I wholeheartedly agree with this article about the amazing Kwame Alexander. I’ve heard him speak at a reading conference and at our local bookstore and was blown away both times. He is funny, warm, and inspiring to kids and grown-ups.
In 2000, I bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (as it was titled in the UK) in a bookstore in Glasgow, Scotland, as a souvenir for my eight-year-old daughter, an avid reader just like her mom. And, thus began our journey into the Harry Potter world of madness, going to Border’s Books initially, and later Barnes & Noble, at midnight to wait in line to get the next book the minute the boxes were opened, serving my daughter lunch AND dinner in bed the whole next day so she could read Book 5 without stopping so it could be passed over to her sister the same day.
As a veteran language arts teacher, I watched the impact of other popular books and series spread like wildfire through a middle school. Once I proctored a standardized high school admissions test where students were allowed to read if…
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