Kwame Alexander’s Booked, about a soccer-playing teen written in a variety of poetry styles or The Playbook, a book of quotes and rules to live by; Jeff Garvin’s Symptoms of Being Human, a chapter book about Reilly, who is gender fluid; and Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel American Born Chinese, which deals with the American-Asian experience, are all perfect books for #readingwithoutwalls.

Reading Without Walls is a month-long program with the goal of promoting diversity in reading.

Inspired by Yang, the U.S.-based National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature, the goal is to encourage readers to do one of the following:

  • Read a book about a character who doesn’t look or live like you;
  • Read a book in a format you don’t typically read – graphic novel, poetry, audiobook, play;
  • Read a book about a new subject you don’t know much about.

And if you want the gold star, read all three at the same time, Yang suggested to people who attended a presentation by the comic book writer at the Northern District Library in Toronto April 5.

“I am challenging readers of all ages to expand their horizons by picking up different kinds of books and reading about something new,” Yang says in his video on the reading without walls website , which also offers activities and more information about the April reading challenge.

What book are you going to read? Don’t forget to share your picks on social media with the hashtag #readingwithoutwalls.

Secret Coders
Secret Coders

Note: I had the privilege of accompanying Gene Luen Yang as a publicity escort with Raincoast Books during his Toronto stop of his book tour where he talked about #ReadingWithoutWalls and his latest Secret Coders graphic novel.

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