Here’s a Summer Reading Challenge from your book-loving friends at The Mixed-Up Files:
Diversify Your Reading!
Something about the way the modern world works has a tendency to create silos or echo chambers in which are our tastes, desires, and beliefs reverberate back to us from like-minded sources. Ultimately, that kind of intellectual isolation isn’t good for any of us. Books are one of the best ways to broaden your perspectives, but only if you diversify your reading.
Several readers have written about how their lives were changed by changing the way they read. Instead of sticking to the tried and true genres or authors that they knew and loved, these women actively sought titles outside of their usual selections. Kelly Jensen decided to only read women authors for a year, Sunili Govinnage chose to focus on writers of color, and K. T. Bradford excluded books by cis, white men from her list. Each one was surprised at the shift in her perspective after a year of focused reading.
Gene Luen Yang, the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has launched a program with the Children’s Book Council called Reading Without Walls to encourage similarly adventurous reading among kids and teens. You can download an Activity Guide here. Even better, you can play Reading Without Walls BINGO! The BINGO cards are available through the American Bookseller’s Association and at many independent bookstores. I got mine at Roundabout Books in Bend, Oregon!
Here is a list of The ABC Group 2017 Summer Reading Program suggestions to get you started:
- A book about a character who doesn’t look like you
- A book about science
- A book with a differently-abled character
- A book in verse
- A book about personal identity
- A graphic novel
- A biography about someone who lived long ago
- A book about a young girl
- A book about civil rights
- A book about a young boy
- A book by someone with a different religion than yours
- A book about something you know nothing about
- A book about a character who doesn’t live like you do
- A book about technology
- A book about a character like you
- A book about history
- A chapter book
- A book about sports
- A book written by a woman
- A book written by a man
- An award-winning book
- A book published before you were born
- A memoir or autobiography
- A picture book
All of us here at The Mixed-Up Files hope that you’ll share youR new favorite books with us!
Happy Diverse Reading Everyone!