During his tenure as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang challenged young readers to open their eyes to new ideas and experiences by initiating the Reading Without Walls Challenge. Readers are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones by reading in three categories:
- Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
- Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
- Read a book in a format you don’t normally read for fun (a chapter book, graphic novel, poetry, etc.)
4-5 students were invited to the Challenge in early March by their teachers and librarian. Students have been encouraging each other by sharing about different books they’re reading during Morning Meeting, suggesting titles that might be good reads in the different categories. Books in each of the categories are available in the library and in Sora, our eBook collection. As 4-5ers read, they add color-coded “bricks” from each category to a display in their classrooms. Students are not only expanding their reading repertoire, but also their worldview as they explore different kinds of stories and texts.