifelong literacy to build a more equitable society. It's about the belief that literacy is life-changing for all.
In the book, Vu explains six conditions that are necessary to build a culture of literacy. There is a chapter about each condition which includes ways for educators to reflect and practices that can be implemented to foster a lifelong love of literacy for all students. The practices range from those that can be implemented at the classroom level to those that could be implemented school-wide.
Life, Literacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness is a professional resource for educators, offering ideas to improve practice, but Vu also includes stories from his own life, providing insight into his experience as an immigrant and refugee. The stories are personal and powerful and helped to deepen my thinking about inclusion and equity and further strengthened my belief that compassion is a driving force in making the world a better place.