I can’t believe that the month is half over and I just realized it is time for the second annual Reading Without Walls. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this program, author Gene Luen Yang challenges young readers, educators, librarians and booksellers to read beyond their comfort zone. This can mean several things.
- Read a book about a character who doesn’t look or live like you. This one could be interpreted in so many different ways. Read a book about a character who lives in another culture. For someone who lives in a big city, it could mean reading about someone who lives in a rural setting. Religion, sexual orientation, geography, class and ability can all play a part in diversity. Recently I’ve read The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang and Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
- Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about. Personally, I tend to interpret this as a plea to read nonfiction about a new topic. At the moment I’m listening to the audiobook The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone and I read Wooly by Ben Mezrick. Maybe you could pick up a STEM book or a book about history.
- Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. For me, this one is kind of tough because I read so widely. I do not read e-books for fun because I use them in my research. But I listen to a lot of audiobooks and read print books for fun. Every now and again I push myself to read a graphic novel. It just isn’t a form that I adore but every once in a while someone describes one that sounds interesting. I really liked Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch. Novels in verse are another good choice.
I hope you will take the opportunity to participate. There are so many great books out there although we might need a bit of a nudge to pick up some of them.