In Conversation With Our Authors #GRA21 #GRADuncan #GRADragons #GRABarren

It is hard to believe that we are in the official final week of the Global Read Aloud. I hope it has been everything you had hoped it would be. If you are not in the final week, no worries, make it work for you!

I was so very grateful for all of the questions that were submitted to three of our authors Duncan Tonaituh, Zetta Elliott, and David A. Robertson. They gave me a perfect opportunity to sink into their work even more and will hopefully be illuminating for all of you who listen. Each of the links below will take you to the 30-minute video I recorded of our conversation. It was spectacular to sit in the same space as these incredible creators and hear them go even deeper into their lives as authors and the books we love so much.

INTERVIEW: Indigenous author David A. Robertson - Owl Connected
Duncan Tonatiuh- Images And Stories, Imágenes e Historias

Let me know what you think!


Enter to Win a Collection of Books from Duncan Tonatiuh! #GRA21 #GRADuncan

As I get ready for my recorded conversation with Duncan Tonatiuh, I am so excited to reveal that his publisher has graciously offered up a collection of his books to be given away to a lucky classroom winner!

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh, Hardcover | Barnes &  Noble®

You can enter for a chance to win a collection of books by award-winning author-illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh! Collection will include (1) copy of the following titles: DEAR PRIMO, DIEGO RIVERA, PANCHO RABBIT AND THE COYOTE, SEPARATE IS NEVER EQUAL, FUNNY BONES, THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR, DANZA! UNDOCUMENTED, SOLDIER FOR EQUALITY, FEATHERED SERPENT AND THE FIVE SUNS, and CHILD OF THE FLOWER-SONG PEOPLE.

This is open to all, not just those within the United States. A winner will be randomly selected and then contacted for the prize.

All you have to do is enter on this form and then cross your fingers!

Enter on this form here!

Good luck and happy reading!


Ask David A. Robertson Your Questions #GRA21 #GRABarren

David A. Robertson on Twitter: "Happy 📖 🎂 to The Barren Grounds!! Had to  take a picture with the book, which I'm so proud of. Thanks to @TundraBooks  and @WCA_LitAgency and everybody

With the third week of the Global Read Aloud 2021 under way, I am so excited to reveal that I will be in conversation with my friend and author extraordinaire, David A. Robertson, author of this year’s GRA choice for middle school, The Barren Grounds. This pre-recorded event will be available to view after October 27th and will be a chance to get your questions answered directly by this incredible author and human being.

So I need your help, what would you like me to ask David? Have your students or classrooms submit their questions to potentially be asked and tune in when the recording is released.

You can submit as many questions as you would like! Just fill in this form between now and October 22nd.


Happy reading!


Zetta Elliott Prizes Galore for the Global Read Aloud #GRA21 #GRADragons

We are two weeks in to this year’s Global Read Aloud and it has been incredible to see all of the connections and read alouds happening. The magic that happens at all ages is unparalleled; our readers give me so much hope. SOmetimes though we get the chance to make the experience even sweeter and this year is no different. I am so excited to announce some incredible opportunities for those of you reading Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott.

How would you love a visit from the author? If you are based in the US, then you can enter here to potentially win a vist with Zetta!

US Based Author Visit – Enter Here

But don’t worry, if you are outside of the US, you also get a chance to win a visit with Zetta. To enter for that, go here.

Outside of US Author Visit – Enter Here

You can also enter to win a classroom set of Dragons in a Bag if you are in the US. To enter for that, go here.

Winners will be drawn on November 15th.

Happy reading and thank you to Zetta Elliot and Penguin Random House for donating prizes and time.

Ask Duncan Tonatiuh Your Questions #GRA21

With the second week of the Global Read Aloud 2021 nearly wrapped up, I am so excited to reveal that I will be in conversation with Duncan Tonatiuh in a few weeks. This pre-recorded event will be available to view after October 27th and will be a chance to get your questions answered directly by this incredible creator.

So I need your help, what would you like me to ask Duncan Tonatiuh? Have your students or classrooms submit their questions to potentially be asked and tune in when the recording is released.

You can submit as many questions as you would like! Just fill in this form between now and October 22nd.

Submit your questions here

Happy reading!



Are you ready for the next reveal? So far I have shared the following choices:

In a world that is upside down, still, I have found myself reaching for fantasy books more and more. As a way to learn about our past and consider our future, the realm of fantasy allows us to escape, dig in, and dream of what can be. While the worlds may be unfamiliar, their messages are not and we can find comfort, hope, joy, even in the darkest parts of their stories. Our Global Read Aloud choices offer up hope in the most human way; tales of overcoming, tales of finding your own strength, tales or relying on community to come together in order to defeat a common enemy. It is what the world has shown us in the past year as well, it is what has kept many afloat, many alive. And so we shall gather around these books and continue to build community. We shall share these read alouds as way to connect across city lines, country borders, and oceans. We shall hopefully find similarities within the heroic journeys of the stories we read that let us see how we, too, can be heroes in our way.


  • Kick off will be October 4th and the project will run for six weeks as usual, ending on November 12th. You can absolutely fall behind or start later, just don’t read ahead.
  • The official hashtag for the year is #GRA21, other hashtags will be announced once all the books are.
  • The hashtag for this book will be #GRADragons
  • For a comprehensive FAQ post, go here
  • To join the main Facebook group, please go here. To join the early reader’s Facebook group, please go here. This is where news will be posted for the most part.


