Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash

As the on-going reflections and corrections of the 2017-2018 school year begin to swirl furiously in your brain, LEARN wishes to support you in turning essays into chilly cocktails, exams into sunny porches, book reports into BBQ delights and science projects into LEARN’s summertime reads recommendations. Summer vacation is no longer a tunnel dream, not simply a postcard on your desk to escape into, no longer a fictitious date on your personal calendar. It’s ok to start dreaming, fantasizing, planning, and of course relaxing – you made it! We hope you enjoy our reading recommendations for the summer of 2018.


Elizabeth Alloul – ESL Special Project

Innovators Mindset by George Kouros

George Kouros was a keynote speaker at the SPEAQ 2017 ESL convention in Laval, and gave an inspiring presentation on being an innovative educator-that I missed!

Who is George and what is he writing about?  I finally acquired his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, it is a book that teaches, inspires, and motivates the reader to help create a culture of innovation.

Next stop, his blog!  Happy summer!!

Kerry Cule – Online Teacher

Mandolin for Dummies

A few years ago, I started to teach myself how to play the mandolin. I have found that playing music increases my concentration, improves my coordination, and boosts my mood. While I’m no dummy, I’m looking forward to expanding my skill-set and learning a few new chords this summer!

Dianne Conrod – Principal, Virtual Campus

Canadian Gardener’s Guide
Lorraine Johnson, Ed.

Two of my favourite summer pastimes are reading and gardening, so it’s only natural that these two activities would overlap in the form of a gardening book. We have a lot of trees on our property, so I refer most often to the sections related to shade plants. This guide is a helpful reference for beginners and more seasoned gardeners alike and the colourful photos are inspiring!

Christine Truesdale – Director, Pedagogical Services

Broad Band
by Claire L. Evans

Broad Band, The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet weaves the history of the women who were the first ‘computers’, whose mental labour bore the original information technology and who “elevated the rudimentary operation of computing machines into an art called programming.” Author Claire L. Evans begins the story at the turn of the 20th C, when early use of the term ‘computer’ signified a job (mostly done by women), not a machine, and works her way through to the 1990’s, when cyberfeminists used the Internet as a platform for creativity and artistic expression. From Ada Lovelace, to Grace Hopper, to Brenda Laurel, these women were guided by their focus on the user, rather than the technology. Ultimately, they gave the machines their language and never lost sight of what should be the computer’s central purpose – to enrich our lives.

Julie Paré – Conseillère pédagogique


J’ai toujours aimé les mots, la poésie et la musique de Loco Locass, un groupe de hip-hop québécois formé de Biz, Batlam et Chafiik. Pour les amateurs de hockey et du Canadien de Montréal, vous avez surement déjà entendu leur chanson Le but. Cet été, j’ai décidé de retrouver la plume de Biz en lisant son quatrième roman Naufrage.


Michael J. Canuel Ed.D. – CEO

When by Daniel H. Pink

As the title suggests it deals with time, but more specifically, timing. Pink posits that when to do something and when not to is really a science and that knowing “when” to do something greatly influences outcomes. Not surprising until he starts to point out certain everyday realities and the value of recognizing patterns. When best to exercise, study, sleep, retire, collaborate, engage in critical reflection? An easy but enjoyable read.


Paul Rombaugh – Consultant


The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami

My summer read takes me back to the 16th century, to “La Florida” and that familiar story of conquest, but from the perspective of an unfamiliar voice. The Moor’s Account by Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami, is a retelling of the failed Narváez expedition of 1527. Mustafa al-Zamori, called Estebanico, was one of only four survivors from the journey. A slave, his version was forever silenced in the testimonies of the others. Lalami’s fictional rendition gives voice to the experience of possibly the first Black explorer to visit the Americas, and through his lens to voices of the indigenous people who resisted them all.

Mary Stewart, Ph.D. Managing Editor, LEARNing Landscapes


I just picked up a bag of 18 French language books at a garage sale for five dollars, so I’ll be reading to my two year-old granddaughter this summer. Rose is already comfortable in French, and I’ll get to practice reading at a level suitable to me. Best of all, we’ll be snuggling together!

Audrey McLaren – Online Teacher

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney

is the life story of the title character. Lillian reminds me of Rosalind Russell’s character in His Girl Friday, except there’s no Cary Grant –  there’s only Lillian and the many characters she encounters in her New-York-writer career path. Also, there’s poetry.

Michael Clarke – Pedagogical Assistant

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

When my executive director asked me to include the book “Between the World and Me” in our public library, I pounced on it. I was immediately convinced of his incisive views on racial politics in America and bookmarked the book for this summer. Now, I can’t wait to read how his fears, misgivings, and hopes from just a few years ago so I can compare them daily to America’s ongoing identity crisis.


Kristine Thibault – Coordinator of Online Learning, Virtual Campus

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I wasn’t sure how to take it when I received this book for my birthday from one of my dear colleagues (you know who you are!) 🙂 I can honestly admit to NOT being a self-help book kind of girl, but Jen Sincero’s straight shooting, hilarious style has kept me reading on. The author delivers many truth bombs that had me reflecting on the unhealthy/unhelpful ways our thinking can sabotage our lives. So far, this read is funny, insightful, motivating and self-validating. Thanks for the gift!

Louise-Gilles Lalonde – Systems Administrator

Words of the Huron by John Steckley

Despite having been studied and documented extensively since the 17th century, the Wendat language has almost disappeared in Quebec, with only a handful of native speakers still alive today. Initiatives are now being taken to revive and promote Wendat inside and outside the Wendake reserve. This book is one of the reference material used in classes for learning the vocabulary, syntax and cultural context of the Wendat language. Sehiatonhchotrahk!

Chris Colley – Consultant

Lifelong Kindergarten by Mitchel Resnick

I love to play, I love to learn through playing. Lifelong Kindergarten explores how all deep learning stems from play, engagement, discovery, creativity, excitement, freedom to explore, choice… kinda like being in kindergarten for life. Mitch Resnick’s position is that education should be built on Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play!  This book explains how…

Rosie Himo – Administrative Assistant

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

The Danes claim to be the happiest nation on earth in terms of education, childcare, taxes and food. Read the book to find out if you agree and how we (as Canadians) compare to their living standards. The book is available for your reading pleasure in our LEARN library.

Sylwia Bielec – Consultant, blog editor

The Future is History by Masha Gessen

Come for the clever wordplay, stay for the unsettling glimpse of a culture at once so unlike our own, and at the same time terrifyingly close. As Russia appears more and more often in the world news, I thought I would try to learn more about this powerhouse country who holds none of our truths to be self-evident. A looking-glass kind of book, where you find yourself not knowing what you knew in the first place.


And on that note, have a great summer. I think we’ve all earned a little light at the end of this 2017-2018 tunnel!