Studies have shown that reading, particularly memoir and fiction, can increase a person’s ability to empathize with the experiences of others. Reading diverse books matters, and can educate and transform us in important and lasting ways. This group of books highlights several different voices and lived experiences. We hope that you are able to find yourself and others in these books.
Summer is a time for relaxation. However, many of us also seek books and stories that will immerse us in the experiences of others, or will help us stay engaged in making a better world. Here are six picks that will teach, challenge, and inspire us.
The school year is finally winding down and it’s a been tough one. We’ve had deep and difficult conversations in classrooms sparked by divisive elections, social tensions, and rising incidents of hate in the US and around the world. Events from this past year prompted Facing History to ask “What Makes Democracy Work?” in our weekly series exploring democracy, leadership, and civic responsibility. And we know that even as class lets out for the summer, we’ll all still have lingering questions about these issues on our minds.
That’s why we partnered with School Library Journal to create a book list that helps us all—educators, students, and parents—reflect on these questions over the summer months.
Daylight hours are dwindling, and temperatures are cooler. What better time to hunker down inside and take a book break? Books can fulfill many human needs: increasing our knowledge, broadening our empathy, making us laugh, inspiring us, or entertaining us. The best books achieve several at once. Here are a few titles that we hope you find engaging and take you deeper into the themes, histories, and questions at the heart of Facing History and Ourselves.
Teachers, find suggested Facing History resources and tools that tie into each book recommendation to build upon and expand your lessons.
Nothing says summer like sitting in the sun with a good book. Check out five summer reads, recommended by Tracy O'Brien, Facing History's Director of Library Services.
In January and February, Barnes & Noble Booksellers is partnering with Facing History and Ourselves to promote our resources for teaching To Kill A Mockingbird to educators across the United States. Facing History’s Senior Program Associate, Laura Tavares, reflects on why Mockingbird is more relevant today than at any time since it’s original publication at the dawn of the American Civil Rights Era.
Six months ago, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman revealed a different side of the beloved Atticus Finch. Lovers of Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, were left confused as he is rendered a segregationist who clashes with his daughter over his racist beliefs. My colleagues and I saw this as an opportunity to explore Mockingbird even further. Since the book’s release, we immersed ourselves in this text to develop resources that can inform the way you read and teach Mockingbird in your classroom.
Winter is a great time to slow down, indulge in eating hearty food and curl up with a book that can transport you to another world, all from the comfort of your couch. So go on an adventure this winter. Hit the library, stop by the independent bookstore on the corner, toss a few items in your AmazonSmile shopping cart (when you do, a portion of your purchase can go directly to Facing History), or start downloading to your e-reader. Hand-picked by Tracy O'Brien, Director of Facing History and Ourselves’ library, these titles are guaranteed to transport, challenge, and inspire readers of all ages.
Whether you’re on the beach or preparing your syllabus for fall, check out these nonfiction and fiction titles that have the Facing History and Ourselves Library staff excited for summer reading!
Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Civil Rights Movement, Books, English Language Arts, Poetry, Armenian Genocide, Race and Membership, Holocaust, Memoir, Survivor Testimony, History, Reading, Reading List
Stories matter. The stories we tell have the power to effect history. By sharing stories with students, we help them to see themselves as part of the human story, as individuals who can change the narrative by making positive choices and contributing to their communities and the world.