Dragons in a Bag: Elliott, Zetta, Geneva B: 9781524770457: Books
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott

When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother–but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag, and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?

Why Zetta Elliott had to decolonize her mind to write the children's book  Dragons in a Bag | CBC Radio

I have loved the work of Zetta Elliott for many years, her span is incredible and so is her immense power to draw us into her stories. She writes beautiful characters whose lives unfold in front of us while also leaving us wanting more. Jaxon is a hero navigating the world with courage, love, and resilience. He is a relatable young man whose quest to right wrongs is one that many kids can relate to and even better, it is the first book in a series so you can continue Jaxon’s adventures even after the GRA reads.

The reading calendar will be as follows:

Week 1: Oct. 4th – 8th : Chapters 1 – 3

Week 2: Oct. 11th – 15th: Chapters 4 – 6

Week 3: Oct. 18 – 22nd: Chapters 7 – 8

Week 4: Oct. 25th – 29th: Chapters 9 – 10

Week 5: Nov. 1st – 5th: Chapters 11 -12

Week 6: Nov. 8th – 12th: Chapters 13 – end

Don’t worry about falling behind, just don’t read ahead and if you need to start later, please do.

Please consider following Zetta’s work on social media and supporting your local independent bookstores with your book purchases. If you want to support the Global Read Aloud, please consider purchasing your books through the links placed here, the GRA gets a small affiliate percentage whenever books are purchased through – a website that sends orders through local bookstores. If your school requires you to go through Amazon, please consider using this link to purchase the book in order to support the Global Read Aloud.

I hope you like these choices, and if not, that’s okay too, then come back next year.

A Final Year of Amazing Events – Welcome to OUr Authors Live #GRA20

Eleven years ago, I started the Global Read Aloud on little more than an idea and a hope; that perhaps through a shared read aloud we could create pathways around the world, expanding our knowledge but shrinking our otherization, growing our curiosity, and diminishing hate.  That by sitting with the same book in our hands and gathering around the act of listening we could open up a flow of questions that would ultimately lead to a deeper acknowledgment of our own shared humanity and perhaps leave us all with a sense of needing to take care of one another more.  Perhaps a lofty goal, but a goal nonetheless.  And so we read, and shared, and connected, and sat in awe of the stories and of the power of others as we traveled around the world through technology, as we played Mystery Skype to figure out where all these new friends were, as authors took us behind the scenes and told us their secrets as we marveled at the worlds they had created.  We knew it was magical.  We knew that the books were not just pages glued together but portals to a world where with reading at its heart we saw a path forward for better.  We knew that being able to bring the world in through this shared read aloud somehow made the walls disappear, if even for a moment so that we truly could see the people we all are connected to.

This year is the final year of the GRA and I am ready to stand back in awe.  To marvel at all of the good that this one idea has brought into the world.  It will leave a hole in the world of literacy and also in my own life, but I know that in that hole is an opportunity for even further connections and innovation to reside.  That out there are new ideas concocted by someone who sees a way to push our connections even further, to continue to remind us of our debt to each other. 

So this year, in a year that seems to have brought so many horrors into our lives, we gather one last time around the magnificent books and the creators behind them.  We push ourselves extra hard as we run this final mile.  We take the risks, we open up, we sit in the knowledge that together we are more, that together we can.  We hold our breath before we crack open the book and then let the connections happen as we ask our kids to ponder the worlds that Juana Martinez-Neal, Traci Sorrell, Charlene Willing McManis, Zanib Mian, Jason Reynolds, and Linda Sue Park have invented for us.  We reach out so that we can once again let one book connect the world.  And we know that through the shared love of a read aloud and a shared love of our students, we, too, changed the world.

And so in partnership with Skype in the Classroom, I would like to invite you to celebrate these incredible books and authors as we gather one last time. And what better way to do it than asking the very creators themselves to share a glimpse of their world and their work? To allow the Global Read Aloud to be connected with them as we celebrate these connections and pathways toward a more just world? I don’t have the right words to thank these incredible people for wanting to give any kind of time to this little project i dreamed up 11 years ago, I hope maybe you can help me in expressing our gratitude by sharing their books, by buying their books, by reviewing their books and making these books part of our stories for years to come.

For more information on the events listed below, please visit this link to register and read more.

Who will we welcome and when?

October 9th we welcome Jason Reynolds.
October 16th we welcome Zanib Mian
October 30th we welcome Linda Sue Park
November 6th we welcome Juana Martinez-Neal

It has been 11 years of love for books, of care for a world that at times feels really lonely and harsh. 11 years of dreaming. 11 years of trust. Of hope. And of connections. Won’t you join me for this last year as we celebrate all that we did and all that we are?

Prairie Lotus in the Classroom: A Webinar with Linda Sue Park #GRA20 #GRAPrairie


As we wind up for this year’s final Global Read Aloud, I am so excited to invite you all to this incredible free webinar featuring Linda Sue Park as she discusses Prairie Lotus.  This is your chance to learn more about the creation,  research, and process that went into the creation of this incredible book as we get ready to share it around the world.

I am so grateful to Linda Sue Park, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & Clarion Books for this event.  It will take place on September 3rd live but will be recorded in case your time zone does not work out, do register though so you get the information.

Description of the book: Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered 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. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople’s almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.

Please click this link to register for the event!

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!