WE MADE IT!!!! The start of this school year seems like decades ago. Our bodies feel it, our minds feel it and yes our emotions definitely feel it. It is always a pleasure to assemble this summer reads list, because it makes the ending of a chapter, perhaps sometimes ending a book along our journey. This year LEARN says goodbye to Peggy Drolet, educator par excellence. So no matter if this is the closing of a chapter or a book, celebrate all that was this past year for a day or so, then wash it away and focus on you and your loved ones. LEARN wishes you all a wonderful break/retirement and look forward to supporting you down the road. But for now, peace, love and rejuvenation is on the menu, plus this small offering of summer reads.

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
Written and Illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Jill Davis

Christine Truesdale

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of years, it’s that it is crucial for our well-being to take time to disconnect from our screens and (re)connect with nature. This picture book was recommended by Judy Halpern from Learning for a Sustainable Future during her webinar Spring Story Walk: Books to Get us Outdoor and Cli-fi!, so I purchased it for our LEARN library. This beautifully illustrated story follows a girl who reluctantly lets go of her electronic gaming device to go on a journey outdoors on a rainy day. She finds a new appreciation for nature and realizes she is far from alone and has so much to discover just outside her cabin in the woods. My hope is that this summer is filled with your own version of magical do-nothing day. ☔️ 

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder

by Richard Louv

Chris Colley

Today’s wired generation often forget about nature in all its’ wonder; escaping into Tik Tok before a walk in the woods, or endless hours of gaming over a swim in a lake. In Richard Louv’s groundbreaking book, Last Child in the Woods, he explores how this disconnect from nature leads our young to some of humanities most troubling inclinations, such as obesity and depression. Through solid research this book leads readers to understanding how to heal this broken bond between humanity and nature. 🌳

Uncut Magazine

Ben Loomer

I have a subscription to the British music magazine – UNCUT.   As it happens, I’m about 4 issues behind and hope to catch up this summer.  I love the stories behind the music and album reviews that make hearing new music so easy combined with streaming services.  What a world we live in. Sitting on a balcony in Montreal, reading a magazine from the UK, listening to Altin Gün, my new favorite Turkish (diasporic) band.  Check out this review of a 1977 Big Mama Thornton concert album recorded in Montreal.  Now you want to listen right!? 🎶

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Paul Rombough

Every city hides its own cache of secret stories.  This summer I am revisiting an old classic by Italo Calvino. Invisible Cities is about the magical beginnings and intricate complications of unfamiliar, magnificent, faraway cities, in the form of a series of short tales told by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan.  As most of my blog entries will tell you, I am a lover of location.  This book is no exception.  Though this time I might be hard-pressed to map out exactly where Calvino is taking me! 🌆

Cueillir la forêt : Guide d’identification des plantes sauvages

Par Gérald Le Gal et Ariane Paré-Le Gal

Julie Paré

« Prendre le temps de fouler le sol de la forêt pour lire les histoires infinies d’un environnement qu’on se réapproprie. Pour se connecter, comme une méditation, comme un souffle profond. » Voilà ce que j’ai le gout de faire cet été ! Me balader, m’immerger, plonger au cœur de ma forêt pour redécouvrir ses richesses. Pour m’accompagner lors de mes promenades, j’aurai dans mon sac le guide d’identification pratique, Cueillir la forêt, la bible des plantes comestibles sauvages.

Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

Tom Stenzel

Delectable mushrooms are what we see above the ground and forage for in the woods in the late summer. But, there is so much more to fungi than what we see or what most of us assume about them.  Entangled Life uncovers the fascinating world that lives just below the surface and sparks reflection about the nature of life.

