Well guys, it’s another book list. Can we ever have too many? I figured it’s that time of year. May is the new December, and there are recitals, class parties, and ….graduations! As I sat in my classroom and signed yearbook after yearbook of graduating seniors, I held a sharpie in one hand, students’ yearbooks in the other and thought, how can I summarize in a few words how great they are, far they’ve come, or how hard they worked? I almost resorted to scrawling H.A.G.S. a time or two, but refrained, as that would totally be an English teacher yearbook travesty of some sort. So instead, I wrote a book recommendation for them at the end of my short note.
Here are a lot of the ones I suggested. Some are old standbys, some are hot off the press, but they are golden books to be read many times for people of any age. I know it’s been done – the “let’s give the grad a book” present (I think I got 4 copies of Oh the Places You’ll Go when I graduated), but you know what, words really do hold answers, wisdom, humor, so here they are…
I cannot speak highly enough about this author, artist and book. It all started with one of her articles that went viral, and a year to the day, her speech was published! It is not only full of inspiration and wisdom, but gorgeous art as well. Do yourself a favor and pick up two. One for a grad, and one for yourself!
#2 What Would Jane Do? A Jane Austen Devotional by Potter Style Publishing
Ok, so this one is arguable just for girls (but more power to any guy who wants to read Austen), but it’s a great size with wit and wisdom from the one and only, Jane Austen.
This is part two to the first General Ignorance book. Hilarious, humbling, and actually instructive. A great way to say, “look, just because you graduated, doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of things about this world you still don’t know”.
#4 The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Austen to Wilder by Erin Blakemore
Life stories of Harper Lee, Louisa May Alcott, Zora Neale Hurston, and others intertwine with their novel plots in author Erin Blakemore’s book. She writes vignettes about these women and how their subsequent novel(s) are related to the lives the lead. I could not put this one down.
#5 The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by John Klassen
What is any book list without one children’s book?! This Blue Ribbon Picture Book Award winner is classic Lemony Snicket. Simple language with a powerful punch. A realistic reminder that darkness is in our lives, but how to not be afraid.
You had me at Rowling. That’s all I needed to know when I picked this book up. Then, I soon realized it was adapted from her powerful commencement speech at Harvard (I made my students watch this years ago and it’s been a favorite ever since). It is a must read book and perfect small token to take in our purses or to college.
#7 A Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This classic is stunning. If you love the ocean, Anne’s lyrical thoughts on life, love, and youth will hit your heart and resonate. It’s simply beautiful.