It’s easy to assume that professional writers were nonstop readers when they were children — that they devoured book upon book upon book. That wasn’t the case for me. I had attention issues, so it was often difficult for me to stay focused when I started a book. By the end of the first page, my mind would start wandering. Halfway through the second page, I’d already be lost. I’d put the book down, and never return.
As a result, I discovered many of my favorite books precisely because someone read them out loud to me. Once I fell in love with a book, though, there was no looking back — I’d read it again and again and again. I’m a believer in the read-aloud for children of all ages (including adults). I also know from personal experience that for some kids, read-alouds are absolutely essential — life-changing, in fact.
I’m deeply honored and grateful (and, to be honest, a little weepy) that THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH won the 2016 E.B. White Read-Aloud award — as voted on by independent bookstores nationwide. The award combines three things that I cherish: reading aloud, indie bookstores, and E.B. White himself. I am grateful beyond words, grateful beyond measure.
Thank you, American Booksellers Association, and indie bookstores, nationwide.