I am just back from the Wisconsin State Reading Association, where I had the distinct pleasure of being a featured speaker. Perhaps the best experience was a session that I attended with Newberry Award winning author Matt de la Pena, who read his work and talked about his artistic process. His book Last Stop on Market Street is a heart-warming narrative of CJ and his grandmother, intertwined with messages of social justice. He also read my personal favorite, Love - which examines the various forms of love all around us. Upon its publication, this book received both accolades (for its reflection of characters of diverse religious and socioeconomic) and negative press (for its depiction of domestic violence). In his talk, Matt de la Pena reported that a major book chain (he wouldn't reveal names, but gave the initials of B and N) nearly refused to stock the book.
Last year at this time (Valentine's Day), I wrote about using Love in K-5 classrooms. The underlying message of this book and its illustrations is that love indeed is all around, in many forms and iterations. Love is pervasive and contagious. So this Valentine's Week, gather the ones you love and read Love - click here for my ideas on how to use it in the K-5 classroom.
And lastly, here's me #fangirling Matt de la Pena, because I'm cool like that.