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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mystery Reader

The classrooms at my daughter Sky’s school have had many unexpected visitors this month, and yesterday, I got my chance to be one of them.

In honor of I Love to Read Month, the teachers put a call out for “mystery readers.” A mystery reader makes arrangements with the teacher to come in during class time to share a book with the class. They are often parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. The best part is none of the children know who the reader will be until they lay eyes on him or her.

Yesterday I got my chance to be a mystery reader in Sky’s kindergarten class. I had convinced her that I would not be able to make it because I was all tied up at work. So it was fun to see her big smile when she saw that it was me.

Before I read, the class had the chance to interview me. They asked where I liked to read, if I bought books, if I visited the library. They also shared the names of some of their favorite authors, including Jan Brett and Eric Carle. One of my favorite moments was when the teacher said, “If you have even one book of your own, you have a library.” What a wonderful idea!

After the interview was complete, I picked up the book I had brought to share, Boss of the World by Fran Manushkin. Choosing a book was easy: I knew Sky would want me to share a Katie Woo book, and I love how Katie resolves her own trouble in this book.

For an editor, it is always interesting to see how the audience reacts to our books, and the class didn’t disappoint. Everyone listened so well, and they seemed to enjoy meeting Katie and her friends JoJo and Pedro. I left feeling happy and inspired. It is clear that a love of books is alive and well in Room 10.

--Julie Gassman, senior editor