Uplift Directors and their favorite books

At Uplift, it’s not hard to get our directors to talk about their favorite books.  Below, some of our campus leaders discuss the books they enjoyed in their formative years, the books they read to scholars, the books that they enjoy now, and the books that help them enhance their leadership abilities.

Christine Denison

Christine Denison Uplift Triumph Primary Director:

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss—this book shows that everyone plays a part in taking care of our planet and how important it is to care for our natural resources like (Truffula) trees!

One Hundred Year of Solitude—this book is about a family in a Latin American country and follows the family through centuries. It is magical realism, one of my favorite literature genres!

The One and Only Ivan—I read this because our third graders are reading it this year. It is such a touching book and although the characters are animals their struggles are very real. I was moved to tears more than once when reading this book!

There is a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom—I remember reading this when I was in 5th grade, and as a 5th grade teacher loved reading it with my scholars again.

Teaching with Love and Logic—I read this my first year teaching and it transformed the way that I approached classroom management. I still use the techniques that I learned in this book with scholars at Uplift Triumph Prep!   The book encourages choices and reflection, something that we want all of our scholars to have and do!

Emily HugginsUplift Grand Primary Director Emily Huggins

My favorite book that I read to my scholars in kindergarten:  No David & David Goes to School by David Shannon because they teach valuable lessons about how to follow school rules in a fun way & scholars are able to connect to the characters in the book in a playful and funny way

I don’t have a specific favorite book for scholars but one way to promote a scholar’s love for literacy is finding books that are about a topic they are passionate about so scholars are excited about reading.

My favorite book for scholars to have an “ah-ha” moment is Chrysanthymum by Kevin Henkes because it teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of being kind and that words can hurt feelings. It is such a great book to use to build classroom culture. Scholars are able to identify with the characters and it does have advanced vocabulary words so can be used with multiple grade levels.

Uplift Peak Middle School Director Emily Nolen:  “My go-to books as a reference on how to become a better leader are:”

Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute

The Flip Side by Flip Flippen

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Servant by James Hunter

Mindset by Carol Dweck

sharon duplantier

Uplift Hampton Middle School Director Sharon Duplantier: “The Young adult genre is my favorite, therefore the following five books are my favorite in the genre.”

Harry Potter Series (#4 and #7 are my absolute favorites)

The Fault in Our Stars


The Hunger Games

Freak the Mighty

remy washington

Uplift High School Director Remy Washington: “These are my top-five must read books for all High School Scholars.”

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Giver by Lois Lowry

To Kill a Mockingbird by  Harper Lee

Obasan by Joy Kogawa

Ginger Cole-Leffel

Ginger Cole-Leffel Uplift Meridian Primary Director:  “I have favorites within a few categories that I would like to share.  My favorite books personally, for parents, scholars, and parents are the following.” 

My favorite parenting Book: The Whole Child Brain

My favorite series: Harry Potter

My favorite adult read: Cutting for Stone

A fun novel to read with my scholars: Holes by Louis Sacharr

A serious novel to read with my scholars: Night by Elie Wiesel

Katie Leinenkugel

Katie Leinenkugel Uplift Pinnacle Primary Director: “When I was a primary scholar the books that I most wanted to hear my parents read to me were”:

Where the Wild Things Are

The Napping House


Goodnight Moon

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Ginger Cole-Leffel Uplift Meridian Primary Director

I have a lot of favorite books depending on the situation but if I had to choose

Parenting Book: The Whole Child Brain

Series: Harry Potter

Adult Read: Cutting for Stone

Novels I Read with my Students:

  • Fun: Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Serious: Night by Elie Wiesel

April Sandolph Uplift Mighty Primary Director

 Charlotte’s Web

The Giver

James and the Giant Peach

The Giving Tree

Flower’s for Algernon

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