New Merchandise Available for 2020 #GRA20

Would you like to support the Global Read Aloud and share your participation?  Look no further than the new Teespring shop.  Simpler design with just a few colors and shirt options, I thought it was time for a change, and also to make it (hopefully) a little more within reach for those who would like to show off their GRA love.

The Global Read Aloud White T-Shirt Front

The Global Read Aloud White T-Shirt Back

To show off your Global Read Aloud pride, visit the shop here!

For older designs and more variety in merchandise, the Spreadshirt storeis also still open but t won’t be for long.

Want a Global Read Aloud Sticker? #GRA20

Note:  Make sure you fill in the form, please. Otherwise, I will not be able to email you with the instructions.

For many years, participants have asked for Global Read Aloud merchandise and while t-shirts and such have been available for a few years,  last year I ordered 1,000 stickers just fr fun.  Since then I have been sending them out to those who would like them, a small token of pride and appreciation in this global project.

I like to receive mail and I like to send mail, so I thought now would be a great time to spread a little Global Read Aloud love in the world.

So if you are someone who would like a sticker there are two options.  Either say hi at a conference or see me somewhere in the wild OR send me a self-addressed stamped envelope and I will send you one.  To see my home address, please fill out this form with your email address and I will send you my address.

I am limiting the requests to one sticker per person as I am paying for these out of my own pocket and not selling them, however, you can combine your envelope with colleagues, just let me know. Once this batch is gone, I may order new ones, who knows.  Until then, take care of yourself.


Global Read Aloud Choices 2020 #GRA20

The past few weeks have been surreal, living in a time of a global pandemic and hardly ever leaving our house in order to safeguard ourselves and the world from a silent virus have shaken us to the core.  I have found myself reaching toward books now more than ever; finding solace within the pages of different worlds, reaching for picture books to pull my own children together after yet another day at home.  Reading aloud to my 7th graders as a way to extend our community and, of course, recommending and sharing more books, urging all of us to support our independent book stores, to support the creators that continue to make our world more beautiful whose appearances have been canceled.

We don’t know all the future will hold, but the need for connection and for finding each other in this time is a great as ever.   In its truest form, the GRA is an invitation into a world that we can share together.  An invitation into a story that will shape our experience, that will help us speak books with one another in order for us to understand each other better.  This year it feels more urgent than ever.  Every year I see the connections being made and think of each of them as a small chip in the many walls that seem to surround us around the world, I see it as one more step toward a more empathetic, understanding, and activist society.

And so the books are at the center of it all, which puts a lot of pressure on the selection of the texts.  Hitting publish on this post will once again mean me holding my breath, waiting for the reaction to unfold worldwide.  And yet, it also means that perhaps these books will change the way we think, the way we teach.  That these books and the creators behind them will become part of the language of books that we speak with our students.  That we will connect through the pages of these books and find ourselves more than we were before.  I cannot wait for that to happen.

The books chosen this year were once again a combination of the winners of the voting rounds and my own selection based on gut instinct.  The project kicks off October 5th, 2020, to sign up go here.

Please consider ordering the books from– an independent bookstore that partners with local independent bookstores to sell books. You can see the winner list here and support The Global Read Aloud at the same time.


Juana Martinez-Neal - The Author Village

This year’s chosen creator is Juana Martinez-Neal!

Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name, her debut picture book as author-illustrator, which was simultaneously released in Spanish as Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre. She was also awarded the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea, written by Susan Middleton Elya.

Juana is the illustrator of La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Niños, Babymoon, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, and Swashby and the Sea. She was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012.

Juana was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She is the daughter and granddaughter of artists. She now lives in Arizona, with her husband, three children and two dogs.

Week 1:

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Week 6:

Your Choice


Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by [Mian, Zanib]

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian and illustrated by Nasaya Mafardik!

Welcome to the imaginative brain of Omar!

Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?!

But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Daniel even tells Omar that all Muslims are going to be kicked out of the country . . . Could that possibly be true?

Luckily, Omar’s enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life’s ups and downs.


Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell!

Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government signs a bill into law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian no more” overnight–even though she was given a number by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that counted her as Indian, even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.

With no good jobs available in Oregon, Regina’s father signs the family up for the Indian Relocation program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She’s never met kids of other races, and they’ve never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.

Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it’s not that easy. It’s 1957 during the Civil Rights Era. The family struggles without their tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.

In this moving middle-grade novel drawing upon Umpqua author Charlene Willing McManis’s own tribal history, Regina must find out: Who is Regina Petit? Is she Indian? Is she American? And will she and her family ever be okay?


Prairie Lotus by [Park, Linda Sue]

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park!

Prairie Lotus is a book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Hanna, a half-Asian girl in a small town in America’s heartland, lives in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, and the townspeople’s prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story.


Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi!

This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

To order your books:

There you have it; another amazing year of connecting awaits.  Read the books, share the books, and get ready for another opportunity to make the world smaller.

Please consider ordering the books from– an independent bookstore that partners with local independent bookstores to sell books. You can see the winner list here and support The Global Read Aloud at the same time.

If you need to order through Amazon, please order it through this affiliate link, the cents earned from it goes to purchasing and shipping books to those who cannot get them.

PS:  If you still need to sign up, please go here.

Vote Now For Global Read Aloud Choices 2020 #GRA20

In the quiet time of our self-imposed social distancing and quarantine, I have marveled at all of the love, the resources, and the care that is going around the world.  Once again, even when some of our leaders cannot figure out what to do, we, the people, step up. We care, we love, we connect.

Every year, I see the incredible power of the Global Read Aloud as children around the world listen to the same books read aloud, create connections, and shrink the world through the bonds that stretch far, passing walls and borders on their way.  Every year I am not sure that we can find books and creators as amazing as the year prior and yet here we are; another set of incredible work to choose from,

There are a few things that mark a Global Read Aloud choice:

  • It is a well-written book, that also works as a read aloud, that will garner worldwide conversations, developing empathy, understanding, and deeper compassion for others.
  • The length is manageable for 6 weeks of reading aloud – this is a huge part and this is often where many amazing books don’t make the cut.
  • It has not been used before in the project.
  • It is widely accessible to people around the world.
  • It tries to focus on own voices authors as well, and a mix between US-based and global authors.

Voting will start today and run a week.  I am hoping to make the announcement of the chosen books and creators in the first week of April.

I can’t wait to see what gets chosen!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home – if possible.  Sending love.

Goodbye 2019, Global Read Aloud #GRA19

Today marks the official last day of the 2019 Global Read Aloud. Now don’t worry, if you are still reading the books aloud like I am, you still can, but today, many will have finished the books and the world will continue spinning.

I hope this year was worth it to you.  I hope you saw the connections made.  I hope you had moments in your read alouds and discussions that you feel will reverberate for years to come.  The books, the glorious books, brought us all together, and for that, I am so grateful.

The connections don’t have to stop here.  Continue to use our Facebook group to share ideas, to reach out, to use one another in order to keep the global learning alive.

Continue to support the authors, please leave a review for the book on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever you leave reviews.  Reviews are a free way for us to say thank you that boosts the visibility of the books.  Vote for the books in end-of-year reading polls.  Say thank you to the authors and illustrators.

Consider showing your Global Read Aloud pride by buying a shirt or displaying a sticker.  The proceeds go to buying more books and running the behind the scenes of this project.

And then consider doing it all over again.  Sign up for the 2020 Global Read Aloud opened this morning.  Spread the word, bring your colleagues, make it work for you.

Please give me your suggestions for next year’s books, I will be furiously reading as much as I can in the coming months until we open it up for voting again in spring.

And finally, just know that I am so in awe of this project and the many people who come together to make it what it is.  So THANK YOU for the love, the ideas, the care that you had with this little idea of mine.

For now, I read.

With love and gratitude,


Dear Global Read Aloud Community, We Need to Talk #GRA19

Dear amazing, incredible Global Read Aloud community, we need to talk.  Because while this week has been amazing to be a witness to; the connections, the sharing, the love for the books and the stories that connect us all, it has behind the scenes been really hard for me.  I thought a letter might be nice in order to help whoever needs to hear this remember a few things….

This is all run by me, Pernille Ripp, one person, who has a full-time job as a 7th-grade teacher, as well as speaks, trains, and writes outside of that.  Who is the mother to four kids ten and under and the wife to Brandon.  Who cannot always email you back right away or get you approved the moment you ask.  I wish I could, but I can’t.

