School Readers

Duangporn Turongratanachai

Consilium Education library specialist, Sal Flint continues her column – School Readers – in which she talks to educators about their favourite books. This month’s Reader is school librarian Duang Turongratanachai.

 Why ‘School Readers’? 

We all urge kids to read, but how has reading shaped our own personal and professional lives? I want to know which four books have most influenced the people I talk to – an unforgettable children’s book, a novel, a work of non-fiction and a ‘go-to’ book about education.

This month’s School Reader is Duang Turongratanachai.  From Bangkok in Thailand, Duang completed a B.Ed. in music at Chulalongkorn University, before going into librarianship full time. Duang joined Bangkok Patana School in 1992 when the library was just a small part of the Administration Building. During Duang’s stella library career, she has been responsible for developing and overseeing  library media resources, organising and creating interactive library displays and designing and maintaining the school library website.

In addition to being a wonderful librarian, Duang is also a fabulous illustrator. In fact, she illustrated my very first two picture books, under the nom de plume NokisMe.

It was great fun catching up with my good friend Duang. When I became a very inexperienced Head of Libraries at Bangkok Patana School, Duang was unwavering in her kindness and support to me as I found my feet. If school’s have ‘national treasures’ then she’d be worth her weight in gold.

Duang  Turongratanachai’s ‘four books’

(Click the book cover to follow the link to Amazon)

1. Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott’s Can You See Me?

“I love being a librarian, but I’m not a teacher, so I found Can You See Me? a really helpful book in learning more about autism. Can You See Me?  helped me understand the needs of some of the children at school better. I think it is a great book for teachers, students and parents, in helping making school a great place for all. Because it was fiction it was super accessible.”

What it’s about:

Can You See Me? follows the story of Tally, a 11-year-old girl with autism, as she navigates the challenges of school and friendship. Its primary audience is likely to be middle-schoolers, but the insights into autism enhances its appeal to a wider range of readers. It’s worth mentioning that Libby Scott is autistic.

 

2. Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie

“I read Tuesdays with Morrie such a long time ago, yet it still pops into my mind when someone asks me to recommend a non-fiction title. I remember reacting emotionally to it – feeling both sad and uplifted simultaneously. I love how a simple narrative style is used to explore profound life concepts such as family, connection, culture, and love. Mitch Albom enabled me to look at life from an angle which encouraged me to reflect on what is important and matters. When I think about Tuesdays with Morrie it warms my heart.”

What it’s about:

Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir by Mitch Albom, which shares his experiences of reconnecting with his former college sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, who is terminally ill with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The memoir explores the real-life conversations Mitch Albom had with Morrie every Tuesday, through which Morrie imparts valuable life lessons about human relationships and the meaning of life.

 

3. Stuart Lawrence’s Find Your Voice and Be Your Best Self – Silence is not an option 

“I picked up this book by Stuart Lawrence in order to improve myself and increase my self-confidence. Reading it has given me some great insights into how to be motivated and it also has useful sections about approaches to learning. I think this would be a great read for teens who need some guidance and inspiration. I would recommend it being used when planning PSHE curriculums.”

What it’s about:

Find Your Voice and Be Your Best Self – Silence is Not an Option is about exploring strategies to be empowered to live positive, happy and successful lives. It achieves this with a straightforward narrative style, directly addressing its audience. This is intermingled with Stuart Lawrence’s reflections on his relationship with his brother Stephen who was murdered in a racist attack in London in 1993.

 

4. Charlie Makesy’s The Boy, the Mole, The Fox and the Horse

“Unfortunately, this book has been printed in a font that I find difficult to read, however the artwork is so incredibly inspiring that it is still a firm favourite. The story is weaved with a simplicity and beauty that captured my heart. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a rare book in that it is for everyone – whether a child or an adult it is full of depth and meaning.”

What it’s about:

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse can be read as as a fable exploring kindness, friendship and life’s simple joys. It revolves around the four characters in the title who each represent different personality types. The book consists of a series of conversations where the speakers reflect on the challenges and wonders of life. The themes of love, acceptance and human connections are integral to this story.

What Duang is reading at the moment:

Fiction: The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai

Non Fiction: The Greatness Mindset : Unlock the Power of your Mind and Live your Best Life Today by Lewis Howes

 

 

Sal Flint, is a Senior Consultant specialising in school library development at Consilium Education.

If you would like to share your four School Readers, write to ITM on

https://consiliumeducation.com/itm/contact-us/.

 

 

 

FEATURE IMAGE: by Lubos Houska from Pixabay