IHS Teachers Recommend Books for Summer


Kevin Kane – English Teacher

  1. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan 
    1. Students should read this book because it captures universal elements of life that we all experience, whether you ride waves or not. Barbarian Days deals with things such as adjusting to new schools, growing apart from friends, finding love only to lose it, feeling trapped by society and the urge to blaze your own trail. This book is relatable to seafarers and land lubbers alike.


Beri Harris: English teacher

  1. Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    1. Atwood’s narrative is gripping and unrelenting. I think students would be extremely entertained and motivated to read it. In addition, Atwood’s unique diction and finesse with syntax provides a model of pristine authorship that students can turn to as they, themselves, are emerging as powerful writers. 


Ms. Hanks – English teacher 

  1. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey; I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley; Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner  
    1. I love memoirs because they are secret windows into the lives of people. Fey and Crosley tell their stories with a wit, sarcasm, and self-deprecation I think students will love and relate to. Zauner’s memoir is a more serious look at family, grief, food, and identity. I think a lot of students will see themselves in this work.  


Kristin Kamai –  Upstairs Office Administrative Assistant  

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    1. I think it is beneficial for students because it explores a world that Irvine students are not privy to.  Stepping in someone else’s shoes for a while can help understand just a little bit of the world someone else has to live in. I loved the book, and it sparked a lot of controversial conversation in one of my book clubs.  The book didn’t tell you how to think, but inspired you to think outside of your safe little world.


Morgan Rosser – English Teacher and Activities Director

  1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    1. This book is beneficial for students because it shows a different perspective than is often seen in novels and develops empathy in readers as they go on the character’s journey of self-discovery. 


Jennifer Harrington – Social Science Teacher

  1. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
    1. This book discusses the Danish attitude towards life, which consistently ranks Denmark among the happiest countries in the world and I believe it is beneficial to students because it teaches you how to create a sense of peace within your own life.


Courtney Smith – Social Science Teacher

  1. Walking in the Wind by John Lewis
    1. When there is tension or uncomfort, we often have a natural inclination to pull ourselves away.  This book symbolizes the hope that comes from resting in that tension and standing in opposition to laws that are unjust.  
  2. The Library Book by Susan Orleans
    1.  In an age where truth and fact seems a little bit elusive  because of the overwhelming amount of information found online, the library gives us roots and a foundation when we access information from a library.