search
top

What’s Write About…Books – 3 reasons why reading is what makes America great!

Share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

On this wonderful day we celebrate our country’s independence, I wanted to state on this awesome blog that I believe there are many ways to make America great again, and at the risk of sounding cliché, it comes down to the fact that children are the future. They just are. Scientifically undebatable, that nugget of truth. So, when it comes to strategies on making America great, I believe that our schools and teachers are key.

I also believe that reading is neglected far too often.

To get to the point on this Independence Day (so you can get back to the pastimes of our forefathers – eating hot dogs, boating on the lake, and sunburning , of course), I want to tell you three things books will do for you and your children that are pretty firework-worthy.

Books challenge society. A friend of mine recently gave me a list of books that had been banned through the decades. Wow. It was like every classic you’ve ever heard of or read. And you know why? Mostly, it was because they contained information or subject matter that made society uncomfortable. Sometimes, we forget the true value of liberalism. No, it’s not the rhetoric of the far left. In a nutshell, the classic definition of liberalism allows the free flow of ideas so people can make better decisions. Fiction launches new ideas and new ways of thinking about old ideas. And sometimes, it pushes us to consider why we believe what we believe.

Books give a real voice to those we prefer to overlook. I just love R.J. Palacio’s Wonder. We still are a society that struggles to understand people with mental or physical differences, instead of embracing that uniqueness. Hollywood doesn’t have many main characters that deal with physical deformity or mental challenges (I just saw the Accountant, and the main character did have autism, but he was also a stone cold killer). Books are not as mainstream as movies, and there’s so much more opportunity there to read (and publish) books about characters who challenge us to reconsider what is truly normal—and special—about people.

Books facilitate conversations on difficult subjects. One thing I always encourage parents to do is read the same books their kids are reading. First of all, it sets an example, but even more importantly, it gives you a common jumping off point. I’ll never forget how Hannah E. Harrison’s My Friend Maggie helped me manage conversations about hurtful friends with my kindergarten daughter. Or how Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak has helped thousands of teens gain courage to speak up about sexual abuse. Stories give us context, and context can be a great framework for a real conversation.

So what are you waiting for? YOU can make America great again. Pick up a book. Read on your own or as a family. Go deeper into the story and ask your kids questions that make them think. Help teachers and school librarians acquire more books. Kick your kids off the electronics for a while.

We can’t complain if we aren’t willing to do anything

Share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

top