1. Can you share some of your earliest memories of reading and how they impacted you?
- Books have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. My family has told me that I asked for books to be read to me all the time, over and over again. I had some books read to me so often that I would memorize them. When my parents had company over to the house, they'd tell them I could read already (I was only 2-3 at the time). Of course, our guests were blown away by my ability to "read."
2. Is there a particular book that has changed your life in some way and why?
- In college, I read a book by Tim O'Brien called, "The Things They Carried." It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's a book about the power of story and taught me that stories can help teach us so many things about the world.
3. What do you think is most essential for teachers, parents and caregivers to do in order to nurture a child to become a lifelong reader?
- Let kids choose what they want to read and make reading fun. Join with them in reading books together and out loud. Take them to bookstores and to the library. Have them see you reading as well.
4. What do you think the future holds for readers?
- I have no doubt that helping children develop a lifelong love of reading opens up a world of possibilities for them.
5. Will you share with us some final meditations on the power of the read aloud and of reading in general to the emotional lives of children and for all people?
- I’m not sure there’s anything more powerful in the human experience than the power of story. Stories teach so much to us. A story can teach us to have empathy for others, can show us perspectives in the world we may never encounter personally and can teach us ways to get through tough times. These reasons are partly why I’m such an advocate for reading to and sharing the power of story with children.