I know I already bragged about the Reading Summit, but now you're going to be so jealous. Seriously. The final speaker (and illustrator) of the day, and there were many, many great speakers, was Dav Pilkey, author of Dog Man and The Adventures of Captain Underpants and Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot and more.
Dav Pilkey talked about the power of choice. People often ask him how he got so good at drawing, and he answers, "Lots and lots of practice," with a little bit of a laugh. He first started drawing Captain Underpants when he was in second grade! His second grade teacher didn't like it, but he didn't stop. He's been writing and drawing for over forty years.
Dav reminded us that lots and lots of practice is always what it takes to get good at something. When practice is fun, that's when we develop skills, because we keep wanting to do it. Love leads to habits, and habits lead to skills.
Find something you love to do, and do it often. Get good at it.
If you don't love reading yet, try one of Dav Pilkey's books (I like the Ricky Ricotta books best myself), or try something else. The best way to get good at reading is to read a lot, but you won't read a lot if you don't find something you enjoy. Come check out our "Try It" wall to see if something looks good. Ask your friends what they're reading. Figure out what you like by thinking about what you want to know more about, or what makes you laugh, or what kind of movie or TV show keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Scholastic Books hosts Reading Summits every summer, where teachers, librarians, and administrators come to get encouraged, get re-inspired, get caught up on the latest research, get more books, get connected, etc. I was able to attend the Summit in Seattle this year, and I got all of the above.
One thing I was reminded of, over and over, is that reader choice matters far more than levels. Choose what you WANT to read. Choose what makes you laugh, or helps you figure out how to make something, or satisfies your need to know about something, or lets you get lost in the story. Tell somebody about it - they may like it too! Or ask what a friend is reading - they may tell you about something you've never heard of, but is awesome.
I had a lot of time to read in the airport, on the bus, and on the plane for this trip (yay!). I finally read The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. It's subtle, intense, and strong. If I were going to try a six- word-summary, I might say: "Escapes Blitz; horses/love nurture recovery." I also read the charming graphic novel awkward by Svetlana Chmakova. Six word summary? "Art/Science clubs' rivalry challenges newbie." That doesn't even begin to cover the beautifully drawn expressions - there are some realistic looks and some manga exaggerations - both are so great, and helped me see how the friendships unfolded.
The other graphic novel I devoured (seriously - there was a LOT of time to read. It was awesome.) was Cece Bell's El Deafo. This childhood memoir gave me a look at the challenges hard of hearing and deaf people face. Speaking of face - lip reading is next to impossible when the speaker's face is not clear to the listener/watcher, and there are so many ways a person's face can be blocked. I know that now! If I had stopped to think about it logically, I could have figured out most of it, but I never did until I read El Deafo. The other thing I loved about it is the way Bell shows what sound is like through pictures, not just words. Come check it out from the library when we get back and see for yourself. I also loved the way her friendships felt so real, full of ordinary complications and misunderstandings and joys I remember from my own childhood. If you like this, you may also enjoy Real Friends by Shannon Hale, another childhood memoir in graphic novel format.
I'm so much looking forward to hearing about what kinds of things you have been reading, and how you have challenged yourself for #ReadingWithoutWalls and how you have found things you love to #feedtheread.
Always up for book chats, reading, library memes - proud to be Kepler's first librarian