Reading Nation
Hitting the Books
The Smartest Kids in the World

While I don’t make resolutions, I think January’s a great month to reset goals. One of mine is to include more nonfiction in my "just for fun" reading.  Our students are expected to be able to handle an array of informational text types and I’ll be reading nonfiction texts that I expect will not only inform me but inspire.

Here are two books I’m reading:                  

The recent release of PISA scores for students around the world has us looking outward as we think about how our schools are doing. I’m really enjoying Amanda Ripley’s The Smartest Kids in the World and feel like I’m studying with the students in South Korea, Poland and Finland who were profiled.

Hearts on Fire

Don’t miss the opportunity to read Hearts on Fire by Jill Iscol & Peter Cookson Jr. In the spirit of new beginnings, you will encounter stories that will reaffirm your belief that each of us can make a difference in the world.

Let me know what you’re reading.

Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

Photo credit: Simon and Schuster and Random House


Francie Alexander is the Chief Academic Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She works across both the education and consumer divisions of HMH, advising on the creation of educational products and services for children both in and out of school.

Francie also serves as a spokesperson on educational best practices, literacy, and parenting. She has been a frequent guest on NBC's TODAY Show, has written columns for The New York Post, and was "The Book Nanny" for Los Angeles Family Magazine. Additionally, Francie has authored more than 40 Scholastic titles including Dots! Dots! Dots!: At the Museum, Clifford's Phonics Fun, and How Does Your Salad Grow?