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What We're Reading: 25 Books to Consider this Summer

If you're looking for a good book to take to the beach, park, or library this summer, you need not look farther than the list below. Our staff shared 25 books (listed below in alphabetical order) they have read this year (or plan to tackle this summer) related to supporting inclusive school and church communities. Take a look and let us know what you're reading in the comments below!

A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults

#1 A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults by Thomas E Brown

"This book shifts understanding of ADHD from a behavior disorder to a developmental disorder of cognitive functions, and shares the impact of the six areas of executive functioning. I've appreciated the discussion on the relationship of challenges with ADHD to other areas of lagging skills."- Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

Anxiety and Depression in the Classroom

#2 Anxiety and Depression in the Classroom; A Teacher's Guide to Fostering Self-regulation in Young Students by Nadja Reilly

"I am having a good time working my way through a comprehensive text on accommodating to anxiety and depression in the classroom.  It is surprisingly readable and refreshingly relevant!  The content is geared toward elementary teachers but I believe it is applicable to secondary teachers as well.  Lots of good ideas as well as solid theory!

And stay tuned...I may be leading an online book club on this book during the upcoming school year.  Any interest?" - Sherri Rozema, PhD

Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Inclusive Classroom

#3 Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Inclusive Classroom; How to Reach and Teach Students with ASD 2nd Edition by Barbara Boroson

"A teacher I consult with was eager to share this book with me and what she had learned. Instead of a list of what 'to do or not to do,' the author focuses on better understanding the student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She focuses less on implementing strategies and more on looking at our students through this investigative lens.

When we focus on better understanding the child with ASD in our class, we can create a responsive classroom that is attuned to their needs. Boroson gives background on ASD, including early intervention supports such as Applied Behavior Analysis. She addresses early elementary through middle school with emphasis on collaboration within the school to build an inclusive community. This book aligns with All Belong's approach of wrapping services and support around individuals." -Becky Tubergen, director of educational services

Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator

#4 Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator by Dr. Scot Danforth

"My current takeaways from our staff study of this book are a deeper understanding of the history of the disability rights movement and the need to recognize that we are toiling in the gap between what we believe about inclusion and what we are doing to create inclusive communities." -Marji Voetberg, teacher consultant
Scot Danforth PhDDr. Danforth will be speaking at the Beyond Special Education: Inclusion in the Christian School conference August 3-4! We are grateful for the support of the Calvin College Graduate Studies in Education department for their sponsorship of his presentation, "What does disability mean, anyway?"


Becoming Human

#5 Becoming Human by Jean Vanier

"On recommendation from Dan Beerens, I've been reading Becoming Human by Jean Vanier. I find it an inspiration to continue working hard to make our communities more inclusive and, according to Vanier, more healing for all of us. It is a wonderful book that delves into the philosophy of inclusion, loneliness, and why we all need each other." -Elizabeth Lucas Dombrowski, executive director

Boundaries with Kids

#6 Boundaries with Kids by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud

"Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud are co-authors of the award-winning book, Boundaries. They also co-authored Boundaries with Kids, prioritizing the concepts of healthy boundaries to adult-child relationships. As I read this book this summer, I am hopeful to learn:
  • The importance of healthy boundaries in developing self-control and independence;

  • Recognize the boundary issues underlying child behavior problems;

  • Discover roadblocks to implementing and sustaining healthy boundaries with kids;

  • How healthy boundaries enhance parent-child and teacher-student relationships;

  • How principles and practices of Boundaries with Kids and Love and Logic dovetail with one another."

