A Literacy Specialist’s Point of View by Kathryn Starke
“The odd thing about people who have too many books is how they always want more.” I saw this quote on Pinterest this week and it certainly resonated with me as a literacy specialist, author, and avid reader.
As an elementary school literacy specialist, my classroom has shelves full of baskets of children’s books. All of the baskets are labeled and divided into categories; I basically collect picture books. My job is to expose children to a variety of genres, from nonfiction to mysteries and fantasy to realistic fiction so they can become lifelong readers. In my position, I provide students with multiple titles and engaging lessons to motivate and excite them to read. Another role of mine is to teach children how to think about reading. As adults, we naturally use strategies while reading, but an eight-year-old has to be taught how to effectively comprehend. I teach them how to make predictions, make connections, infer, and ask questions. As an author, I want to ensure that my readers instinctively do the same when they read my debut novel.
As authors, we write what we know, so I decided to write a women’s fiction title. Looking at my personal nightstand, I have a collection of chick lit, which I most love to read. I am personally a fan of Emily Giffin and Lauren Weisberger, to name a couple. The female writers I support inspired me to write my own selection. I love to read about characters, relationships, and situations that are totally relatable. I want to read about someone who reminds me of a person in my own life. Lilly, the accomplished educator and bride-to-be in my book is certainly a character many of us can connect with in some way. Her relationships with her fiance, baby sister, friends, and parents are all ones that remind us of our own. It’s therapy for me to read a fictional book about real life problems and see how character decides to solve it. I want to read a book that makes me ask questions, wonder what if, and talk about it with friends. And it is true, every time I read a well-written, thought provoking women’s fiction book, I want to add more to my collection.
Kathryn Starke is an elementary school literacy specialist, children’s author, and global educational publisher. Her debut women’s fiction novel, published by Black Rose Writing, releases November 14th. Follow Kathryn on Facebook and twitter @kathrynstarke. Learn more and order your copy of Because of You here.
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