I (Cathy) download audio books from audible.com onto my Ipod nano and listen while I walk, garden or cook. I just finished the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio. It is a very touching juvenile fiction novel about a ten year old boy with severe syndromes that dramatically alter his facial features. The story takes us on his journey surviving his first year in a public school as a grade five student. I cried a lot. This wasn’t so bad when I was in the kitchen cooking or even in my own back yard planting and digging. But walking? Hmmm. People notice. Oh well. When people asked me if I was all right, I just said, “It’s the power of great literature,” smiled and thanked them for their concern. This is a must read my friends, but keep the Kleenex handy and warn the family in case they ‘wonder’ about you!
Last week CBC news profiled the organization Literature for Life, which offers weekly Reading Circle programs to young mothers in various shelters and community centres across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Literature for Life website explains that the program is committed to helping young moms in high-needs neighborhoods across the city “develop a practice of reading in order to access opportunities and achieve economic stability”. The moms participating in the Reading Circles meet weekly, along with a program facilitator, to engage in discussions and writing activities about books that are relevant to their lives. The program also hopes that participating moms will share their enthusiasm for reading with their children. To date, approximately “2,200 moms have participated in the Reading Circles and more than 20,000 books have been distributed” (http://www.literatureforlife.org).