Stories help us hang on to our humanity.
November 16, 2015
The recent attack by terrorists on the people of Paris was an act of brutality. The attack was an act of inhumanity; The following story is one man’s response to the atrocity— his music was his effort to help restore humanity, those qualities that make us human, mortality, compassion, and kindness.
In an extraordinary gesture, a Parisian man rode his bike to the Bataclan Concert Hall, one of the attack sites, with his mobile piano in tow. He then proceeded to play John Lenon’s Imagine on the piano for all those gathered. After the performance, he broke down and left without uttering a word.
Telling stories are what make us human, it is how we make sense of the world, sharping our beliefs and our ethics. No story can take away the pain we feel, but it can offer a catharsis, something we are all in great need of in this troubling time
Stories are one of the ways we get to know people who are just like as and at the same time, very different. They are windows on the world and by inviting us into the lives of others; they promote tolerance and build bridges of understanding. The recent tragedy in Paris tests our tolerance and challenges us to hang on to our humanity. Fear and rage are powerful emotions and they make it difficult to think clearly.
Along with the French people, the world feels deeply sad about the terrorist attack. In times such as these, it is important to tightly cling to what makes us human.
Celebrate the freedom to read
November 9, 2015
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. The story behind why a book is challenged or banned is fascinating and merits attention. What is often overlooked or just not spoken of, is the all too often practice […]
Energetic reading offers nourishment & is a transformative experience
November 2, 2015
I am saddened to see that teaching literature is becoming more of a transaction than an experience of transformation. Forging meaning out of a book is a transformative experience, not a transactional exercise of questions and answers. To energetically read requires a reader to support assertions with proofs, to consider counterarguments, to be willing to […]
Conversation is key to literacy.
October 15, 2015
In our fast-moving, media-saturated world, reading with our children and talking with them about what matters is more important than ever before. Strong conversation skills are needed for reading fluency, comprehension, and ability to relate the ideas in a story to yourself and the wider world are the building blocks of imagination, empathy, critical thinking, […]
Why are you reading a book for children?
October 7, 2015
My work involves travel, usually on airplanes and most every time I get asked the same question; Why are you reading a book for children? After explaining that I work in the field of children’s literature I quickly add “But I read children’s books because they are really good, I like them!” My fondness for […]