Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom is highly recommended. This is his first book and it tells his story from Ethiopia to Sudan and eventually to Wheaton, Illinois where he grew up and graduated from Wheaton North High School. It is an amazing story of courage, dedication, and the power of possibility. You can accomplish anything with hard work and determination.
Readicide and Teaching Adolescents to Write both by Kelly Gallagher. These books are ‘teacher reading’ not for fun but to develop and hone my teaching skills. Sadly, children are reading less and less. I know this first hand with my own children. I found Readicide to be very interesting and enlightening. It has opened deeper conversation at school among the Language Arts faculty on ways we can help our students grow as readers.
Knucklehead by John Scieszka is about his life growing up with five brothers. The stories are outlandish, outlandish enough to be true – having grown up with two brothers. I highly recommend this book. It is a quick read and it will entertain almost any adolescent boy for hours. You will hear inane giggling as they read. This can be counted as a double dip! I am using it to help my students learn from a writer how a writer thinks, which in this case, is not too far from how they think.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey I first read this book in the summer of 1994. It opened my eyes to begin to change my habits to change my life. Sixteen years later I still am struggling to put all of the habits to work in my life.