book cover for Enduring Freedom

Enduring Freedom

By Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy
Rated by Kristen Re.
Jan 21, 2022

In Enduring Freedom we get the human side of war from two perspectives.  The novel shares how two people from different backgrounds react to the same events.  The setting takes place mainly in Farah, Afghanistan after 9/11.  Joe, a U.S. Army soldier from Iowa, is serving his first tour in Afghanistan when he meets Baheer, a sixteen-year old local.  There is a language barrier at first, but there is no mistaking that they both want to defeat the Taliban.  They forge a friendship in which they rely on each other's bravery and knowledge to make it through some tough situations. 

It is a great

Sep 3, 2021

A fascinating and quietly powerful book.

I can't remember for sure, but I believe this was recommended to me by a high school teacher even though the four children at its center are first graders; its wisdom is that widely applicable. I even kept mentally applying its situations to my workplace manager-employee relationships. It's something I recommend for all educators, parents, and managers--to anyone with power over others.

Troublemakers struck me with particular relevance and immediacy because my two children are currently in kindergarten and first grade and have been known to cause

Educated by Tara Westover


Rated by
Jun 22, 2021

Educated is the memoir of Tara Westover who grew up in a sheltered Mormon home in Idaho. Westover was born into a family led by the orders of her father; a man who believes in constantly preparing for the end times and keeping his children a secret from the government. As a child, Westover and her siblings were not allowed to attend school and instead forced to work at the family junkyard. When Westover was seventeen years old she taught herself the material required to take the ACT and get into college. She eventually got into multiple prestigious universities and excelled in her separation

Jan 14, 2021

The Battle for Room 314 by Ed Boland, published in 2016, tells the compelling story of his year teaching in an inner-city high school in New York City. As a young man, Boland worked for Project Advance, a non-profit working to place low-income, inner-city students in elite boarding schools and eventually Ivy League universities; however, he begins to feel unfulfilled and wants to widen his impact to help more deserving students. Therefore, he goes back to school to get his teaching degree and ends up getting hired in an inner-city high school –this story follows the trials and tribulations of

Sep 16, 2016

Christakis begins with a very simple premise: that, for preschoolers, schooling and learning are often two different things. That young children are much more powerful and capable than we often give them credit for, that they primarily learn through relationships and play, and that the educational push to make their school experience more focused on "academic readiness" runs counter to their natural inclinations for learning.

She then spends nearly 400 pages comprehensively exploring that idea across the many dimensions and aspects of early childhood education. She has been a child, parent

Jan 26, 2013

The author, a journalist, reviews psychological, sociological, educational, and medical literature and makes conclusions about what is needed to close the gap in educational gains between poor and rich children. His most compelling assertion is that a nurturing relationship between a child and at least one parent in the first year of life is a catalyst for emotional and physiological brain development for learning, stress management, and successful living which he defines as completing a high school or college degree, career, avoidance of incarceration, and a lasting marriage. Another

Aug 3, 2010

Stones into Schools by Greg MortensonStones into Schools: Promoting peace with books, not bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, picks up where the author’s first book, the best-seller Three Cups of Tea, left off. (See review of Three Cups of Tea in Staff Picks blogs.) The Central Asia Institute (CAI) which author Greg Mortenson founded in the 90’s continues to build schools in Pakistan, and has expanded its efforts into neighboring Afghanistan. Though Mortenson longs to spend more of his time in these two countries, it becomes increasingly clear that his ability to raise funds and awareness by promoting his books requires him to