What do the College of Education and Human Development faculty recommend for you?

This summer, take a journey through 175 years of teaching in America, dystopian futures, therapists' offices, 1930s Russia and more. The College of Education and Human Development faculty hand-picked their favorite reads to get you through the summer and back to learning in the fall. Browse the list below for suggestions, synopses and comments from faculty about their recommended books.  


The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog

By Bruce D. Perry

Synopsis: A renowned psychiatrist examines the effect that trauma can have on a child, reveals how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder impacts the developing mind, and outlines the path to recovery. What happens when a young brain is traumatized? How does terror, abuse, or disaster affect a child's mind and how can that mind recover?

Child psychiatrist Dr. Bruce D. Perry has helped children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers and victims of family violence.*


Brave Not Perfect

By Reshma Saujani

Synopsis: We are raising our boys to be brave, but our girls to be perfect. And this is holding us back.

Imagine if you lived without the fear of failure, without the fear of not measuring up. If you no longer felt the need to stifle your thoughts and swallow what you really want to say in order to please and appease others. If you could stop berating yourself mercilessly for human mistakes, let go of the guilt and the strangling pressure to be perfect, and just breathe. What if, in every decision you faced, you made the brave choice or took the bolder path. Would you be happier? Would you impact the world in the ways you dream you can?*



By Tara Westover

Synopsis: Westover recounts overcoming her survivalist Mormon family in order to go to college, and emphasizes the importance of education to enlarging her world.*

"This book is an inspiring true story of one person's powerful commitment to education in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The author grew up without formal schooling in a survivalist household in the mountains of Idaho and experienced significant traumas, but she found ways to self-study and attend college, eventually going on to earn her doctorate at Cambridge University. Her story is fascinating, inspiring, heartbreaking and thought-provoking all at once and will certainly prompt the reader to reflect on their own experiences, both academically and more broadly." - Kathryn Burke, Assistant Research Professor, Teaching & Learning


Friday Black

By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Synopsis: Set in a dystopian near-future of twisted prosaic settings, this collection of short stories explores themes surrounding black identity as it relates to a range of contemporary social issues.*

"I recommend this book because it makes you [feel] uncomfortable and question how you perceive race in this country." - Ben Torsney, Assistant Professor, Policy, Organizational & Leadership Studies


The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients

By Irvin D. Yalom

Synopsis: A culmination of master psychiatrist Dr. Irvin Yalom's thirty-five years' work as a therapist, illustrating through real case studies how patients and therapists alike can get the most out of therapy.*

"This is an excellent primer for students entering into the counseling psychology master's program. It is also a nice resource for Human Development and Community Engagement students in the mental health concentration. Yalom is candid and insightful and gives readers a glimpse of the 'magic behind the curtain' for psychotherapy." - Heidi Hutman, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Psychological Studies in Education


How to be an Antiracist

By Ibram X. Kendi (Temple Alumni)

Synopsis: In this book, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.**


The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures

By Anne Fadiman

Synopsis: When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover.**



The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession

By Dana Goldstein

Synopsis: A history of 175 years of teaching in America shows that teachers have always borne the brunt of shifting, often impossible expectations.*

"As Goldstein notes, American teachers are both "attacked and admired in equal proportion," particularly during moments of crisis. Through cases drawn from the history of American education, Goldstein's analysis provides teachers, parents, students and concerned citizens with insights into why the profession of teaching is persistently viewed through the lens of moral panic. A timely book for the summer of 2020!" - Timothy Patterson, Assistant Professor, Teaching & Learning


The Tsar of Love and Techno

By Anthony Marra

Synopsis: 1930s Leningrad - a failed portrait artist employed by Soviet censors must erase political dissenters from official images and artworks. One day, he receives an antique painting. The mystery behind this painting threads together each of the stories that follow, where readers meet a Siberian beauty queen, a young soldier in the battlefields of Chechnya, the Head of the Grozny Tourist Bureau, a ballerina performing for the camp director of a gulag and many others.*

"A wonderful collection of interrelated stories from a truly remarkable writer. One of my all-time favorites." - Michael Smith, Professor, Teaching & Learning


The Wedding Date [Series]

By Jasmine Guillory

Synopsis: Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.*

"As important as it is for white people to read books on systemic racism, I believe it is equally important to read books about black people doing normal human things. To that end, in addition to reading non-fiction, I also am reading fiction written by black authors.

I did not come up with this idea on my own, I read it on a black author's instagram/bookstagram: Nic Stone @nicstone." - Alice Berger, Academic Coordinator, Psychological Studies in Education


*Synopsis taken from Google Books

** Synopsis taken from Wikipedia