Hutchinson suggests summer reading list

By submitted, 07/25/21 7:30 AM

LITTLE ROCK – Since the days I was taking out Hardy Boys mysteries from the Gravette School Library, I have always been in the middle of reading a book or two. The First Lady and I read to our children and our grandchildren. I encourage families to keep books at home to read aloud and to encourage children to read on their own. A primary education goal for my administration has been to raise the level of literacy in Arkansas, which is why in 2017 we launched the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence or R.I.S.E. The goal of R.I.S.E. is to create a culture of reading in our state.
Our reading initiative also focuses on the science of reading, which is phonics, and making sure every child reads at grade level, and if they fall behind, to help them catch up.
When it comes to books, biographies and books of history are my favorites, and today I’d like to mention the books that are on my short list to read this summer.
And so the first on my list is a book about Harry Truman. It is called Dewey Defeats Truman. In his book, the author, A.J. Baime, notes at least one similarity between the elections of 1948 and 2016. I will let you read and figure out the similarity.
The second book is included on the list since this is the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attack on the United States. It is called The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett Graff. It is a book I wanted to read as we should never forget the attack and the resiliency of Americans.
My list also includes books by a couple of Arkansans. The Long Shadow of Little Rock, Daisy Bates’s memoir, which is her account of the events that we know as the Little Rock Crisis. Daisy Bates’s story and courage should inspire us all.
The one book of fiction on my list is a novel titled A Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver, who lives in West Little Rock. Her husband is retired FBI agent Bill Temple.
The story is a character-driven mystery that Rhona set in Yellowstone National Park. The star of the story is a young man from Heber Springs who played football at the University of Arkansas before he became an FBI agent. Rhona has named him Win Tyler, and the books involves intrigue that goes all the way to Russia.
And then I recommend the book called The Man Who Ran Washington by Peter Baker. It is about the life of former Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury James Baker. If you like the inside story of the White House during the Reagan and Bush years, this is a must-read.
That’s enough reading to occupy me at least until Labor Day.