My Favorite Read Aloud Memory: Yaya Yuan

World Read Aloud Day is only 9 days away! To countdown to the big day, each member of the LitWorld team is sharing a favorite read aloud memory. Today's story comes from the amazing Yaya Yuan, LitWorld's Innovation Developer.

"I was born in China before the country opened up to western influences. For the first four years of my life I lived with my maternal grandmother and grandfather in Xi'an, home of the terra cotta warriors. I was their first grandchild and I was very close with my grandfather. He would sit me on the crossbar of his bike every day as we rode to and from my preschool. When I got home he would let me wear his glasses and we would play a game of tug of war with a toothpick in our teeth--not the safest now that I think about it...

When I was four, I moved away from my grandparents to live with my mother in the United States and I didn't see my grandfather for many years. Finally, he came to live with us for a summer when I was 12. By this point I could no longer speak Chinese but could understand everything well. Still, we had an incredibly difficult time communicating. I was also in the throes of being totally and completely terrified of the dark, but would have to make the trek to my attic bedroom every night and try to fall asleep while the rest of my family slept of the first floor of the house. 

When my grandfather came he took the other attic bedroom and every night he would read to me from the old Chinese classic, Journey to the West, about a mischievous chinese monkey god and his journeys with a buddha to the far reaches of the Chinese empire. It was the most comforting part of my day and the only way we could still share moments together. He has since passed away but I still remember those stories we shared, and still feel the comfort of his presence."