Thursday, April 14, 2016

#AuthorApril: L is for Linda Sue Park in our #AtoZChallenge

Dear Kim,

We interrupt this writing challenge to bring you a video.

That's right, Kim. For "L is for Linda Sue Park" I want you to watch a video. Linda Sue Park's 2015 TEDtalk titled, "Can A Children's Book Change the World" is just thirteen minutes but packed with love for our children, our libraries, and children's books.


Empathy to Action books mentioned:

A Long Walk to Water, Linda Sue Park
Wonder, R.J. Palacio
Crenshaw, Katherine Applegate
All American Boys, Jason Reynolds

In her talk, Linda Sue Park speaks of books with empathy. Her books, quiet as some may be, scream that message to her readers. I think of the years and years that I read A Single Shard to my class. Each year less surprised by the number of children crying during the story, and more in love with the conversations we would have about life and society and perseverance. Those nine year olds felt her words, they walked with Tree-ear. She accomplished so much good in those 150 pages.



Have you read A Single Shard? She signed a copy for me once when she visited Chautauqua as a speaker. Returning to my classroom the next school year I read from the SIGNED book. We all ooh-ed and ah-ed at her loopy signature and tried to make out the "S" in Sue.

That same year, after we finished the last page. After we all wiped our eyes. After we put the finishing touches on our own clay sculptures, the book disappeared from my classroom library.

Guess what, Kim, I think I know where that book lives now. I know how much that child needed that book. And I'd like to think that both Linda Sue Park and Tree-ear would forgive him for stealing. I know I have. You never know, that could be the book that will change the world.

Happy #AuthorApril, Kim!
See you tonight!
Much love,
Alison