I am one person reading as many books as I possibly can, who every year tries to pick books that will speak to the experience of people around the world, not just the United States.  That tries to pick books that will spark deep conversations around hard topics that are age-appropriate but may need some unpacking from the adults reading them aloud.  I rely on others to nominate books as much as possible so that I can read widely, I rely on others to vote and let their voices be heard.  Many kids live in hard situations that some adults say are too hard to read about, even when they are written in delicate ways, and yet the world could use a lot more understanding and empathy.  The books that are chosen can be tools for building bridges; we can help kids understand the lives of others in many degrees, even if they don’t understand all of the nuances of something.

You should always read the books beforehand and select the one that will work for you, for your kids, and for your community.  While I have also loved discovering a book alongside students, I would highly discourage doing that with a book that you are investing many weeks into it.  What if it is not a good fit?  What if it doesn’t work for your purpose?  What if you need to prepare extra resources in order to unwrap something?

If you don’t like the book, no problem.  I try to select books that I love and that will start conversations.  Please do remember, though, that every time something is posted about how the books chosen are the wrong choices, how other choices would be better, how they won’t fit your needs, how this year is the year you quit the project, that I read those comments.  That they make their way into my feed and I sit there with a heavy heart reading every single one of them.  And I try really hard to make this work on a global scale.  I try really hard to make this project as easily accessible for all.  To make this work, but that I am only human and those comments hurt, even though I wish they didn’t but I am working on that.

The GRA is free.  I don’t make any money from it but instead spend my own money to send books to people who cannot get them otherwise, to keep the blog running, to pay for lawyers for trademarking and protecting the name.  I will never charge anyone to participate in the GRA.  The premise has always been that all you need is the one book to read aloud, not class sets, not fancy anything, just a book and a way to share it.  This is why I ask everyone to please not sell anything using the project or the people in it.  It goes against the spirit of everything it stands for, and when I ask you to please stop, please be gracious.  Telling me that you are disappointed that I don’t understand that you are just trying to make a living or other negative things does not change my mind, it only cements me asking you to stop further.

That I realize that this year I picked a start date that coincided with Rosh Hashanah and for that I am sorry.  I apologized publicly for it a little while ago but will gladly state it again; I am sorry, it was an oversight and I will do better.  As someone who does not live by any religious calendars, I am at times not clued into major holidays and celebrations, I try but sometimes I fail.  I also know that every year the start date will naturally collide with other holidays, school breaks, or crazy weather.  There simply is no great start date that works for the whole world.  The date I pick every year doesn’t ever work for my own students, we always start two weeks late but rather than push it further in the year, I keep the same and make it work.  Please make it work for you as well if you want, just don’t read ahead, or if you do, don’t spoil it.

That I wish this project could be everything you wanted it to be.  I try, the community tries, but sometimes it won’t work, and that’s ok too.  No need to announce your departure or slam the doors, just do what you need to do and know you will always be welcomed back.

I never set out to create a global project but it is what I have created.  I love this project like a fifth child, and this year in its tenth year, it still floors me that so many of you show up every year.  I am one person and so as one person I can only give you my deepest appreciation for the love you have shown this project and for the love you have shown me.  I hope this year’s project is amazing for you, I know I cannot wait to get started myself.

With all my best,


Win a Skype Visit with Padma Venkatraman for Global Read Aloud 2019 #GRA19 #GRABridge

Tomorrow kicks off the 10th annual Global Read Aloud with more than 1 million students taking part around the world.  It is hard to believe that what started as a small idea has grown into this global movement all surrounding books.

To help us celebrate our 10th year, Padma Venkatraman, author of The Bridge Home, is holding the following contest with the grand prize being a free Skype call with her!  The winner will be decided by my students after October 18th.

To enter:

Create an original poster to raise awareness of hunger, homelessness, or any other social justice issue inspired by or connected to The Bridge Home that you feel strongly about.
Do artwork using any medium you choose, add a caption (original phrase or sentence or reference a quote with a proper citation) that is integrated into the poster.
Take a photo and upload it to the google form below.
You may create the poster on your own or as a group, but please indicate if it is an individual or group entry and your grade ( class level) and provide contact information for your school and responsible teacher.
Please submit by October 15th. All submissions must contain work created solely by young people.  Contest is open globally.

