Summer Reading: 15 Books to Support Inclusive Community

Looking for a book to keep your learning alive this summer? Our staff shared fifteen books (listed alphabetically) they’ve recently read (or plan to read this summer) related to inclusive school and church communities.

Becoming Friends of Time

Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship by John Swinton

“This is a wonderful book that I have been recommending often this year. Swinton reminds us that faithfulness to God is not achieved in what we do but in how and who we are. This is an important message not just for anyone thinking about disability, but for all of us.”  – Elizabeth Lucas Dombrowski, executive director


Beyond Retribution

Beyond Retribution: A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime, and Punishment by Christopher D. Marshall.

“This was a book recommended to me to further understand the Biblical ties and underpinnings of restorative practices from a theological perspective.”  – Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.


Bored and Brilliant

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi

"Bored to Brilliant provides a really interesting perspective on how we interact with technology and the affects it has on our brain and creative thinking. The book is not inherently 'anti-tech' and offers readers questions to ask themselves to help them navigate their use of technology and provide room for creativity. If you’re looking for strategies to unplug and give yourself the time to think up something brilliant, this is your book." – Jonathan Helder, advancement director



Dementia: Living in the Memories of God by John Swinton

“I’m eager to read this book to help synthesize new information with the work we already do in All Belong’s Church Services. I want to see how we can better resource congregations as they ask questions related to dementia.” – Barbara J. Newman, director of church services


Ghost Boy

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius

“This is a true story of a man from South Africa who became disabled due to an illness in his teen years. He describes what it was like to be unable to communicate for many years, leaving people around him to believe he did not know or understand what was going on. Due to some of the experiences he describes this story for adults only. Martin’s story is both difficult to read and inspiring at the same time.”  – Marji Voetberg, teacher consultant


I'll Push You

I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck

“After hiking El Camino de Santiago earlier this year, I’m excited to read about this ancient pilgrimage through a different lens. ‘Everyone has their own Camino’ was a motto I quickly adopted on the hike as each pilgrim had their own reason and approach to accomplishing the feat; I look forward to learning about Patrick and Justin’s Camino and how this journey shaped their friendship and faith, as well as the lives of fellow pilgrims.” – Katie Barkley, director of marketing and communications


Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools

Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools: A Practical Guide to Transforming School Communities by Margaret Thorsborne and Peta Blood

“This was recommended at a restorative practices conference I attended.  I'm looking to further my understanding of restorative practices, both the theory and research support for this approach of responding to behavior, and read about practical implementation steps.” – Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.


Inclusion in Action

Inclusion in Action, Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum by Nicole Eredics

“This is a newly released book which gives an excellent overview of preparing for and supporting inclusion schoolwide. The focus is on creating a framework based on best practices with practical and easy to execute strategies.” - Becky Tubergen, director of school services

Be sure to check out Nicole Eredics blog, The Inclusive Class!


It's Okay About It

It’s Okay About It: Lessons from a Remarkable Five-Year-Old about Living Life Wide Open by Lauren Casper

“The story of the Casper family intrigues me as it shares the story of life with their adopted son, Mareto, and his journey with autism spectrum disorder. I look forward to learning how they’ve grown in faith through their journey.” - Mary Ashby, teacher consultant


Lost and Found

Lost & Found: Helping Behaviorally Challenging Students (and While You're At It, All the Others) by Ross W Greene, PhD.

“As an organization, All Belong has embraced the work of Dr. Ross Greene.  I'm looking forward to gaining further understanding of his Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) model for working with students with challenging behaviors.” – Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.


Made for More

Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image by Hannah Anderson

“This profound read is built upon the central challenge of our lives: understanding our identity as image bearers of Christ to display His glory.” – Brenda Maas, teacher consultant 


Mental Health and the Church

Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, and Other Common Mental Health Conditions by Dr. Stephen Grcevich

“I’ll be diving into this book again this summer as I believe this is an important area of learning for faith communities. Similar to my reading of Swinton’s Dementia: Living in the Memories of God this summer, I look forward to applying what I learn from Dr. Grcevich to All Belong’s work with church communities. – Barbara J. Newman, director of church services


The Deepest Well

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris, MD.

“Dr. Burke Harris is among those leading the charge in both understanding and addressing childhood adversity. I was looking forward to the release of her book, and now look forward to have the time to read it!” – Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.


The Differentiated Classroom

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, 2nd Edition by Carol Ann Tomlinson

“I am familiar with the work of Tomlinson and the differentiated classroom.  I am looking to ground my understanding within her framework of differentiated instruction.” – Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.


Trade Your Cares for Calm

Trade Your Cares for Calm by Max Lucado

“This little gem is packed with verses and anecdotes to treasure and share for managing the prevalent anxiety of our culture.” – Brenda Maas, teacher consultant

What's on your summer reading list? Share your recommendations in the "comments" section below.