WRAD Blogging Challenge Post 2

Week 2: February 17 - February 23
Now & Then
Answer the following questions twice. The first time, answer how you would have when you were 10 years old (or any age from elementary school that you remember clearly) and the second time, answer in the present.
1. I think everyone in the world should read...
When I was 10:
I have no idea.
I think everyone in the world should read whatever makes them happy. I spent far too many years reading the books I "should" read. Some of the books were marvelous, and some were simply not for me. If asked which books I have loved and have recommended to people time and time again in the past year I would mention the books I have read that are examples of what I call truth in fiction.

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

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

When I was 10
I have no idea.

My husband. I love being on the receiving end of a read aloud. There is nothing that makes me feel cared for and pampered  like having the person I love read to me. After a frustrating day... read to me. After a great day... read to me. When I am tired... read to me. When I am excited...read to me. 
3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is...

When I was 10
I have no idea.

Donald Zinkoff's little sister when she goes bananas at his graduation. Everyone deserves to have someone cheer wildly for them at some point in time. I love to read aloud Loser by Jerry Spinelli. I love Donald Zinkoff and I love how my students respond to Donald's development.
4. The genre that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is...

When I was 10
anything and everything that could be checked out from the library across the street.

African-American Literary Fiction. My favorites include James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, J. California Cooper, Phillis Wheatley, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, and the list goes on and on and on.

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

When I was 10
I have no idea.

I am a reader, not a writer. I enjoy reading the work of others who are called to write their stories. I thank all the writers of the world for sharing their gifts with readers.


World Read Aloud Day Blog Challenge

This year I have accepted the World Read Aloud Blogging Challenge. This is my first post in the challenge. Be sure to visit litworld.org to sign up for World Read Aloud Day and for ideas on how to celebrate WRAD!

Week 1 February 10 - February 16
What do you think is special about reading aloud?
  1. Reading aloud builds community
  2. Reading aloud is fun and theatrical
  3. Reading aloud opens new worlds to readers and non-readers alike
  4. Reading aloud allows the reader to express emotions for which they may not have the words
  5. Reading aloud provides an "excuse" to cuddle up, or at least share space, with others
  6. Reading aloud broadens horizons
  7. Reading aloud makes classes of students cheer for fictional characters
  8. Reading aloud creates a shared experience
  9. Reading aloud nurtures the heart, soul, and mind
  10. Reading aloud shows that you care 


Truth in Fiction - The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone

Part One

"I laughed and ran upstairs to get ready. 
I hadn't read anything in four days and felt like I was starving!"

Part Two

"... I was still at the mercy of someone else's words. And Mother had told us so many times that that's something neither me nor Jimmie can afford to let happen, that we should take everything someone says, good or bad, with a grain of salt."

"One day you're living in your own home, and then it seems like with no warning, the next day you're carrying everything you own in a blanket or a sack or a ratty suitcase while being shooed from one place to another like a fly."

"Hoping is such hard work. It tires you out and you never seem to get any kind of reward. Hoping feels like you're a balloon that has a pinhole that slowly leaks air."

"You can tell you're reading a really good book when you forget all about everything else and know you'll die if you don't get to at least the end of the chapter."

"I know you can't read what someone's like by the way they look. The person who seems to be kind and understanding may be using that look to hide something horrible, while the person who at first sight scares you might turn out to be the gentlest soul you'll ever meet. And things like houses hide their secrets even better than people do. Things don't even have to try."


What I want The Mighty Miss Malone to do is, first, to provide an enjoyable read. Second, as with all of my books, I want this to be a springboard for young people to ask questions and do more research on some of the themes the book explores, in this case the Great Depression and poverty in general. And third, I hope that Deza can serve as a voice for the estimated *fifteen million American children who are poor, who go to bed hungry and whose parents struggle to make a dignified living to feed and care for them.

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis 
(late 2011)

*As I write this blog entry in early 2013 there are now an estimated  16 million American children living in poverty.