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The NJLA Blog

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Read Across America Picks - Day 5

by Ken Kunz, NJLA Board Member

With Read Across America swiftly approaching, the NJLA Board is highlighting stories that you can share with children in classrooms or at home. Here's our latest pick, Living with Viola by Rosena Fung.

In this amazing graphic novel you will meet Livy, a main character who is ready to start at her new middle school, but always feeling anxious and tormented by Viola, the shadowy voice of negativity in her head. Readers will be drawn to this graphic novel for its relatability, brilliant illustrations, and the author’s pen to paper connections of growing up as the child of Chinese immigrant parents. This is also a great book to integrate in your instruction as part of New Jersey’s new curriculum law on including the experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) across the grades

So, what does this look like in the classroom? Through my literacy coaching, I have had the opportunity to work with the dedicated 4th grade team at Point Road School in Little Silver, NJ this year. As their students have taken on becoming “word warriors,” teachers have been imaginatively using new mentor texts like this one to reinforce excitement around learning new vocabulary. In the first chapter of this book, teachers had a fun experience writing complex sentences using the words “anxiety,” “groan,” “disaster,” “snicker,” “dreamer,” “hopeless,” “pathetic,” and “embarrassed.” Read the beginning of this great novel to find out how these words come to life. Your students will love this celebration of graphic novels and AAPI representation as part of Read Across America Week. Connect on Twitter @DrKennethKunz and @NJLiteracy to let us know how it goes!


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