This Place 150 Years Retold

Sylwia Bielec

Anthology featuring 11 Indigenous writers, eight illustrators, and two colour artists. Writers: Katherena Vermette, Sonny Assu, Jen Storm, David A. Robertson, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Richard Van Camp, Brandon Mitchell, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, and Chelsea Vowel. Illustrators: Scott B. Henderson, Kyle Charles, Natasha Donovan, GMB Chomichuk, Ryan Howe, Jen Storm, Tara Audibert, and Andrew Lodwick. Colour for each story provided by Donovan Yaciuk, Scott A. Ford, Natasha Donovan, GMB Chomichuk, and Andrew Lodwick. In “This Place: 150 Years Retold“, a century and a half of Canadian history is spun anew in this graphic-novel anthology of stories, each written and intricately illustrated by different Indigenous authors and illustrators. The stories include historical as well as speculative fiction and are beautifully rendered in a variety of styles, which will be perfect for dipping into over the summer without losing the thread. There is a separate teacher’s guide as well, but shhhhh, let’s not think about that too hard right now.

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

Dannielle Dyson

This past year this non-fiction graphic novel book recorded record sales of over 750% when it was banned from a grade 8 classroom by a Tennessee school district. This masterpiece is a personal story based on interviews with the artist’s father about his Holocaust memories. The story portrays animals as humans which is a common sight in comics but the subject matter of this series pushed the limits of the medium to become one of the first graphic novels. For the Maus series, Art Spiegelman won an Eisner Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Marlee Rozansky

As an avid reader, I am constantly looking for the latest fictional read. I have decided that this summer, I will step outside my comfort zone and try this highly recommended self-help book about habits. Summer is the perfect time to create new habits and adjust some old ones. 📕

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott

Kristine Thibeault

I love a well written short story, better yet… a compilation of them! No matter how busy a person is, there’s always time to squeeze in a few pages of a lyrical, inspirational and (often!) irreverently humorous story. Anne Lamott is a gifted writer, and although I received this book some time ago, I keep going back to Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of GraceIt has been a difficult couple of years, and the stories in this book remind me to not only acknowledge all of the positive moments with which I’ve been blessed, but to celebrate them. 🏆

Guide d’identification et de gestion – Pollinisateurs et plantes mellifères by CRAAQ

Carolyn Buteau

My summer read is directly linked to my project of planting a pollinator garden for my beehives. For the past 10 years I’ve been curious about beekeeping and producing honey – so last year I followed a hands-on course to learn the different manipulations for each season, and set up 4 hives. I’ll most probably “bee” reading about pollinator plants and how to raise queen bees. 🐝

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Peggy Drolet

This summer, I will begin enjoying my retirement. My plan is to catch up on my reading. On my list are easy reading novels. I will enjoy while I am travelling or on the beach. Here is my first summer enjoyment read. The setting is Cape Cod, a place we visited often and enjoyed. It is the story of family legacies, loves, lies, and secrets. Nothing deep, just summer enjoyment. 🌊

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Katherine Dimas

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker is a must-read for anyone who brings together a group of people – whether that is a group of students, parents or partners. There are many tips for facilitating successful meetings but most importantly, as the subtitle states, it dives into why it matters. As connectors and leaders in your communities, this book invites you to reflect on why we bring people together and how to make the most of these gatherings – not just for us, but to ensure our gatherings benefit the people we bring together. Keep your page flags close by – you may even wish to try some of the tips at your next summer BBQ! 🖼

Over the boards: Lessons from the Ice by Hayley Wickenheiser

Craig Bullett

I got a little head start on summer reading as I took some time off before the end of the school year. I’ve been reading a few good ones but one, in particular, caught me off guard. Over the boards: Lessons from the ice by Hayley Wickenheiser. Sure, Hayley Wickenheiser is a legend. Hockey Hall of Fame, stellar Olympic career, medical doctor, and pandemic super-hero.  However, this book is less about hockey than I expected and more about the relationship between failure, grit, and perseverance. It’s a great narrative about consciousness and intention. I’m enjoying how Dr. Wickenheiser’s experiences resonate connections to the maker-mindset, especially outside of an educational setting. 🏒

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

Dianne Conrod

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles is an American road trip novel told from four different points of view. Two of the main characters are likeable brothers hoping to drive to a better life in California after their father dies. The other two are troubled young men who “borrow” the brothers’ car and lead them on an unpredictable journey from Nebraska to New York instead. The stops along the way gradually reveal more about these memorable characters. 🚗