Summer Reads: Principal Mike Odiotti’s Top Picks

Jul 7, 2022 | Academic

Grab a book and your beach bag! Principal Mike Odiotti’s top summer reads!

For the fourth year in a row, “Dr. O” is sharing his favorite books of the summer (thus far). “Read, read, and read” is the mantra he’s always sharing with students, staff, and faculty “both for school and for your own enrichment and growth.” Here he shares his first five page turners. Stay tuned for more.

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

On one hand, this is a simple, magical story of a boy stranded on a boat after a shipwreck with a Tiger, a zebra, a hyena, and an orangutan. On the other hand, the story is much more than the boy’s tale of his adventures at sea after the shipwreck and raises questions of truth, spirituality, and our role in the world. The author writes, “The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?”

2. Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

This dystopian sci-fi novel by Native writer from the Metis Nation of Ontario explores themes of humans’ relationship with nature, trauma, family, loss, the power of language, climate crisis and dreams. She writes, “And I understood that as long as there are dreamers left, there will never be want for a dream. And I understood just what we would do for each other, just what we would do for the ebb and pull of the dream, the bigger dream that held us all. Anything. Everything.”

3. The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

This novel explores the stories of two sisters, identical twins. One sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other sister secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the reasons people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

4. Teacher Toolkit Guide to Memory by Ross McGill

The Teacher Toolkit Guide to Memory provides clear, visual explanations of how memory works, including short-term and long-term memory, working memory, semantic memory, and episodic memory. Ross presents a wealth of original ideas for incorporating this theory into day-to-day classroom practice, with proven methods for aiding knowledge retention and testing recall, to boost learning, support revision and motivate pupils.

5. One Good Question: How Countries Prepare Youth to Lead by Rhonda Broussard

Rhonda Broussard – an expert in pedagogy, international education, and racial equity – uses conversations with education leaders from eleven countries to try to answer her one good question. A question that she couldn’t answer on her own, a question that could inspire different truths based on context, a question that could bring clarity in complexity. This book provides ample fodder for how you might define your own one good question. What Broussard finds along the way is even more valuable: these conversations led to more provocations than answers. This book contemplates questions like Who should really go to college? What voice should parents have in their children’s education? How is the economy limiting education access worldwide? One Good Question gives new ways of thinking about the education problems we face today and how they connect us across the globe.