TA News

What Are You Reading This Summer? TA Teachers Share Their Picks

In the spirit of continuous growth, learning, and for the simple joy of reading on a summer afternoon, Thetford Academy’s faculty members almost always have a book in progress over the summer break. What are they reading this year? The list below reflects the breadth of our teachers’ interests and learning goals, pulling from the worlds of civil rights, YA literature, social justice, gardening and horticulture – and our very own students.

Kristen Downey, English Faculty and Teaching and Learning Coordinator
Four for the Road by K. J. Reilly and a few other GMBA books 
My son is an outgoing student member of the Green Mountain Book Awards (GMBA) selection committee. He spends the year reading dozens and dozens of YA books, discussing their merits with other students, librarians, and educators from around Vermont, and ultimately coming up with a short list for students in grades 9-12. Four for Road is this year’s winner. The newest member of the committee is our very own rising 9th grader, Stone Riegler! 

Unearthing Joy by Gholdy Muhammad
This June, several middle grades educators at TA are convening to design important middle-grades specific curriculum with guidance from the Middle Grades Collaborative. Unearthing Joy is one of the required texts. I read Dr. Muhammad’s previous work, Cultivating Genius, several years ago, and not only was it informative in the area of literacy and equity, Dr. Muhammad is a former middle school educator, and I inherently and without question trust middle school teachers. 

Ehrin Lingeman, School Garden Coordinator
I did some springs cleaning and made a stack of books I hope to read this summer. This is my summer of reading and basket weaving (and gardening, too, of course!). I’m particularly excited for Cœur de fermière by Julie Aubé. I bought this on the 8th grade Montreal trip and was excited to brush up on my French AND collect a new set of vocab words. I’m also excited to read Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden by Camille T. Dungy.

Stacy Barton, Social Studies Faculty
This summer I’m interested in researching Cancer Alley, an 85-mile stretch of land in Louisiana where rates of cancer due to petrochemical production plague the affected communities. I don’t yet know what specifically I’ll read, but I’m curious to learn more.

Karen Heinzmann, World Language Faculty
The 2024 student baccalaureate speeches by Ceci Luce, Mary Bosco, and Crown Morand were just really incredible this year. 

Emily Silver, English Faculty
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
I loved the movie (by the same name); it’s such an awesome piece of filmmaking. I am curious to see if the literature version is as amazing. 

Joe Deffner, English Faculty
James by Percival Everett
I was delighted to receive this title for my birthday. The gifter knows how much I like Percival Everett’s work. In fact, his novel, Trees, was a title that students in the embedded honors track in my Civil Rights class read this year. James is a retelling of Huck Finn with Jim as narrator. Retelling a story, or switching up the narrative—sometimes turning it on its head—is something that Everett does so well. I look forward to seeing what he does with Huck Finn.



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