There is never anything easy about picking the books and authors for the Global Read Aloud. How can there be when there are so many incredible books to choose from? So many different experiences waiting to be discovered?
I lose sleep. I try different configurations. I talk about it incessantly with my husband. I reach out to trusted friends to hear opinions. And yet, ultimately, it comes down to a gut feeling of what feels right for the moment we are in, for the way conversations are shaped around the globe. We are still in a pandemic, we are still navigating the continued heaviness and horror, and yet, in the middle of it all are stories of courage, of survival, of finding out how to navigate everything, and becoming your own hero.
And so I chose books that not only will hopefully allow for broader global conversations but also to personal realizations of strength, of can-do, of overcoming in a way that is unique to our experience.
So if you like the choices for this year, join me as we kick off the Global Read Aloud October 3rd. If you don’t like the choices, don’t join, it’s as easy as that, but I for one am already thinking about how this year’s choice for middle school will shape the learning experiences we will have in my own classroom.
There is no sign up to join, just either pay attention here for more information, or join the Facebook community:
Picture Book Creator Choice:
This year’s chosen creator is Christian Robinson!
Christian Robinson is an illustrator, author, animator, and designer based in Oakland, California. He was born in Los Angeles and grew up in a small one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt, and grandmother. Drawing became a way to make space for himself and to create the kind of world he wanted to see. He studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts and would later work with the Sesame Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios before becoming an illustrator of books for children. The Christian Robinson for Target collection, released in August 2021, includes more than 70 items across home and apparel for kids and baby. His books include the #1 New York Times bestseller Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and the Newbery Medal, and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Bench, written by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. His solo projects include Another, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2019, and the New York Times bestseller You Matter. His latest collaboration with Matt de la Peña, Milo Imagines The World, received six starred reviews and was a #1 Indie Bestseller and a New York Times bestseller. He looks forward to one day seeing the aurora borealis.
Week 1 Book:
Week 2 Book:
Week 3 Book:
Week 4 Book:
Week 5 Book:
Early Reader Choice:
Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes–like his parents and two best friends–stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too–as soon as he figures out how.Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.
Week 1: Pages 1 – 45
Week 2: Pages 46- 89
Week 3: Pages 90 – 145
Week 4: Pages 146 – 197
Week 5: Pages 198 – 232
Week 6: Pages 233 – end
Middle Grade Choice:
While this incredible book is not out in the world until July 19th, I promise it will be a wonderful read aloud.
Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity–an act that Minni accidentally witnesses one night. Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet and there’s even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses. Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?
Week 1: Chapters 1 – 7
Week 2: Chapters 8 – 16
Week 3: Chapters 17 – 22
Week 4: Chapters 23 – 31
Week 5: Chapters 32 – 37
Week 6: Chapters 38 – end
Middle School Choice:
Meera’s future has been planned for her for as long as she can remember. As a child, her parents married her to a boy from a neighboring village whom she barely knows. Later, on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, she prepares to leave her family to live with her husband’s–just as her strict religion dictates. But that night, Indian soldiers mutiny against their British commanders and destroy the British ammunition depot, burning down parts of Delhi. Riots follow, and Meera’s husband is killed. Upon hearing the news, Meera’s father insists that she follow the dictates of their fringe religious sect: She must end her life by throwing herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.
Risking everything, Meera runs away, escaping into the chaos of the rebellion. But her newfound freedom is short-lived, as she is forced to become a servant in the house of a high-ranking British East India Company captain. Slowly through her work, she gains confidence, new friends, new skills–and sometimes her life even feels peaceful. But one day, Meera stumbles upon the captain’s secret stock of ammunition, destined to be used by the British to continue colonizing India and control its citizens.
Will Meera do her part to take down the British colonists and alert the rebellion of the stockpile? Or will she stay safe and let others make decisions for her? It really comes down to this: how much fire must a girl face to finally write her own destiny?
Week 1: Chapters 1 – 5
Week 2: Chapters 6- 10
Week 3: Chapters 11 – 15
Week 4: Chapters 16 – 22
Week 5: Chapters 23 – 31
Week 6: Chapters 32 – end
Young Adult Choice:
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki-near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.
Week 1: Chapters 1 – 5
Week 2: Chapters 6 – 11
Week 3: Chapters 12 – 18
Week 4: Chapters 19 – 24
Week 5: Chapters 25 – 28
Week 6: Chapters 29 – end
TWITTER HASHTAGS FOR THE YEAR:
Picture book author study – #GRACHRISTIAN
Stuntboy, in the Meantime – #GRAStuntboy
Thirst – #GRAThirst
Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame – #GRAFire
The Gilded Ones – #GRAGilded
GLOBAL READ ALOUD MERCHANDISE:
T-shirts and other merchandise supporting the project can be found here
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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.
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