Free to Read: Week Two WRAD14 Challenge

We are in week two of the WRAD Blog challenge and I had so much fun with this post. I liked being able to ask my daughter the questions and see what her reply would be. Even though we will be moving into week three tomorrow, I plan to ask my students some of these questions and post their answers.

My daughter, Audrey is six years old and in first grade. She loves to read, often getting in trouble at school for reading the book in her desk instead of paying attention, but that’s a whole different story…


Here are our answers to the questions for this week. My reactions to Audrey’s answers and in italics.

1. I think everyone in the world should read…

Me: … WHATEVER THEY WANT! (Sorry for shouting, but I feel a might strongly about this.) It breaks my heart when students don’t get to read the book they want to read. Yes, we should encourage them to branch out and grow as readers, that’s why they can check out more than one book at a time. We did away with Accelerated Reader at my school several years ago (Yay!) but some teachers have started using a free online quiz program that is similar. And some of the same problems, when those classes come from checkout, have already started. I had one 1st grader, who is a strong reader, checking out Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. I asked her if she wanted the second book Knuffle Bunny Two. It had been turned in recently and was right behind me on the bookcart, (I like to be helpful like that 😉 ).

“No thanks, there isn’t a quiz for it”.

“Are you sure, it’s really good!”

“No, I have to met my quiz goal”.



Audrey: … nonfiction. Because you can learn from it, and you can learn stuff you don’t know.

This reply kind of surprised me because we mostly read fiction picture books at bedtime. She does like to read my magazines after school and checkout nonfiction. Guess we need to beef up the nonfiction books at home!


2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be…

Me: … someone British! I love accents, so maybe Sir Patrick Stewart. His voice is so “engaging”  (Trekkies did you see what I did there? 😉 )  For the most part, I can listen to almost anyone, if it’s a good story. 🙂

Audrey: … my mommy, because she can read really good. (I really think that, hey… you don’t have to type that!)


3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is…

Me: …animals and regional accents.   I love to read Three Little Gators by Helen Ketteman, I may not have a perfect east Texas accent but it’s funny and the kids laugh.  I also enjoy saying “Affirmative” when reading the delightful Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman.

Audrey… puppies! (Put an excite mark, because I LOVE puppies)

4. The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is…

Me: …science fiction. I have always loved science fiction (and fantasy to a lesser degree). I love the classics from the Golden Age of Science Fiction with authors like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, and Anne McCaffrey.

Last year, I read Wool by Hugh Howey and it blew my mind! I still think about it and have read several books by other authors set in his Wool Universe. I think it got picked up to be made into a movie, but read it first! I also really liked his Molly Fyde series. Currently, I have been reading a lot of young adult dystopian novels, here are some of my favorites: (links are to the first book of each series)

The Giver series by Lois Lowry
Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
The Frost Chronicles by Kate Avery Ellison
Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
Matched Trilogy by Allie Condie
Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The Taking Series by Melissa West
The Testing Series by Joelle Charbonneau

I could go on and on, even just compiling this list I kept finding series I haven’t read yet and need to add to my must read list!

Audrey: … books about puppies.

 We are reading our way through the Puppy Place series right now, can you tell! And yes we do have a dog so she isn’t starved for puppy love.


5. My favorite part about reading aloud or being read to is…

Me: … performing for the audience. I love seeing the students’ reactions, when they laugh at the right parts, or wait in suspense for me to turn the page and the gasp of the reveal. Two years ago for the 2012 Global Read Aloud, I read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate with a 4th grade class during their lunch time, for the whole month of October. Now that I’m not a classroom teacher I don’t get the chance to read aloud entire novels so this was a real treat for me. I loved having them beg for me to keep going, which sometimes their teachers would graciously allow us to do. I miss that part of being in the classroom, I developed a special bond with that homeroom by sharing that book with them. When it won the Newbery we were so excited and not surprised, it is a wonderful book.


Audrey: … hearing mommy make the different voices, it sounds so realistic.

That makes me feel good, I love reading aloud to Audrey and I hope she will not outgrow this feeling anytime soon.


Well that’s it for this week.  I need to get on Twitter and finalize some WRAD plans, it is getting closer!

No Reading Aloud Until 4th Grade!






Don’t let the title alarm you! I’m all for reading aloud starting at an early age and continuing to read aloud even as students get older. You will see why fourth grade in just a few seconds. : )

March 5, 2014 is World Read Aloud Day.  The wonderful event is hosted by LitWorld.  I plan to celebrate with my students for the entire week starting Monday, March 3.  To help me mentally prepare I am participating in the World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge hosted by Matthew Winner  a.k.a. The Busy Librarian.

Here is my entry for week one!

Week 1: February 10 – 16

What is your earliest or fondest memory in which someone read aloud to you?

My mother was a teacher, I know we had books at home (I still have some of our favorites from when I was little) and I know she and my dad read to me when I was little, but for the life of me my earliest memory of being read aloud to is my fourth grade teacher!  This is one reason why this post has taken me most of the week to finally write.  I kept racking my brain trying to remember bedtime rituals, favorite read alouds…nothing!  Sorry mom and dad.  Maybe it was so common when I was young that my brain didn’t think it was that important to hold on to. I’m not sure.  So leaving the guilt behind, here is my earliest and one of my fondest memories of being read aloud to.

In fourth grade my teacher read The Borrowers by Mary Norton.  In case you don’t know the story:

This is the classic story–read and loved by children all over the world–of Pod, Homily, and their daughter, Arrietty, who live under the kitchen floor in a quiet, half-empty house and get their livelihood by borrowing from the “human beans.” “Delectable fantasy.”–Booklist

I loved hearing my teacher read this book aloud to us.  I have vivid memories of sitting at my desk, swinging my feet back and forth in excitement waiting to hear what was going to happen to the tiny family. And goodness, when Arrietty allows herself to be seen by the boy who just moved in… well, I can’t give it away but for fourth grade me it was exciting stuff to be sure!

One of my favorite memories of reading aloud was when I was the reader.  Early in our marriage, I was on vacation with my husband and was rereading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card for about the millionth time.  I kept wanting to tell him about the story and and since he was a captive audience, I started reading the book aloud to him while he drove.  There were some days of our trip that we would miss exits or sit in the parking lot because we would get so wrapped up in the story and didn’t want to stop.  Even though he could have taken over and finished the book by himself, he continued to let me read it aloud to him. (that’s one reason why I love him) I have read Ender’s Game a couple more times since then but I always remember sitting in the car reading aloud while we cruised down the interstate.

This year I will be connecting 20 times with other schools for World Read Aloud Day.  I am still working out the details with my friends about what story to read and how to share, but I know we are going to have a great time.  If you haven’t planned anything yet, and need some inspiration check out LitWorld’s webpage World Read Aloud Day Activities.

Help us “raise our voices” to celebrate reading aloud!