I have several lists for you about summer reading for school counselors. This is part 1 of a 3 part series.
Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. If you are like me, you’re not just reading books for professional growth, but you are also reading what students are reading. I like to run book clubs with my students, so I want to find books my students will love and that also has a social emotional component.
But when you run a book group, you really have to read the book first. You need to know the high points and long drawn out sections. You need to know if there is any controversial content that might offend some of your families. You need to know if the language is appropriate for your group. You also need to make a determination if your group could handle the reading level and comprehension.
Another reason to read young adult books, is to experience through the pen, situations your students may be experiencing, Many counselors have caseloads that include homeless students, students whose parents are undocumented, trans, gay, bi, and questioning students, students who live lives of discrimination and racism, students with learning disabilities, and students who are so filled with anxiety, they feel they cannot function at school. My personal experience is much different than this. I appreciate any opportunity to learn more about what my students are experiencing. I have empathy, but to truly understand…that is different.
So, now is my chance to delve into some young adult reading that helps me look into a window of what my students experience daily. Thank you to my wonderful, collaborative, insightful middle school librarian friend.
Below are her suggested reads and a link to each book on Amazon. They are affiliate links, and I may receive a kickback if you choose to purchase a book through the link. (Just putting that out there!)
The Distance Between Us (grades 8 and up)
This book is about a young girl’s memories of her childhood in Mexico and her parent’s immigration to America. As her parent’s immigrated, Reyna and her siblings are left behind and are forced to stay with her grandmother. It’s a story about growing up, hopes and dreams and being left behind.
Every Falling Star (grades 8 and up)
Every Falling Star is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy, Sungju, who was forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains.
The 57 Bus (grades 8 and up)
Two high school students from two different communities are brought together by bus 57. It’s a bus ride that changes their lives forever.
The Hate You Give (grades 8 and up)
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. When the case becomes National headlines, Starr has the potential to unveil the truth to what she saw. This is the story of what she does next.