Tutor's First Love - Reading - Her Book Recommendations for Every Age

Last week in Desk to NestI described how becoming a full-time tutor allowed me to build some “alone” and small group time into my daily life.  After reading Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, I realized that far from being the extrovert I’d always thought I was, I’m much more of an ambivert, someone who enjoys a balance between time alone and time with others.

This revelation came, of course, while reading, one of my greatest childhood passions.  So, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share with you three very different books I’ve read recently in the hopes that you and your child might love them as much as I do!

Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash.     Thumbnail Image on Blog Homepage by Ben White on Unsplash.

Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash. Thumbnail Image on Blog Homepage by Ben White on Unsplash.

Elementary School: Because of Winn-Dixie

Recently, I was asked to tutor a third grader who was having trouble reading.  Her mom told me that she was reading this delightful, award-winning chapter book, so I picked up a copy.  I loved the story about newcomer Opal and the friends that her dog, Winn-Dixie, gives her the confidence to make!  I was also able to read it quickly and on the subway.  If your child’s having trouble reading, try reading whatever they’re reading, so you can talk to her about it at night.  Seeing your engagement might give your child the boost she needs to keep reading!

Photo by Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

Photo by Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

High School: Pachinko

Though I had trouble starting this book, it wasn’t because this novel isn’t awesome.  I had a tough time concentrating for longer than a chapter at a time when I first dug into this novel around Christmastime. (Yes, social media can erode even a tutor’s attention span!)  However, once the story of Korean immigrant Sunja hooked me, I saw my attention span grow. 

If your teen doesn’t like this novel, get him to read any other. In talks I give at libraries across Westchester County, I’m now recommending that high schoolers read novels. Digital distractions are eroding their capacity for sustained attention.  Unfortunately, in my work as a tutor, I notice that many English classes focus on poetry, short stories, or plays rather than lengthy tomes. Schoolwork’s often not giving teens the opportunities they need to develop the intellectual muscles needed to follow a plot and characters across hundreds of pages – so parents may need to pick up the slack.


Photo by John Felise on Unsplash

Photo by John Felise on Unsplash

Adult: Deeper Dating

Single parents will enjoy this unique self-help book, subtitled, “How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy.” As a never-married middle-aged woman, I’ve read more than my fair share of this genre, but Ken Page’s wise counsel transcends the superficial advice that sometimes populate books on how to find love.  Not for the faint of heart or mind, Deeper Dating is also filled with workbook exercises – so break out your notebook and pen while your teen’s doing his homework!

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

Do YOU have a favorite book that you’d like to share? Post it – and any feedback about this blog – in the comments section.  Next week, I’ll continue exploring the theme of LOVE as I’m doing all month long in the Desk to Nest blog.  To receive the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox each Thursday, click here.  

If you’ve got any questions about your child’s education, goal setting – January’s blog theme – or how to nurture your child’s self-love, tune into Facebook Live February 28 at 7pm.  If you’re busy at that time but would like me to answer your question during the broadcast, email it to me now.  It’ll be like having your own tutor in your living room! 

Until then, see you on Facebookand Instagram!

Wishing you a love-filled February (and ALL of 2019),

Dr. P.