Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure
Typically, I do not care for nonfiction books, but this was a great read and deserves to be in my top 5 for 2021! I loved the book because it was very practical. It blended tips for improving yourself physically and spiritually. There were also recipes at the end of each chapter, one of which my family LOVES! A delicious baked broccoli recipe! YUM! The book provided valuable insights both from Bure’s life and from God’s word. I picked up another one of her books because I found this book to be super helpful.
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
As a teacher, this book made my top 5 list because it encourages the love of reading for all children. Teaching middle school students, it can be hard to help them love reading because so many other things seem to pull at their attention. While certain curriculum requirements prohibit me from fully implementing the author’s suggestions, I still found a lot of value in this book. If you’re not a teacher, this book likely won’t interest you, but in my classroom, I’ve found this book has helped me open the door to more conversations with students about books and their reading habits.
It Rained Warm Bread by Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet
I love reading books about the Holocaust, and this book was very touching and quite short in length, so it made my top 5 list. The Holocaust was one of the most horrific times in history, and this true story definitely illustrates that. It is told in verse, which helps the readability of it. The title was also extremely captivating to me, and I wanted to know the story behind why it rained warm bread. Many Holocaust stories end on a sour note, but this one helped me to see hope in the darkest of times, and I really liked that about it.
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Also a Holocaust story, albeit fiction, this was a phenomenal read! I borrowed this book from a friend who recommended it. I like how it followed the story of a woman back during the time of the Holocaust but also flashed forward to her in present day, so it was kind of like a puzzle you had to piece together. I was really touched by the love story that the author weaved in, and I also thought she did a great job with all the little details in the story. This book was very engaging from start to finish!
Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper
I read a lot of young adult or young reader books since I teach middle school students. I always like to have a book to recommend to them. This book made my top 5 list because it was about acceptance of people who are different from you, which is so very important for young people to understand. Not everyone looks like you, acts like you, has the same thoughts as you, etc etc. In the story, the protagonist has a disability, and she is viewed very differently by her peers and certain adults in her life. This book has great lessons in it about tolerance and kindness, and the secondary characters are as wonderfully crafted as the protagonist.