If You’re Reading Stella Diaz Has Something to Say – Read This #GRA19 #GRAStella

Angela Domingues, author extraordinaire of our GRA early reader choice, shared the following information.

It’s almost #GRA19 time! As promised, here is some information on my weekly videos. Starting Monday, September 30th, please submit your #GRAStella questions through my website. That following Monday, I’ll post a video on my blog where I answer as many of your questions as I can.

When submitting questions, please make sure to include the name of your classroom, students’ names, and #GRAStella as the subject line, too.

I’ll also be selecting at random a winner each week to receive an autographed copy of Stella Díaz Has Something to Say and an advanced copy of my upcoming follow up, Stella Díaz Never Gives Up.

Finally, I will post videos up to Monday, November 4th. That’s it! I can’t wait to go on this adventure with you all soon!

Reading A Bridge Home? Read this! #GRA19

Rhode Island, September 2019

Dear educator,

It’s impossible for me to express how grateful I feel that THE BRIDGE HOME is a Global Read Aloud choice. I’ve long admired this wonderful endeavor and I love how Ms. Ripp is able to connect people around the world through the power of words. I can’t wait for you to meet Rukku, Viji, Muthu, Arul and Kutti – all of whom are based on friends I had as a child, growing up in India. As a gesture of thanks, I’ll be giving away 4 free skype as we countdown to #GRABridge. If interested, please follow me on twitter (@padmatv) and watch for the Skype giveaways (planned for Thursdays or Fridays this September).

Opening a book I love, to me, is like opening a door into someone’s heart. While I read, for a while, I live, breathe, and feel what the characters experience – and when I finish it, I don’t just have the sense that I was transported to another place or time but also that I have been transformed just a little by the moments of empathy I experienced. If you and your students feel this way as they read THE BRIDGE HOME, I hope to connect with them (through weekly blog posts and Q&A videos) and encourage them to engage in activities that raise awareness and bring positivity and change into their lives, homes, environments and communities. To that end, and to augment your GRA experience and make it more fun, I’ve also created a lot of educational materials that are freely downloadable, such as:

Photo resource (pdf of photographs of the city that inspired THE BRIDGE HOME, with annotations)

Reader’s Theater (for 2 scenes in the novel)

Video mini-lessons on geography and showing how to write in Tamil (which the characters speak)

Podcast of me reading the first chapter

Pronunciation guide (for Indian names and words)

Discussion guide

Suggestions for social justice activities

Cooking up stories (a recipe for Indian style saffron yogurt and links to recipes for food mentioned in THE BRIDGE HOME)

Writing prompts, cross-curricular links with mathematics, art, social studies, and much much more.

You can find this on my website ( and then click on The Bridge Home tab). On my website, you’ll also see links to my social media and you can sign up to follow my blog posts there as well (and that way you’ll be notified each time I put up a new post). I will be taking questions weekly on my blog – and I plan to choose a few of the questions I receive before 12:00 noon US EST Wednesday each week and create a video with answers every Friday during #GRA19.

In addition, Ms. Ripp has very kindly agreed, with the help of her class, to judge two contests (a writing contest and an art contest) during #GRABridge (more information to come).

Here’s looking forward to building bridges with words, across the world, together. Books bridge homes and hearts!



Want a Global Read Aloud Sticker?#GRA19

Note:  Make sure you fill in the form, please. Otherwise, I will not be able to email you with the instructions.

For many years, participants have asked for Global Read Aloud merchandise and while t-shirts and such have been available for a few years, I never ordered stickers. However, that has now changed. This spring I ordered a few stickers to hand out when I am at conferences but it turns out that many of you who I am not seeing would also like one.

So if you are someone who would like a sticker there are two options.  Either say hi at a conference or see me somewhere in the wild OR send me a self-addressed stamped envelope and I will send you one.  To see my home address, please fill out this form with your email address and I will send you my address.

I am limiting the requests to one sticker per person as I am paying for these out of my own pocket and not selling them. Once this batch is gone, I may order new ones, who knows.