Global Read Aloud 2021 – Yes, It’s Happening #GRA21

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In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usual emails and comments disparaging the choices of books, overwhelmed by the world, that decision felt like the right decision at that time. In June, 2020, I could not have imagined how I would feel now in February 2021, in a world that still feels extraordinarily heavy. That is still moving at a very slow pace as we look for small glimpses of hope in the form of a vaccine, in the form of brief moments of togetherness that has eluded us for so long.

And so as I sat across from my husband last night, celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary at home pretending to be at our favorite restaurant, he brought up research that is being done right now on the power of hope and having things to look forward to. That for the first time in a long time researchers are noticing that people are not planning for things in the long-term because COVID has bogged us down for so long. That we are not planning trips, we are not making plans in the future and that they wonder what not having things to look forward to will do to us as human beings. And it made me think once again about the power of the GRA. About the many emails, comments, and reach outs I received after announcing that 2020 might be the last year. How some of you told me that it was the one constant in your year, that it was one of the biggest things that you looked forward to, that there had to be some way to keep it going. And you kept telling me, periodically an email would show up asking if I had made a decision, would I reconsider? And I had been thinking of it, after all, due to COVID teaching I didn’t even get to do it with my own students this year, it felt unfinished in some ways.

And so last night I made the decision that I have been pulled toward for a long time. The Global Read Aloud will be back, albeit a bit more streamlined, but it will happen in 2021. I feel a bit like a flake, like I played with a lot of people’s emotions, but in June it didn’t feel possible, now it does. And I hope you can forgive me for that.

So a few changes you may notice for this year are:

  • There will be no sign up, just join the Facebook community or stay tuned to this website for updates. That way I don’t have to send out emails all of the time to all of the new sign ups.
  • There will be no voting. Having contenders meant a lot of people got mad when they didn’t feel the right book was selected, so this way it should feel more streamlined; if you don’t like the choice, simple, don’t do the GRA this year.

What is information you may want right now?

  • Kick off will be October 4th and the project will run for six weeks as usual, ending on November 12th.
  • The official hashtag for the year is #GRA21, other hashtags will be announced once the books are.
  • Books will be announced end of March, beginning of April.
  • I will continue to try to find books that speak to a broader world experience, whether set somewhere outside of the US or with a broader global appeal, I am still looking for suggestions, so please consider nominating books here

I hope you consider joining me again as we continue to connect around the world, as we continue to create larger conversations centered in understanding, in acceptance, in empathy. I am excited for another year of reading together, I hope you are as well. If you have other ideas or questions please leave them in the comments.

Stay safe,

Pernille

47 thoughts on “Global Read Aloud 2021 – Yes, It’s Happening #GRA21

  1. Trish Hewitt says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The rich picture books I have read to my class the past few years have been so inspiring. Their message has truly been one of global hope.

  2. Leslie Tindall Morgan says:

    This is amazing news. It has been a trying year for all of us, and if someone says that they haven’t been a “flake” at one time or another throughout this ordeal, they are the ones that I would be worried about. Your vision to provide hope is a grand one, and I have always appreciated your big idea. Thank you for the endless hours you put into making this something that positively affects so many.

  3. B Kuhl says:

    I am so excited to read this. Dedicated educators have always been the source of light and hope for many of our young people. Yea for your husband to help you change your mind. Barbara Kuhl

  4. Nance Helmig says:

    Oh yeah! Thank you Pernille. We so appreciate you and all that you provide to our students and ourselves. In a time when teacher job satisfaction is so down in the dumps, it is wonderful to feel hopeful about the next school year. I like the changes you have made to the program too, anything to make this easier for you is essential!

  5. Ellen Smith says:

    I am so excited to hear of this decision!! The GRA has always been something I look forward to doing with my students and this past year it was not as easy to do with my students online and not feeling as connected. I am so happy to have another opportunity this fall, and home there may be a bit more normalcy in my teaching world.
    Best of everything to you Pernille!

