Dr. Bernadeia Johnson on some favorite reads

This May, we were fortunate enough to receive reading recommendations from Dr. Bernadeia H. Johnson. Since 2010, Dr. Johnson has been the superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, where she is directly responsible for overseeing academic achievement for all students, as well as the school district’s business functions. She’s also a passionate reader, and kindly shared some of her favorite books with us:

Leadership on the Line, by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky
My favorite chapter references leaders who go up to the balcony to observe the dance floor. In a crisis sometimes the leaders should remove themselves and observe/reflect.

Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times, by Donald T. Phillips
Great practical strategies for leadership during challenging times. My favorite is that Lincoln didn’t rely on the Generals, he walked among the troops.
The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
Simple advice that is life transforming. I’ve given it to every person who I have had the pleasure to mentor.
The Miner’s Canary, by Lani Gunrer and Gerald Torres
Coalminers relied on canaries to detect Carbon and Methane. Canaries served as a warning. If something is referenced as a “canary in the mine” it means that it is a warning for a dangerous issue.
Oh the Places You’ll Go!, by Dr. Seuss
Received this book as a gift for graduating and getting my Doctorate. Dr. Seuss books are for all ages and transcend time.
Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope, by Jonathan Kozol
Jonathon unlike any other, captures the authentic “lived” experience of urban youth.
Enrique’s Journey, by Sonia Nazario
Enrique’s Journey mirrors that of MPS students who have made sacrifices to live freely with their families.
Spirit Car, by Diane Wilson
A daughter tells the story of her mother’s history. A moving account of how a person tries to hide their history.
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Captures the experience of domestic workers during the 60’s – familiar experiences and stories from relatives from Selma, Alabama
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reread during the 50th Anniversary. A must read for everyone at least once in their life.
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, Mccain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
An account of the 2008 Presidential election campaign – discloses the inner-workings of a political campaign.
The Wolf Gift, by Anne Rice
Rice’s story of werewolves of how their gift is used to create a dual life, one as a companion and as an avenger. Also a must read is the Vampire series.
Zoo, by James Patterson
Animals start to act strangely and develop habits that are not in their nature. My new puppy may have developed something as well – she is biting and attacking – all 2 lbs of her.
The Devil’s Star, by Jo Nesbo
Murder mystery (my favorite) – Dr. Hole sets off to solve the murder and finds the villain and the police cover-up.