WLRN’s daily news and cultural affairs show Sundial features news, politics, music, sports, arts and food — all with a local twist. It airs at 1 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Here's what the people behind the show are reading.

Luis Hernandez, host

jvoves via Flickr Creative Commons

"Read more" is a common New Year's resolution — and some of us even take on reading challenges, with a number of books, or to read more of a specific author or genre.

For our first #FridayReads post of the new year, we asked some local experts — South Florida librarians — about reading goals.

Charles Allen, Librarian, Miami-Dade County Library

This year, I want to read more about how capitalism intersects with and exacerbates things like sexism and racism. I also want to read more about the politics of the modern Middle East.

The audio link above includes an excerpt of Terry Gross' 1989 conversation with Sue Grafton.

I think the last time I reviewed one of Sue Grafton's novels was in 2009. I wrote that U is for Undertow was so good, "it makes me wish there were more than 26 letters at her disposal." Now, of course, that line falls flat.

Revisiting our favorite books from adolescence is a tricky thing. These are, after all, novels we bonded with during a very impressionable time in our lives. As with our first romantic loves, we're often not willing or even able to see their faults. Even in hindsight, our judgment is colored — by nostalgia, by comfort, by the sense that these books are old friends.

Teresa Frontado / WLRN

WLRN News does not have a book critic on staff. We’re a relatively small shop and we’re busy — reporting, editing and producing stories about South Florida for the radio and the web.

But many of us are readers in our off hours. So, this year a few of us shared the books we read that we’ll carry with us.

Summer Reading For The College-Bound

Jun 30, 2017

Madison Catrett, 18, grew up in south Georgia — in a town about 30 miles from Tallahassee. Her high school was mostly white, Christian, and conservative — a place "where education is not as important as football," says Catrett.

She's bound for Duke University in the fall — and she's a little nervous to go somewhere new, somewhere so different from her hometown.

Luckily, she and other Duke freshmen have a built-in conversation starter: the reading they've all been assigned — Richard Blanco's Prince of Los Cocuyos.

Sosyete Koukouy

Haitian Creole is the national language of the Republic of Haiti, spoken by nearly the entire population of the island nation. It's also spoken by at least one million people residing throughout the Caribbean and the United States. So it should be a fairly simple task to find plenty of books in the language, right?

Rakesh Satyal's new novel checks off a lot of boxes, but its charm lies in the fact that it wears all of it various identities so lightly. This is an immigration story, a coming-out story and something of an old-school feminist story about a timid woman learning to roar.

Nadege Green / WLRN

To encourage more boys to read, the city of Miami Gardens is teaming up with local barber shops.

Six-year-old Mikkael Stevens recently visited Top Cuttaz, his dad’s barber shop.

Around him, men were getting their hair cut, but he was more interested in a stack of books near the reception area and hanging out with Darrell House, a children's author based in Fort Lauderdale. 

House and Mikkael practiced their ABC's together. 

This is part of a summer program by Miami Gardens called "Reading With Style,"  which is part of larger  year-round reading initiative.

Courtesy photo Little Free Libraries

Next time you see a newspaper box in Palm Beach County, look closer. It may be a “Little Free Library.”

Palm Beach County is adding some “fun-sized” libraries, as part of a worldwide initiative to encourage more kids to pick up a book and read.

 These colorful boxes are designed to encourage children between 4 to 16 years of age. The books were provided by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County. 

John O'Connor / WLRN

The superintendents of Florida's two largest school districts say it is less likely they'll make students repeat third grade next year because of low state reading test scores.

State law requires that students earning the lowest score on the reading exam have to repeat third grade unless they are granted an exemption. About 16,000 students across the state were held back last year.

But Florida has switched to a new statewide test this year, the Florida Standards Assessments, and educators aren't sure they can trust the results.

departmentofed / Flickr

Nearly one in five Florida third graders were at risk of being held back because of low scores on the state reading test last year.

But this year the state might not hold back any third graders. That’s because a Senate committee voted to suspend those penalties this year.

The bill requires an outside group to make sure the state test results are statistically valid.

Sen. David Simmons says he wants to make sure schools and the state can depend on Florida Standards Assessments results before making big decisions using those results.

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Your Guide To The Florida Standards Assessments

Nov 25, 2014
Screen shot / Florida Department of Education

We're taking this week to help parents and students understand the new Florida Standards Assessments, which students will take for the first time beginning in March.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Miami Northwestern High School teacher Daniel Dickey says there's no silver bullet or secret book which will spark a student's interest in reading.

Instead, he says he asks questions and listens.

"I sit down with that student and really figure out what is it that drives you?" Dickey says. "Why do you come to school? Why are you here every day?"

He asks them about their plans, their dreams.