-Doug Bouman, S.Psy.S., director of evaluation services

Christians and Cultural Difference

#7 Christians and Cultural Difference by David I. Smith

"While the lens of this book is cultural, the notions of a bigger hospitality and the need to engage with grace are relevant to creating inclusive communities no matter what the defined difference is. This book is a quick and accessible read. -Marji Voetberg, teacher consultant

Disability and the Gospel

#8 Disability and The Gospel by Michael S. Beates

"This book looks at voices, perspectives, and teachings on disability from the Old Testament, New Testament, and modern day. It focuses a bit more on brokenness than I'd like, but I'm enjoying the study of Scripture and look forward to further analysis of the current state of churches." -Tory White, church services coordinator

Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents

#9 Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

"While I haven't read this one yet, it's on my summer list! I'm looking for more insight into assessment of executive functions and additional interventions." -Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

Help for Billy

#10 Help for Billy; A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom by Heather T. Forbes

"This is an excellent manual for parents and teachers to understand and manage the behaviors of a child impacted by complex trauma. It includes brain research and the significant disadvantage that stress has on brain development. You'll learn several strategies to help the child self-regulate and the right questions to ask." -Pam Maat, teacher consultant

I Choose Adam: Nothing Special Please

#11 I Choose Adam: Nothing Special Please by David Winstrom - coming fall 2017

"I have had the joy of working beside David and reading many chapters and portions, even writing a couple of them, to know that this book is one that speaks to me on many levels. First, it is an amazing story of Adam and those who surround his life. But David has written it in such a way that it will give guidance to parents of children with a disability as well as to professionals and friends. Adam's story will have you laughing, crying, and learning - all with the JOY of being able to celebrate inclusive community and how God webs us all together. I am EAGER to hold the final version in my hand or on my Kindle." -Barbara J. Newman, director of church services

Kids in the Syndrome Mix 2nd Ed.

#12 Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Autism Spectrum, Tourettes, Anxiety and More 2nd Edition by Martin L. Kutscher, MD 

"This is a popular book among All Belong staff. While I haven't read the updated version, it's also on my summer list! I'm looking forward to reading about the etiology and impact of different conditions students experience. I'm hoping it helps clarify how to process this with parents as well." - Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

Parenting with Love and Logic

#13 Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

"I'll be reading this book this summer with the intent to provide practical tips and recommendations for parents in supporting children behaviorally and emotionally at home." -Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom

#14 Promoting Executive Functioning in the Classroom by Lynn Melton

"Melton provides an overview of the challenges students experience with executive functioning, and outlines both classroom and individual strategies for skill development and accommodations." -Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

The Disabled God

#15 The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability by Nancy Eiesland 

"Nancy Eiesland writes from the perspective of embodied disability; that is, Eiesland (who died in 2009) lived with a congenital bone defect that caused her pain throughout her life. She was an advocate for individuals with disabilities who championed the idea that disability was not a result of sin or evil, but that life can and should be lived fully with or without an obvious disability. The title comes from her reflection on that description of Jesus as showing wounds from the cross following his resurrection, suggesting that wounds (and disabilities) are a characteristic of, not a definition of, a person." -Phil Stegink, special projects consultant

The Bible, Disability, and the Church

#16 The Bible, Disability and The Church by Amos Yong

"I love diving into Jewish theology from a disability perspective. I appreciate the honesty about situations, Scripture, and perspectives that Yong provides. I haven't finished this book quite yet, but I look forward to continued study of Scripture and analysis of the current state of churches." -Tory White, church services coordinator

The Connected Child

#17 The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adopted Family by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine

"This book looks at the impact of trauma related to adoption and its impact on attachment and behavioral functioning. I appreciated the practical strategies (and hope) for working through challenges." -Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

The New Art and Science of Teaching

#18 The New Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano

"I'm excited to dive into this book, which focuses on student outcomes (rather than teacher outcomes) to optimize learning." -Becky Tubergen, director of school services

The Paradox of Disability

#19 The Paradox of Disability: Responses to Jean Vanier and L'Arche Communities from Theology and the Sciences edited by Hans S. Reinders

"In The Paradox of Disability, Reinders edits the work of many writers who address a seeming paradox of disability: that within disability can be found beauty, strength, and a positive effect on life. When many in the world focus on disability as something to be avoided, feared, and/or mourned, the contributors to this book push back against those typical views of disability challenging the reader to consider how persons with disabilities teach others to know God." -Phil Stegink, special projects consultant

Show them Jesus

#20 Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids by Jack Klumpenhower

"While on a three-day visit to a All Belong Member School, I attended an elementary teacher early morning devotion time. The principal shared how sometimes we may be giving our students good advice and miss an opportunity to share with them the Good News--Christ died for our sins! Often, this is how our classrooms works:
  • We teach a Bible story and focus on generosity, and ten minutes later kids are fighting over who gets the last cookie.

