Slice 2013 7 of 31: World Read Aloud Day

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Yesterday was World Read Aloud Day, and books were being read aloud throughout our building. All revolved around kindness as part of our month-long Read Across America celebration. (More about last week’s kick-off here.)

I started the day in Kindergarten, where I read Philip D. Stead’s utterly charming A Home for Bird.  If you have not seen this tale of friendship, kindness, and determination, read it as soon as possible.  The kids loved the book (they clapped when I finished reading), and had many insightful observations about Vernon’s kindness.

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You can read Horn Book’s starred review here and learn more about Stead’s creative process at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

After lunch, I headed to first grade with Ame Dyckman’s Boy + Bot, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. The kids were mesmerized by this story, another gently humorous tale of friendship, kindness, and determination. Everyone thought having a robot for a friend would be a very good thing.

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Anita Silvey recently shared her thoughts about Boy + Bot on Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac and Kirkus said “Dyckman’s debut offers pitch-perfect pacing…”

Finally, I went downstairs, where teachers in grade 4-8 were reading Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, to their students.

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It was a wonderful day of reading at our school. Sharing these books offered lots of opportunities to talk about kindness. Hopefully, our reading and discussions throughout the month will help our students remember to always

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Thank you to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting this Slice of Life Challenge!

Slice 2013: A Snapshot of My Reading Life

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Yesterday was a very busy day, and by the time I sat down to write my first Slice of Life Challenge, I was exhausted. But I was also energized to share my wonderful day with people. So the post was written and online before midnight. Goal accomplished. However, in my sleep-deprived state, I failed to include the Slice of Life logo or thank Stacey and Ruth for organizing this incredible adventure. Thank you, Stacey and Ruth! After reading other people’s Slices last night and this morning, I am more committed than ever to writing every day.

I also noticed that other people were combining their Slice with Poetry Friday. This makes perfect sense, as we are all busy and there are only so many hours in a day. With that in mind, my slice today is my response to the World Read Aloud Day blogging challenge, to share a snapshot of my reading life.

ImageThe only rooms in my house that don’t have a bookcase are the bathrooms. (Of course there are books, though!)  Yet, I still have a stack by my bed, by my desk, on my desk. ARRRGH! I do my best to read them all, but I’m not going to hold my breath that I’ll ever finish them all. Then there’s the added problem of new books constantly being published. There is an organizational plan, but it’s flexible. During the school year, I do most of my work-related reading on the sofa or sitting at my desk when I’m at home. I do read in bed, but only novels or poetry. During the summer, I love to read outside. I have a wicker love seat on the front porch that I share with the cat. We’ve spent entire afternoons out there, me reading, him dozing. (Okay, sometimes I doze, too.)

As the literacy specialist at my school, I feel very lucky to have a full classroom. It is filled to the brim with books! All our guided reading books are housed here, as are many, many professional books. The bulk of my collection of picture and poetry books are also kept here. Not surprisingly, my reading at school typically consists of journal articles, blog posts, e-mails, etc. Of course, if I’m planning lessons, I’ll read and reread the text I’m sharing.

This all adds up to lots of books in lots of places. How lucky am I that I have such a rich reading life?

World Read Aloud Day Blogger Challenge

World Read Aloud Day Blogger Challenge

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Now & Then

Reading aloud to kids (anyone, for that matter) is one of my favorite things to do. So of course I’ll be celebrating World Read Aloud Day on March 6th. To help get ready, here are some of my thoughts about reading, now, and when I was ten.

1. I think everyone in the world should read…

When I was 10: Charlotte’s Web was the first chapter book I read on my own and I was sure everyone would love it as much as I did. (I still do!)

Now: It’s so difficult to narrow this down, so I’ll try categories.

Adult fiction: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

YA fiction: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Middle Grade fiction: The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Picture Book: Amos & Boris by William Steig

2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be…

When I was 10:  The elementary school I went to didn’t have a library, but the town library was right next door. So every week we walked there to check out books. After we arrived, we’d sit with a friend in one of the window seats and listen to Mrs. Rothschild read to us. Mrs. Rothschild was a tiny woman with a steel gray bun who, I found out later, was a former teacher and author. All I knew then was that I loved listening to her read to us every week. 

Now: Over the past 6 months or so, I’ve listened to all of L.A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack books, narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Kellgren does an incredible job differentiating the voices with subtleties in accents and tone. She also has a beautiful singing voice.

3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is…

When I was 10: I sang much more than I read when I was 10. Funny Girl was my favorite soundtrack, so I’d have to say Fanny Brice!

Now: Daniel in Daniel O’Rourke by Gerald McDermott. I love his lilting Irish brogue.

4. The genre that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is…

When I was 10: No contest, I loved fiction. 

Now: Nothing has changed. Fiction still dominates my TBR pile.

5. The last book I wish I’d written or inspired me to write my own story is…

When I was 10: A poster for The Hobbit inspired the first story I remember writing, a science fiction story about a spaceship crashing in a swamp near my house.

Now: “Paolo and Francesca” from Dante’s Inferno. This is something I’m actually working on. 

This was last week’s challenge, so I’ll be back later in the week with a snapshot of my reading life. Happy Reading!