Last week, I listened to an episode of the Choice Literacy Podcast: Empowering Readers with Sara Kajder. I was struck by Sara’s honesty as she shared, “Over the past few months, there are times when I’ve been alive as a reader and there are times when I can’t give a book ten pages before I have to go back and reread those ten pages because something’s just not clicking for me.” In fact, I felt seen (as I’m sure our students do when we share honestly about our own struggles as readers).
I have always been a teacher who reads. My TBR list is seemingly endless and consistently stacked with middle grade fiction. I almost always have a book recommendation when fourth graders are in need of one, and talking with readers in the classroom is a small joy that I am still savoring each morning. My independent reading life, however, has been in a state of flux since the pandemic hit. When we closed down last March, I was ready to curl up and read. April and May were quiet, but I devoured a summer stack I had been looking forward to. What has my reading life looked like since tackling the challenge of hybrid teaching? Let’s just say my brain is tired so I’ve been taking a break from books in the evenings.
Perhaps it is the hopeful signs of spring or the wave of enticing new middle grade releases, but I am currently feeling reenergized as a reader. Check out the titles in my current kid lit stack:
Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter is a graphic novel for pet lovers. It serves as an opportunity to empathize with kiddos who have allergies, and the family dynamic may draw out some laughter.
Simon B. Rhymin’ by Dwayne Reed is a window into Simon’s life in Chicago and full of playful rap lyrics. Young readers will learn important life lessons about building confidence and using their voices in productive ways.
The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold invites us to walk in Gabrielle’s shoes — a ten-year-old girl who leaves Haiti all on her own. How will she cope with being in a new country? I hear something magical is about to happen.
I’m excited to finish enjoying these titles so I can add them to our First Chapter Friday lineup! What’s in your book stack as the new season blooms?