  6. Cristi says:

    This is the best news ever!!!! Thank you for all you do !! Looking forward to continuing to connect with others through the GRA!! Be well!!

  7. Cindy Cobleigh says:

    This is the BEST! Looking forward to the book options – I usually do a middle grade novel and the picture book author. Has provided continuity through several teacher changes – another one coming this fall. Thank you very much for your renewed commitment.

  8. Kara Rowland says:

    Thank you. Thank you. My students look forward to GRA. Connecting with a class in Brazil was the shining moment in our otherwise disappointing school year.

  9. Cathy Johnston says:

    Thank you! I can’t wait for GRA21!

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 8:30 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  10. Anne-Marie Ross says:

    YEAH!!!!! Thank you!!!!! You pick awesome books….don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!!!

    Be safe and stay well!!!!!!!!! Anne-Marie Ross Library Media Specialist Manomet Elementary School Plymouth, MA 02360 Follow me on Twitter @MsRosslvsbooks Instagram @msrosslvsbooks

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 11:31 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  11. Eleana says:

    This was the best thing to see! I am so happy to see the GRA continue and that there had been a way to make it easier on you. Many thanks! My students will be thrilled!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for being willing to take this endeavor on again. I love that we can continue to give the children something that they enjoy and look forward to as their new normal. I know it is a lot of work and some unfortunate disparaging comments, but please know that you are appreciated. Your love for giving the gift of a great story does not go unnoticed!

  13. Linda Sanchini says:

    Thank you so much! “*Hope is the thing with feathers*” Emily Dickinson

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 11:30 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  14. mrsbrownreadingblog says:

    I’m so happy! I’m retiring but I’ll leave this information for my replacement!

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 10:30 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  15. Lesli says:

    Thank you sooo much for bringing GRA back, and for everything else you do! You are such an inspiration, and I love your ideas and your insight. You make a difference. Please believe that. And please don’t stop. You’re braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and smarter than you think. So many people love you! ❤️
    Lesli Lyon

    • Lesli says:

      Thank you sooo much for bringing GRA back, and for everything else you do! You are such an inspiration, and I love your ideas and your insight. You make a difference. Please believe that. And please don’t stop. You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. So many people love you! ❤️
      Lesli Lyon

  16. Vanessa Colabawalla says:

    Delighted to hear that you will continue with the GRA, Pernille. The power of reading with a global community his empowered so many students. Thank you!

  17. Sabrina Knight says:

    Yay! So excited to hear!!!

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 10:31 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  18. Natalie Watterson says:

    I’m so very excited to have my classroom be part of this again! Thank you!

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 11:31 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  19. Carol Pugliano says:

    Blended by Sharon Draper has been jumping out at me as a possibility. It speaks to the recent BLM events happening during the past year.

  20. Karen Zielinski says:

    I am so happy to see this. It is definitely something I look forward to.

    God Bless,

    Karen Zielinski Classroom Teacher Central Road School 3800 Central Road Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

    847-963-5141

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 10:31 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

  21. Ann McDonald says:

    This is a truly valuable asset to have in education! The books you have chosen have exposed many of us to stories we would never have had time to find. Of course, you won’t please all the people ever, but education is about learning– liking/disliking topics/subjects/books. I love your new attitude–if you don’t like it, don’t do it! It is a generous offer of your time and energy, to share your passion of books with others, to inspire us to go beyond our own classrooms for discussions, and to engage in topics that may sometimes be a little uncomfortable for us. Thank you! As a teacher of 28 years, I admire your ability to unite so many of us together in the common cause of inspiring our youth through literature! Thank you! ann mcdonald hood river, oregon

    On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 8:31 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” In June 2020, I wrote a post saying that perhaps > 2020 would be the last year. for the GRA That after 11 years, perhaps it > was time to say goodbye, end on a high note, move on to other things. Mired > by the pressures of the world, bogged down by the usua” >

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