Summer Reading List

This summer my goal is to make more time to read. So far, so good. Here is what I’m reading (or finished reading) this summer.



  • Challenger Deep & Scythe – Neal Shusterman – Both of these books were fantastic. So very different but both amazing reads. In Challenge Deep, you follow Caden into the abyss of a psychotic break. This deeply moving books gives you a window into his mind as his reality and fantasy worlds intertwine. Scythe takes place in a world where disease, war, hunger, suffering, and natural death no longer exist. Humankind enjoys the benefits of immortality. However, to keep population growth under control, people must be gleaned every year. This is the job of the Scythes. Two young apprentices reluctantly learn the art of killing and experience the complicated life of a Scythe. Learn more about both of these books and many others on Neal Shusterman’s website –


  • Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student, John Spencer and A.J. Juliani – I cannot say enough about this book. There is so much good stuff in here. Authors Spencer and Juliani walk you through their take on design thinking, the Launch Cycle. They provide practical advice and examples of how to encourage your students’ curiosity and get them asking questions, collaborating on ideas, and developing solutions to problems. I spend a lot of time teaching the engineering design cycle to both teachers and students. I’ve started incorporating many of the tips and concepts from Spencer and Juliani. I highly recommend this book. It would make a great book study for a district. Also explore their website ( for loads of ideas, lesson plans and freebies or follow them on twitter (@spencerideas and @ajjuliani).

In Progress

  • Born, Jeff VanderMeer – A Giant flying murderous bear, a girl, her ever-changing, child-like, talking sea-anemone-like friend, a boy, his swimming pool lab teeming with bio tech, and general destruction. Just a little story about friendship and survival. I’m about half-way through and loving it.


  • The Innovator’s Mindset: Empowering Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, George Couros – I meant to read this as part of the Innovator’s Mindset MOOC that kicked off a couple months ago. I joined the Facebook group, subscribed to the e-newsletter, and was pleasantly surprised that I already had the book in my Kindle library. However, life had other plans. So, I have follow the community posts for a while (they are very active and informative) but have not had a chance read the book or participate in the online community (aside from lurking). I finally have a chance to read and I’m just getting started with this book. Based on what I’m seeing posted on social media and what I’ve read so far – I have high hopes. Check out the Facebook group and follow George Couros on Twitter (@gcouros) to get a taste of The Innovator’s Mindset. 

In My Stack

I have an ambitious “must-read” list. Especially if I want to get them read before the end of summer. So, this might become my fall reading list.

  • Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning, John Larmer, John Mergendoller and Suzie Boss – The ins and outs of creating, implementing and assessing high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL) activities. Brought to you by the Buck Institute for Education (
  • The Little Prince, Antonie de Saint-Expery – Because I need a little whimsy and childhood nostalgia.
  • Lumberjanes Vol 1 and Nimona, Noelle Stevenson – You might know her as comic artist and illustrator, Gingerhaze. My daughter has followed her and read her webcomic for several years. I’ve heard very good things about her comics. It’s about time I read them for myself.
  • Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact, Steven Kolter – My daughter is currently reading this one and loves it. An exploration into how the incredible technology from science fiction has become the possible technology of today.
  • Feed (Re-read), M.T. Anderson – Read this one about five years ago. Hard to believe that it is over 15 years old. It is time to re-read to see what new things I can find.

What’s on your summer reading list? I’d love to hear what you are reading. I’m always looking for suggestions.

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