Tag Archives: culture

Family 2

Racism and Children: Read, Talk About What You Read

Kids are home from school (still) and the vastness of summertime stretches before us filling our vision of what that once meant, and how, due to the pandemic and to overdue showcased racial inequalities in our lives, those possibilities have forever changed. I recently read, with a strong measure of personal embarrassment and regret, a book […]

solo reader

The Simplicity of Building Literacy Foundations

This week, my hometown newspaper published a list of 100 books to enjoy during social distancing, which reminded me of many similar lists that have been published recently for parents, for new graduates, and for kids. The Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards lists of books preferred by kids are among my favorites. (I featured them in my May 21, 2020, blog.) […]

Sierra Nevada College

Building a Future from Tragedy

These days there are so many ways for us to dismiss a religious, political, racial or economic individual or group as not fitting, in one way or another, and thus not seen as any kind of asset to our lives. All my life, I’ve heard that children can be so cruel and petty to each other. […]

Books 3

The Perfect Pastime for All Times

Like so many others during this stay-at-home period, I have spent an unusual amount of time watching television, especially news or current events programming. It helps me stay up to date on how my life, which feels completely out of my control, is likely to change or when it might ever return to some semblance […]

Reading to Family 1

Reading Aloud is Good for the Whole FAMILY

March is National Reading Awareness Month designed to showcase the value of reading. That’s a good thing, but the focus is always about better children’s reading, which belies the vast powers of sharing reading with the whole family. Sharing reading of anything by anybody within a family can be a HUGE asset for creating a culture […]

Magical books

And the Best Gifts Ever are…

In many countries around the globe, it’s the gift giving time of year when our attentions drift toward how we can delight our loved ones with a thoughtful gift. I know this will come as a surprise, but my favorite gifts are books because they are a gift you can open again and again. Books also make […]

BE Kind 4

“Be Kind” and Other Words That Matter

One recent morning my wife and I drove to an appointment in Eminence, Ky., just outside of Louisville. It was a gorgeous start to a new day with the east ablaze with “sky blue pink” (as my wife calls it) behind a single bank of fluffy clouds. As we wound through the countryside we passed a […]

Magical books

What’s Your Pick Up Line?

  Whatcha reading? Conversation between strangers builds bridges. In these troubled times, initiating an interchange focused on a neutral or shared interest can quickly create a positive tone, too seldom enjoyed in the past few years. How’s your book? There are simple book-focused questions that can easily open a conversation between two strangers. The open sharing […]

Family 2

Deeply Shared Books Create Community

I’ve mentioned before that I’m involved with a family literacy program called Prime Time* that meets in a lovely elementary school’s library once a week for six weeks. I take the role of discussant and my partner, an accomplished storyteller, initiates each book-inspired discussion with a fully dramatic read-aloud, peppered with sound effects, emotional fluency and […]

The Skilled Non-Reader

These days, pretty much every time we encounter the word “reading” in a communication about schooling, we’ll also find the word “skills.” For example, we might hear statements like: Our school’s reading scores indicate a need for better skill instruction. We need to assess her reading skills before we can identify a proper leveled book. […]