book cover for Enduring Freedom

Enduring Freedom

By Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy
Star Rating

Rated by Kristen R
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

Book cover

Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom From Young Children at School

By Carla Shalaby
Star Rating

Rated by Chris K.
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 a

The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need From Grownups

By Erika Christakis
Star Rating

Rated by Chris K.
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