srp logo blog size My kids have gotten a lot older since I first wrote about my love of reading aloud and we're still reading aloud together. A few weeks ago we were returning from a weekend in our Airstream and my husband wasn't feeling well, so I took the wheel for the four-hour drive home. How lucky and grateful and content I felt when my daughter took up our family book and read aloud almost the entire way home. Now that's what I call bliss. This summer we were planning to read a sort of "greatest hits" of the last 14 years of reading aloud together. But with the tragic event in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, last week (just a few miles from my studio), I can't seem to stop thinking about the racial privilege we take for granted as book-loving, middle class white Americans: our good fortune in having the time to read together, the access we have to literature because we feel comfortable and at home in our local library, and the opportunity given to us through generations of support in education and in just getting through the day. Sure, we've read some classic tales of diversity through the years. And we've had more than one conversation about race. (Our school district is roughly 75% non-white.) But while we still have time together, I'd like to add some more thought-provoking selections to our summer, something that will get us talking, even if it's awkward or calls me out on hidden prejudices. We may start with Between the World and Me, but I would love to hear your suggestions, too. For more about what to do as a white ally, read On Racism and Silence from artist Lisa Congdon. book garden quote by lettergirl on etsy 01 Meanwhile, I've got some new cards in the shop for all my reading friends. I've written this quote and printed it on folded notecards: the perfect way to reach out to anyone in your address book who might be feeling lonely this summer or who needs a bright spot in their day. (Available as a 5 x 7 print, too.)
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7 Responses to Reading Aloud.

  1. Jennifer says:

    I am a mom of young teens who loves to read aloud so much I became a primary school librarian! I just started reading between the world and me and I have to say i am struggling a bit, re-reading and going slow to make sure I am getting what he is saying. I am going to go back through and write down a list of authors he mentions for further reading. For young adult I would also recommend brown girl and the crossover. Port Chicago 50 by Sheinkin is very good, about all black navy company loading bombs onto ships in wwII. I’ll be interested to see what others recommend for young teens, as my son is especially interested in issues of social justice.

  2. CJ says:

    Funnily enough I’ve just written a post about reading to my children. We started after hearing about Alice Ozma’s book “The Reading Promise”. I have a feeling I heard about it here, from you. If so, thank you, it’s been one of the best things we do together. I have Malorie Blackman’s “Noughts and Crosses” on the bookshelf. I haven’t read it yet, I think it’s too old for my little people at the moment, but it’s highly recommended.

    • gina says:

      Thanks CJ! I put your book on my library hold list. (Stocking up for summer road trips!) I will tell you that I think both of my kids are more expressive speakers and readers because of all the reading aloud we’ve done. And of course, I love it when they read to me!!

  3. Elizabeth Anderson says:

    I read aloud to Charlie, my 14 year old almost every nite after we each read some of our own books. I am reading Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (very good), he is reading The Grapes of Wrath for Honors English this fall, and I am reading aloud to him Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City” – a tad dark but we are enjoying it – most of the time! 🙂

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