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What We Read This Summer

Girl Reading

Even if class wasn't in session, that didn't stop our staff from learning this summer! We've compiled a list of books we've been reading the past couple months, with topics ranging from practical tips for promoting inclusive worship to seeing the world through the eyes of a woman with autism spectrum disorder. Take a page from our book and investigate some of these titles, which are listed alphabetically.

12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Tim Elmore

“This book helped me better understand what I can do as a parent (or not do) to help my kids. It delves into what parents are actually doing in our current society, and investigates what we deem as success for kids.” - Victoria White, church services coordinator and consultant

Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship by Barbara J. Newman

Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship Book Cover
“This book provides wonderful practical advice on how to include people of all abilities in worship. It helped my own personal reflection on how I interact with the world and how I can best include everyone around me.” - Kelly Grant, communications specialist

Disability and Spirituality by William Gaventa

“I learned about dwelling in the ideas of the human condition being the point of intersection where disability and spirituality meet.” - Victoria White, church services consultant and coordinator

Discerning God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton

“I’m going to be reading this one multiple times, as it contains rich reflections on leadership in a Christian community. My copy is getting quickly filled with markings and notations; it’s a book I will return to often.” - Elizabeth Dombrowski, executive director


Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

“This is a reread from a while back, but Goleman has been a significant voice in highlighting the importance of understanding emotional development (self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy) as a factor of intelligence. And to note that these skills can be developed, nurtured, and enhanced throughout our development.” - Betsy Winkle, director of evaluation services

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

“This novel is told from the perspective of a young woman with autism spectrum disorder, and we get to imagine the world from her eyes. Her logic reminds us that there is so much that we don’t often see or understand behind what we’d like to consider just ‘misbehavior.” - Elizabeth Dombrowski, executive director

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

“As someone that strives to receive the gift of each person, I’m learning that part of receiving them is being aware of my whiteness and the way white culture permeates American society. Channing Brown provides an important perspective for Christian communities, particularly those with majority white folks.” - Katie Barkley, director of marketing and communications

Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky

“I’m looking forward to diving into this book on adaptive leadership and its importance in the life of an organization, community, and in one’s personal life.” - Katie Barkley, director of marketing and communications

Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us by Christine Pohl

Person standing on mountain
“Though I haven’t begun this book yet, I’m looking forward to learning from ethicist Christine Pohl as she examines core practices that sustain healthy communities and the complications that result when we practice them. I’m eager to learn how this applies to developing the culture of our internal organization, but also as we work to develop authentic, interdependent community in congregations and schools.” - Katie Barkley, director of marketing and communications

Make it Stick: the Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown and Mark A. McDaniel

"Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners...Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement." - Pam Maat, teacher consultant

Seeing the Spectrum: Teaching English Language Arts to Adolescents with Autism by Rob Rozema

Teacher with student
“This book not only provides information about Austism Spectrum Disorders it makes practical application of that information to best pedagogical practices for persons on the Autism Spectrum. Through research and experience, the author, Rob Rozema, give teachers knowledge and examples of how to think differently about their language arts teaching. The book concludes with an entire literature unit that teachers could take and use. This is well worth the read!” - Marji Voetberg, teacher consultant

Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life by Dr. Stuart Shanker

“This is next in my queue. I get asked a lot about self-regulation, so am always looking to further my understanding of what it looks like and how to best support kids (and myself ????).” - Betsy Winkle, director of evaluation services

Family holding hands and walking in a field

Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families by Gary Chapman and Jolene Philo

“I had the pleasure of reviewing this book which is now available for purchase. It is truly an excellent set of very practical ideas for parents and others as they desire to use the concept of Chapman’s 5 love languages within the heart of a situation where a family member has a disability. The number of parents interviewed for this work makes it especially meaningful.” - Barbara J. Newman, director of church services

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

“This book discusses how to speak and present effectively, quickly, and with impact.” - Victoria White, church services coordinator and consultant

UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World by Michele Borba, Ed.D.

“Creating empathy in learners continues to present itself as a key to supporting healthy relationships that fosters development and growth.  I have read articles written by this author and am looking for a more thorough perspective on empathy’s development and impact.” - Betsy Winkle, director of evaluation services

“This author addresses why empathy must be an integral part of any classroom, and identifies nine habits that empathetic children share. Each chapter offers practical ways to cultivate and nurture these nine habits to help children thrive. This is a great book for teachers Kindergarten through high school (as well as adults) who want to focus on social-emotional learning.” - Becky Tubergen, director of school services

Visible Learning Feedback by John Hattie and Shirley Clarke

Two children looking at papers
“In this book (one of many based on Hattie’s research into what works best in teaching), Hattie and Clarke investigate the most effective ways of providing feedback to learners. I expect to refine my understanding of how to provide feedback to learners that will further their learning and the ownership for their learning.” - Phil Stegink, teacher consultant

White Awake by Daniel Hill

“This book walks through six stages of a white Christian understanding of racial privilege and the role of reconciliation. I appreciate Hill’s definition of white privilege as “the ability to walk away” from the topic of race if it gets to be uncomfortable. This book has deepened my mindset and challenges me to not be complacent in my own growth, and that this lesson is a lifelong one.” - Becky Tubergen, director of school services

White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege by Amy Julia Becker

“I heard Amy Julia Becker speak at the 2019 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability and was so moved by her plenary on disability, race, and privilege. A theme from the talk that has continued to percolate in my mind is that the theology of disability is the theology of humanity because it looks at what it means to be human before God. Becker shared that her experience has helped teach her how to receive and love herself and those around her. In listening to her speak, I discovered that her journey of awareness and questioning her own privilege mirrored my own. In White Picket Fences, Becker has expanded my awareness of my privilege, challenged me to work against it, and beckoned me to receive each person as a gift.” - Katie Barkley, director of marketing and communications

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“I’ve read Wonder before, but this summer I’m hoping to read it with

Child on Ladder my 8-year old daughter. Although Wonder was originally written for kids grades 3-7, I believe it became a best seller, and was turned into a feature film, because of its universal themes of friendship, inclusion, community, and belonging. I’m excited to use this book as a catalyst for important discussions with my daughter.” - Jonathan Helder, advancement director

Passionate about inclusive education? Make a contribution to All Belong to faithfully build belonging for persons of all abilities.

Kelly GrantKelly Grant is the communications specialist at All Belong.






Photo of girl reading by Stephane Yaich on Unsplash, Photo of family of five holding hands by Blake Barlow on Unsplash, Photo of children by Rachel on Unsplash, Photo of person on mountain by Nicholas Safran on Unsplash, Photo of teacher and student by Jerry Wang on Unsplash, Photo of child on ladder by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash