Jason Reynolds can empathize with kids who don’t like to read: He was 17 before he read a book cover to cover. It’s a fact he’s shared with thousands of kids in classrooms and auditoriums across the country, as a cautionary tale.
“It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s not cool,” he told a group of seventh-graders in Stafford, Va. “The truth is, my life was made infinitely more difficult because I didn’t read any books. But I didn’t read any books. That’s my story. That’s my truth.”
I'm so excited for this book! "Phantom Heart" the short story beginnings of Mindy McGinnis' upcoming novel, This Darkness Mine," appears in the anthology, Among the Shadows:13 Stories of Darkness and Light. I was thrilled to learn that the story had been expanded into a full-length novel. I read Among the Shadows last fall. Although I liked "Phantom Heart," the story ended just as soon as it seemed to really begin. I need a good psychological thriller in my life right now. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!
During a family gathering last month, my five-year old cousin, in all seriousness asked, "Step, why you don't have no books no more?" Suppressing laughter, I replied, "I do have books, plenty of books, I just didn't bring any with me today." To Ayden, my presence means books and to be present without books for his sister and himself was an affront to his five-year old sensibilities. Particularly, since this was the second time I had been in his presence without any books for him.
I share this story with you because my attitude toward books has been keenly noted. At five-years old, Ayden knows I love to read and that I'm always giving away books. Just as my younger sisters' children know that I will never deny a book purchase request.
While reading Viljoen's article, think about the reading behaviors the kids in your life are learning or have learned from you? As Viljoen writes, "Someone is watching."
On April 27th, I had the privilege of being the guest reader of Thursday Night Storytime hosted by Hey! Helping Empower Youth. Since I had never before gone live on Facebook, my nerves got the best of me. Hopefully, it's not noticeable...well, at least not a lot. 😊
Hey! Helping Empower Youth is a STEM-focused nonprofit organization in Atlanta, Georgia. Hey! has recently launched a new initiative, Hey! Let's Read!, which includes curated monthly subscription boxes spotlighting books for children of color, written primarily by people of color, book fairs/festivals, and Storytime every Thursday at 8:15 p.m. (EST) on Facebook Live.
It's April and April means Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon!
Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual event and is held in April and October. I participated in my first RaT last April and I'm so excited to be doing it again this year. I will be updating this post throughout the day with my reading progress.
Martina Boone. New York: Simon Pulse, 2014. Ebook. Rating: Decent
Goodreads Summary: Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.
All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
Lilliam Rivera. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. Rating: Decent
Goodreads Summary: Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.
THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:
Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
After “borrowing” her father's credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.
At a recent school visit, a student posed a wonderful question during Q & A. “What is your favorite word?” he asked me. Caught off guard, I said the first thing that popped into my head. “Dream,” I told him, “because it opens up endless possibilities.” It wasn’t a bad answer, but it wasn’t the only one I could have come up with. If I’d considered it a little longer, I might have said, “Hope.”
Hope is the how of surviving my childhood, and the why of the stories I tell. I can’t imagine a world without it.