What exactly is summer reading? There is no summer in sunny Singapore, but we do have the June holidays, a month-long break from school. There is a book that I would like to read, such as John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars (I’ve just spotted that in my school library).
I have just finished reading David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell and Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner, not exactly the light-hearted reads we might do on a vacation.
David and Goliath’s story is well known. A small shepherd boy manages to overcome huge obstacles and kill a giant, or so we were told. Gladwell shows a different side to the tale, where the shepherd boy was not as weak as expected, and he had merely fought the race according to his own terms and not to the usual expectations.
Gladwell is a good storyteller. He brings in other examples, such as how dyslexia actually is a blessing in disguise. People with dyslexia actually overcome their disability by improving listening skills and other methods, and this helps them to become great entrepreneurs. Interestingly enough, my friend was fretting about signs that her young son might have dyslexia, and she said that her husband who has dyslexia is a businessman. There are many other stories in the book, which makes it hard to put down.
Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner is a more serious read. It has implications for education. The disciplined mind is important for thinking according to the various disciplines. We cannot use our own ways to approach a topic. Teachers need to teach their students how to think according to their subject.
The Synthesizing Mind is increasingly important in the new century, as we have many sources of information. We must be able to pull from all these sources to come up with something that makes sense to ourselves and others. Teachers need to be able to do that so that our students can learn.
The Creating Mind requires someone with enough discipline and synthesis, but not too much, in order to create something new. They must be willing to venture into the unknown. The other two are The Respectful Mind and The Ethical Mind.
My school had assigned book reviews to the students. Here is a list of what some of them have been reading.
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. Inheritance by Christopher Paelini
3. The Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon
4. Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price
5. The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon
6. Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
7. Gone by Michael Grant
8. Praetorian by Simon Scarrow
9. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
11. Unforsaken Sophie Littlefield
12. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
13. Wolf Stone Curse by Justin Richards
What books have you read recently?