Mona Voelkel

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The Global Read Aloud 2018 Starts Today!

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One of the most exciting literacy projects for any home or classroom is The Global Read Aloud. Started 9 years ago by esteemed educator, Pernille Ripp, it asks that participants read, discuss and share their thoughts about books over a 6 week time period.  This year’s selections are:

Picture Book Author Study Julie Flett, Monique Gray Smith
A Boy Called Bat Elana K. Arnold
Amal Unbound Aisha Saaed
Refugee Alan Gratz
YA: Love, Hate, and Other Filters Samira Ahmed

I am so grateful to Pernille Ripp for providing yearly lists of inspiring books.

I just finished reading A Boy Called Bat and it is a charming story of the very endearing Bixby Alexander Tam. Bat, as he is nicknamed, struggles to relate to others.  He has a supportive family and school community but there are bumps in the road as he navigates sibling dynamics and friendships. At the heart of this story is his relationship with a stray baby skunk that his mother, a veterinarian, has brought home.  Read this book if you enjoy heartwarming stories of growth, realistic depictions of family dynamics, an example of a compassionate “village” in action or are animal lovers.

Amal Unbound is one of those special books that you can’t wait to share with others.  It tells the story of a girl named Amal whose family faces economic hardships in Pakistan.  Amal’s burning desire is to become a teacher and school is her passion. One day, Amal’s life is upended when she incurs the wrath of the powerful scion of her village’s ruling family. Her life changes in that instant and she must endure being thrust as a servant into this powerful family’s home. This book will resonate with Malala fans, the real life heroine who risked her life to attend school.  I appreciated the window it offered into life in Pakistan, including many references to traditional foods and customs. Most of all, this book is a story of resilience and a reminder that reading a book is a privilege.  Highly recommended.

I am reading Refugee for the GRA18 and am looking forward to this story about children fleeing their native countries (Nazi Germany, Cuba, Syria) in 3 different time periods.

I hope you are inspired to participate this year!  The best part of the GRA18 is the community, who generously shares their thoughts about the books and also their teaching ideas.  Please see Pernille Ripp’s blog for more information, including a link to teacher resources and a request for self-selected donations to organizations that support the themes of these books.

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