“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Bookclique

The epigraph of Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Take My Hand sets a historical, poignant, and fiercely resilient tone: “Ben, make sure you play ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.” – Martin Luther King Jr.’s reported last words, April 4, 1968. The song’s steadfast gospel lyrics equally describe the book’s protagonist… Continue reading

“Advice for New Middle School Teachers from Four Veterans,” Education Week

After more than two decades of teaching middle school, my answer has simplified over time. Twenty years ago, I would have said that you need to keep students busy, change up activities multiple times a period, make sure they’re doing something. Ten years ago, I would have said that you need to see the infinite potential of middle schoolers… Continue reading

“Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir” by Heather Lanier, Bookclique

In Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir, Heather Lanier is so honest and beautiful on the page that writing a review feels like the palest shadow of the book. Describing her daughter Fiona, born with severe developmental delays and diagnosed with the unusual Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, Lanier asks us to envision a different way of looking at people with disabilities… Continue reading