Spotlight On: University of Alabama’s James Patterson Teacher Education Scholars


Each year, The Patterson Family Foundation awards James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students that are studying education and are committed to teaching careers.  Over the next few months, ReadKiddoRead will highlight Patterson Scholars at schools across the country.  In the first post, we featured the scholars at Michigan State University.  For the second post, we're introducing you to the recipients at University of Alabama.  Read on to learn about their favorite recent reads and their recommendations for Kiddos!

  • Karie_Deerman
    Name: Karie Deerman
    Hometown: West Blocton, Alabama

    Teaching Focus: Multiple Abilities Program (Collaborative Special Education and Elementary Education)

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I love Nicholas Sparks' books, especially this one.  You can really get into his books because the characters and emotions are so real.  Once you start reading, you can't put it down.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Cam Jansen series by Davis Adler.  The mysteries in these books is so engaging that it makes you excited to finish the books and solve the mysteries.  They are fun reads for young children making the transition to chapter books.
  • Jessie_Dupre
    Name: Jessie Dupre
    Hometown: Willis, Texas

    Teaching Focus: Elementary Education

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book parallels the love story of Hosea and Gomer from the Bible. It's interesting to see how events in life can relate to things that happened many years ago.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. This book is fun to listen to and also helps the students learn their ABC's.
  • Kirsten_Hawkins
    Name: Kirsten Hawkins
    Hometown: Decatur, Alabama

    Teaching Focus: Elementary Education

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoy books that have a combination of suspense and romance. This book makes the reader feel like they are a part of the story.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee would be my recommendation to any young adult looking for a classic read! Another plus is that the story is set in Alabama. Roll Tide! For younger children, I would recommend any of the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park. I grew up reading these stories. Barbara Park did a good job relating to kids and keeping them laughing!
  • Heather_Hensen
    Name: Heather Henson
    Hometown: Vestavia Hills, Alabama

    Teaching Focus: Elementary Education

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  It is such a beautiful picture of pure and perfect love, and it parallels one of my favorite books in the Bible, Hosea.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn.  Her books are very relatable, and I always felt like I was part of the story.  The characters seem real, which made me want to keep reading to find out how their lives would turn out.
  • Meredith_Hogue
    Name: Meredith Hogue
    Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    Teaching Focus: Elementary Education

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I loved reading and learning about the South in the 1960s.  I also enjoyed the maids' funny stories about the families they have worked for.  The Help is a book that will keep you wanting to read more!

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Frindle by Andrew Clements. I would recommend any book by Andrew Clements but this is my favorite.  He is a great children's author and can relate to kids with his entertaining stories and characters.
  • Brooke_Jackson
    Name: Brooke Jackson
    Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee

    Teaching Focus: Elementary Education

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: Now You See Her by James Patterson. I enjoyed reading this book because it portrayed how a young woman dealt with things that happens in her past and what she went through to protect the life and reputation. This book made me think about things I would do to protect my reputation.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Giving Tree by Shel Siverstein.  This book is a tale that is up to interpretation by the reader. When I read the book to a class of third graders, I use examples to illustrate the interpretations I take away from the book. For example, it demonstrates that you have to work for what you desire in life and that everything is not just given to you.
  • Savannah_Perkins
    Name: Savannah Perkins
    Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

    Teaching Focus: Early Childhood Special Education, specifically focused on Autism

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I loved the history and the suspense.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  This book opens kids' eyes to other cultures and shows that everyone is equal.
  • Caroline_Rector
    Name: Caroline Rector
    Hometown: Franklin, Tennessee

    Teaching Focus: Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology

    Favorite Book I Read This Year: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. The book was a psychological thriller, my personal favorite, and I enjoyed the revelation of secrets and suspense that built up throughout the book leading to the true cause of Amelia's death.

    My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket. I read the entire series (all 13) for both Accelerated Reading and pleasure in middle school.  Any child or young adult who loves suspense will become addicted to following the lives of the three Baudelaire orphans and the misfortune that follow them wherever they go.