Last night I had the amazing experience of hearing Professor David Booth speak. Literacy-guru that he is (and me being a teacher and all), I was certainly familiar with his name and his work. But what a difference hearing him live. He is such a charismatic and humorous person--soft-spoken, yet his words hit you like a hammer.
I was particularly interested in what he had to say about reading, reluctant male readers, new (or not-so-new) forms of media (Kindles, iPod's, PC's, Blackberries, etc.) and simply this: asking the right questions to excite and engage all learners. You could have heard a pin drop (okay, maybe the odd baby cry--which, by the way, didn't bother him one bit, in fact, he asked the mother who was about to leave with her baby to stay!), in the packed school gymnasium. So many of his stories and anecdotes hit home, I wouldn't know where to begin. Here is me caught on camera looking all captivated.
As a Canadian children's writer, I was particularly thrilled with his promotion of Canadian authors! And I absolutely loved when he told the audience that he often travels on planes and trains reading picture books--out loud! Since most of what I read is children's/YA books it made me chuckle as I often find myself sitting among people engrossed in the latest, greatest in adult literature. They cast a sideways glance, raise their eyebrows then frown as I proudly read my latest, greatest middle-grade fantasy or adventure or graphic novel or YA thriller or early chapter book...
I only hope I get another opportunity to hear Mr. Booth speak!
**photographs courtesy of Jagdeep Singh**