The Global Read Aloud

And the Winners Are…Global Read Aloud Choices 2018 #GRA18

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After incredible reading moments, thousands of people voting, countless hours spent thinking, and much discussion had, the moment is finally here….the reveal of the books we will read aloud and connect through.

The choices of these books were not done haphazardly.

Picking our books for the Global Read Aloud is never easy, in fact, I think it gets harder every year since we try to match the incredible experience from the year before.  Every year so far, we have been able to do so, and I hope this year is no different.

With an emphasis on perspective, on understanding others, on connecting and change, I feel that all of the books and picture book authors chosen will help us see the world in a new light.  Will help us make connections.  Will help us build community both within our own classrooms, but also with all the thousands of classrooms that will participate.  As usual, I hope you like them, I hope you read them, and I hope you read all of the amazing contenders as well.  Deep breath here.

Picture Book Author/Illustrator Choice

Julie Flett and Monique Gray Smith

For too long there has been too little focus on the voices and art forms of indigenous writers.  This is the year to change that.  The books that these two incredible writers create are sure to become heart books, books that stay with us long after the project is over.  All of the books here will lead us to be something more…

Week 1:  My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith and Julie Flett

Don’t let the format (board book) fool you, this book will elicit meaningful discussion for all ages.

Week 2:  Wild Berries by Julie Flett

Week 3:  You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel

Week 4:  A Day with Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell and Julie Flett 

Week 5:  When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson and Julie Flett

Week 6:  Your choice!

Early Reader Choice

I first fell in love with Bat as I read the book and saw it for what it was; a story about a boy who loves a skunk and who wants to keep it.  As the mother of four children, it was as if Elana had been to our house and witnessed our weekly fights over what to do or which pet to have.  And yet, wrapped up in its simple storyline is also a story about a boy whom others would like to label different but who doesn’t see himself that way.  This is why I kept coming back to this book, because how many of us have been in this position or how many of us have inadvertently tried to label others that refuse to be labeled?  I promise A Boy Called Bat will not disappoint.

Upper Elementary/Middle-grade Choice

I know this book is not out until May 8th, but this is where I take a leap of faith and hope you will join me.  I read this book last fall and have not stopped thinking about it since, it is a book that pulls us in, invites the world in, and also takes us on a journey to learn about ourselves and the world.  This book deserves to be read, which is why it has been chosen this year.  And yes, it will be available in other countries as well.

Middle School/Junior High Choice

Refugee by Alan Gratz
I don’t think any book has ever garnered so many votes for it to be picked and I am not surprised, after all, Refugee is one of my favorite books of 2017, as well as my students.  What I am excited about is how it is a conversation starter, inviting us into the world and to all that is happening and has happened, with people who have been displaced or had to flee their homes.  It is also an invitation to do more, to become more, and to learn more, which is why I am so excited to make it a Global Read Aloud choice.

Young Adult Choice

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Once again the YA category had incredible books to read aloud, all with their own powerful message and yet Samira Ahmed’s debut kept coming up in my mind as a book that can be connected with no matter where you live, and that is important for a Global Read Aloud.  With its story about fitting in, finding yourself, and also being vilified, I know that this book will create amazing dialogue in our communities.

So there you have it.  6 authors, 4 books, and a lot of connections to be made.  I hope you are as excited for the project to kick off October 2nd as I am.

 

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