I am avid reader. I have usually been a fiction reader, this past year I have been more of a nonfiction reader.
When I became a teacher, nearly 15 years ago, I had a few memories of books I enjoyed as a child, but not a huge collection of works–or works that were neatly paired with every standard.
Through teaching I have discovered an incredible appreciation and admiration for children’s books–picture books and young adult alike. It is through this journey that I have created an ongoing commitment to finding great books marked for children.
I scour Amazon Prime reading, I have an account with BookBub, I’m in touch with other teachers, I go to the library, I regularly go to the bookstore and look at what’s new. I’m always trying to find another great read.
I believe that reading books marketed toward children, towards young adults, keeps me young, keeps me connected to kids, and keeps me from languishing in the literature that was given to me as a child–yes, I did have access to great literature, but I did not have access to every genre of great literature. Yes, I did have access to great literature, but great literature is still being made, it didn’t stop when I was a child.
I enjoy reading, I enjoy reading more as a teacher. Teaching has opened a new realm of possibility to relive book memories, and create new ones; it has allowed me to venture beyond what I had been reading–and it gives added purpose to my reading (always looking for that next great classroom hit!). Children’s books are not just for kids. Young adult is not just for young adults. Great books are simply that: great books.