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Take a Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Part of being a teen is developing empathy towards others, and one way to do that is to read books! Not just any books though, books where the main character is someone different from you. Someone who is face blind, like in Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, or someone who is from a different country, like in The Milk of Birds by Sylvia Whitman. In the teen area we have a new diversity book list with lots of great recommendations on it! There is something for everyone on there!

Reading diversely and developing empathy, understanding, and knowledge about other people is so important! Gene Luen Yang, the 2016-2017 National Ambassador for Young People has developed the Reading Without Walls Challenge, and I’m going to challenge everyone to read a book that fits at least one of the three challenges.

Reading Without Walls Challenge

As National Ambassador, Gene Luen Yang issue you a challenge!  He challenge you to read without walls in one of three ways:

1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.

2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.

3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.

If you really want to go for the gold star, read a book that fits all three criteria!

Some of my favorites that would fit the Reading Without Walls Challenge:

  • The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  • A Time to Dance by T. V. Padma

Embrace Diversity, and check out one of these great titles today!


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About the Author

Sammy is the Young Adult Services Librarian with the New Berlin Public Library... Read More »

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