  • We correct kids, tell them what's right or wrong. Are we reaching their hearts?

As an illustration, the principal used The God Report Card. What if we had to share this report card with God; what grade would we give ourselves in the category of obeying parents, telling the truth, speaking kind words, letting others go first, loving those who hurt us? The truth hurts; our report card would not look good.

Jesus earned all A+ on his report card. In our morning meeting, we took our nasty report card and put it in the envelop marked Jesus. We put the A+ report card in our envelope. This is the Good News. There is nothing better than a life based on Christ's death for our sin.

The principal gave me a copy of Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids and I have read it several times. It has made an impact on the many roles I have as a parent, consultant, teacher, and Sunday school teacher. I have referenced it during discussions with All Belong Member Schools and know it has made a difference in the lives of teachers."

-Becky Tubergen, director of school services


#21 Slide:ology: the Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte

"An effective presentation begins with a compelling idea and storyline that's eventually translated into simple and clear slides. While I'm still working my way through this book, Durate constantly reminds me of the importance of meeting your audience where they're at and shares a process and ideas for crafting impactful presentations. Through clarity of vision and communications, individuals and communities can be transformed." -Katie Barkley, director of marketing and communications

Understanding, Assessing, and Intervening on Reading Problems

#22 Understanding, Assessing, and Intervening on Reading Problems by Laurice M. Joseph, PhD

"This book provides an overview of the new findings for reading development and effective interventions for different challenges in reading. Joseph discusses oral language development and the connection to reading, and factors that influence reading development. She outlines instructional practices and interventions for word reading, vocabulary, and comprehension, and addresses supporting the reading development of English Language Learners." -Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

Vulnerable Communion

#23 Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas Reynolds 

"Thomas Reynolds writes from personal experience about disability and church responses to disabilities. In his book, Reynolds explores historical views of and responses to individuals with disability with particular application to churches. He suggests that people who are perceived as weak bring much to power to the rebuilding of God's kingdom on earth." -Phil Stegink, special projects consultant

Why Don't Students Like School?

#24 Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions about How the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom by Daniel Willingham

"This is an accessible read with great summaries at the end of each chapter to help condense the ideas into actionable points. This book could easily be used for staff discussion, chapters can be isolated from each other and the ideas are relevant." -Marji Voetberg, teacher consultant

You Can't Make Me (But I Can be Persuaded)

#25 You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child by Cynthia Tabias

"I had the opportunity to hear Cynthia Tobias speak during a visit to schools in Washington state. It was great to listen and learn alongside parents who were seeking to better understand how their child learned, how their kids can be so different from one another, and to identify ways they can support their kids at home with schoolwork or social situations. Cynthia captured my attention with this sentence from her book:

'... if you are the parent (or teacher) of one of these wild and wonderful children, you've been given the opportunity to love, nurture, and guide an individual who has great potential. ... when you know how to bring the best in your fiercely independent gift from God, you'll find incredible strength and possibilities in both of you without sacrificing any bottom-line accountability.'

This book is an easy read for parents and teachers. It begins with a look at how a Strong Willed Child (SWC) is wired and identifies three critical truths:
  • It's not authority SWC have trouble with, it's how the authority is communicated;

  • They don't need to control you, they just can't let you take all the control away from them;

  • The quality of the relationship determines the effectiveness of strategies you use--relationship comes first.

Tobias highlights the good characteristics of a Strong Willed Child and provides practical strategies that will help bring out their best. Most importantly, we are reminded that when we feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and not sure how to help, we need to trust in the wisdom of the God who created our SWC."

-Becky Tubergen, director of school services.

What books are you reading this summer? Share in the comments below.