I had such fun with this week’s World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge, themed You and Someone New.
My task this week was to talk to someone I’d never spoken with about reading before, to start the conversation and share our stories about reading with others.
I knew from chitchat around the office that my physical therapist, Jeremy, has kids, and I wanted to talk to a parent about reading aloud. Here are the questions that I had to answer for myself, and to ask someone new.
I think everyone in the world should read:
Me: Two books came to mind right off the bat, and I decided that I wouldn’t choose between them.
The first is Wonder, by RJ Palacio.
Auggie is an amazing kid whose courage shines in this book. It’s about acceptance, and about not being a bystander but a supporter. It’s about finding your own true self and not letting others define you. When I first finshed this book, I had no words. Since I was able to think about it more, I have recommended it to everyone young and old, and even my mother-in-law’s book group read it and loved which makes me very happy.
The second was is El Deafo, by Cece Bell.
El Deafo is CeCe Bell’s autobiographical graphic novel about what it was like to go deaf as a child. The power of this book is so amazing. The reader in placed in CeCe’s shoes through a book illustrated all with characters who are protrayed as bunnies. It works and it works really well. I sent it to a friend who also went deaf as a young man, and he gave it very high praise. HE wants every teen to read it. Here is another thing about this book. For the first time in the history of the award, a graphic novel format won a Newbery Honor at the Youth Media Awards this year. Here’s what I had to say after I read it.
Jeremy: The Bible
Jeremy didn’t hesitate when he named The Bible as the book he feels everyone should read (I’ve read quite a lot of it myself, and I agree). It’s a tribute to his strong faith that he answered the next question the way he did, too.
If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me, it would be:
Me: Barbara Rosenblatt, who narrates the “Amelia Peabody” mysteries. She captures Elizabeth Peters’ writing and the characters unfailingly through each book, even growing with the characters as they mature. I’ve read several with paper pages, but listening is a particular pleasure. I’ve heard Rosenblat read other books too, and they’re just as good.
Jeremy: (After asking if it could be someone in history) Jesus.
When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is:
Me: The goose in The Perfect Nest, by Charlotte Friend. She’s got this wonderful kind of a Southern accent. Actually, all the birds in this book have accents, and all their parts are a blast to read aloud.
Jeremy: I like the opportunity to use a good British accent when I read aloud. I think I do pretty well with that.
The genre or author that takes up most room on my bookshelf (or eReader) is:
Me: Mysteries, especially for adults and middle grade readers.
Jeremy: I spend most of my reading time studying medical journals.
My favorite part about reading aloud or being read to is:
Me: I love the connections I make with kids when I read aloud. The sparkle in their eyes, the intake of breath at an exciting part of the book, and even the groans of dismay when the book is over or something terrible happens. We’re all together in those moments of discovery and sharing. There is nothing better than experiencing story in this way.
Jeremy: Reading with my kids and having them work on their reading is really fun. It’s so exciting to listen to my kindergartner discover words and read on her own, without help from us.
We had a great discussion that day. Jeremy talked more about the magic of watching his daughter discover the joys of reading, and how it made him feel. He spoke of how he hopes the same for his younger son. I took The Perfect Nest n for him to see at my next appointment and he took note of it so he could get it for his kids. This is why we share our story, and I love how “You and Someone New” opened a new door for both of us.
Jeremy was going to check and see if his daughter’s school is celebrating World Read Aloud Day, so that story has found voice in our conversations, too. If they aren’t yet participating, we may be able to do something about that!
If you are interested in learning more about World Read Aloud Day and LitWorld, you can look here.
For great activities you can share with others, you can download the Classroom Kit here.