Book Summer Live! Episode 1 recap
- July 6, 2021
- Posted by: Myiesha Speight
- Category: News
Recently, Reading Guides Kathleen and Myiesha chatted about Book Summer and all things books in the first episode of Book Summer Live! a Facebook Live series. Don’t worry if you missed it. Check out the live video below or you can read the interview.
Book Summer Live! Interview
Kathleen: Hello to our viewers and welcome to our first ever Facebook Live event for Book Summer: Book Summer Live! Episode 1. We’re super excited to be here. My name is Kathleen and I am one of the reading guides for Book Summer. I am joined by Myiesha, another one of our reading guides. We also have Angelina moderating the comments in the chat. We can stop and answer questions as we go. We hope you guys learn a little bit more about Book Summer. So, without further ado, we’re going to go ahead and get started.
So, Myiesha, could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to become a reading guide for Book Summer?
Myiesha: Hello, everyone. My name is Myiesha and I’m so excited for us to be doing this. So, a little bit about me. As far as my education, I have my Bachelor’s in English with a minor in History. I also have a Master’s in Library and Information Science. As far as why I wanted to be a guide. I’m really interested in and excited about matching readers with books that they want. I am so passionate about reading and I love books and I wanted to have that opportunity to share that love with teens and tweens to get them reading.
Kathleen: Thanks so much, Myiesha. That’s super exciting and definitely something we all have in common. We’re passionate about reading and we want to share that passion with the kids who are part of this special program.
So, for our viewers who may not be familiar, could you tell us a little about Book Summer. What’s it all about? What are we trying to do here?
Myiesha: So, Book Summer is an online reading program. It has 5 week sessions and during that time, we’re hoping to create or reignite a love of reading in teens and tween ages 10 to 15. We believe that this age group is not reading as much and the main reason is that they’re not being matched or have access to books that they actually care about. That’s where we come in! To give them those book recommendations, but not just that. To help them engage with the books and engage with our community through challenges and discussions and really help these books come alive. I just get excited thinking about it because it’s going to be so cool!
Kathleen: You really summed it up perfectly. We are just excited about this and we want to show kids what reading really is supposed to be about. Not for scoring well on a test or mastering some type of content, but just just for pleasure and enjoyment and feeling you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Allowing books and stories to inspire you. All those special things that reading can do. That’s why we’re here and we just want to share that with the readers.
What are you most excited to share with the readers who are participating or what are you most excited about for Book Summer?
Myiesha: I probably mentioned it in a way before, but what I’m really most excited about is to be able to take a reader’s interests and match them with a book that they really want. That’s like my dream job, so I really am excited to be able to try out that and explore the world of publishing. There’s so many books published every day, so we should be able to find at least one that a kid would enjoy.
Kathleen: That’s really awesome and that brings us right into our next category of questions because Myiesha, you are really the reading expert, the book expert. You know a lot about books. I have some questions about favorites.
First, what are your favorite genres? What do you really enjoy reading the most?
Myiesha: Fantasy is at the top of the list because I always love books that really delve into imagination, but I will say the caveat is I’m not a huge fan of high fantasy where it’s lots of world building and all this other stuff. I’m more of urban fantasy or fantasy in the real world. I also love contemporary. I am a sucker for a cute romantic story. And then, I think number three would probably be mystery, but more the first two.
Kathleen: Do you have any favorite authors?
Myiesha: I used to read a lot of Maureen Johnson. An author that I really admire is Octavia Butler. I read her in college and I think I’ve only read one thing she’s written, but when I look at her career, she’s the godmother of Black speculative fiction. It’s so amazing. So many awards! I’ve only read Bloodchild and Other Stories, but her stuff is really intense, so I can only probably read one thing she’s written.
Kathleen: For our viewers, feel free to tell us in the comments any favorite genres or favorite authors that you might have because this is really a cool part of being a part of a reading community. We can share different resources and share our favorites with each other and grow with each other as a community in that way. Myiesha, your passion just really comes through and I just think that’s amazing. It’s going to be so special for all of the readers in our program to see the passion that you have. It’s inspiring.
What would be your go-to book recommendation?
Myiesha: The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver. I served on a Best Books Committee maybe last year and we read that book as one of the nominations. It’s about the daughter of a veterinarian for monsters. And if that doesn’t sound cool. The monsters and veterinarian disappear, so now she has to search for the monsters. I’m someone who reads a lot which is obvious. So, it’s very hard to surprise me. This book gave me discussions about what makes a monster and what constitutes a monster and then it’s, you think you know who the villain is and you think you know what’s happening and then something else happens!
Kathleen: It’s so cool to hear you talk about that. It sounds very unique and interesting and I think it’s cool. Books can allow our minds to go to a different place of curiosity, asking questions, thinking outside of the box. It sounds like that book is a great option for that.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into reading, but doesn’t really know where to start, doesn’t really know where to begin? What would you say to someone to get started?
Myiesha: My go-to advice as far as, ‘Hey I need a book to read. What should I do?’ Goodreads is a good option. Another site that I go to is Book Riot. I would also say that as we mentioned before, publishers publish a lot of books each year, each season. So, don’t try to read all of them at once. Pick three or four that the covers look good, the summary looks good and then from there, read the first few pages, see if you like it.
I know when I’m choosing a book to read I don’t give books long chances to grab my attention. They get maybe a page, maybe a paragraph, and that’s it. Then, I go to something else. Narrow down your options as soon as you can. Don’t try to like, ‘I’m going to pick 10 or 12.’ Just pick three or four and then whittle down from there.
Kathleen: Right. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just stick to a few. I think that’s a great suggestion. That’s something we’re going to be talking about a lot within our program. Different strategies that we’re going to offer to our readers. Again with that community. Helping our readers to help each other to find books that they enjoy. It’s going to be exciting. That’s definitely a big part of what we want to do.
So, Myiesha, is there anything else that you want to share with us about the program? Any final thoughts before we wrap up? Anything you want to say to our viewers who might be on the fence about registering or not knowing if this is the right thing for them. Any final thoughts?
Myiesha: If you can hear by our excitement, we are very much, we are ready! You’re handing off your kid to someone who’s really excited, who’s really passionate about it. So, it’s not something that we’re doing when we don’t like reading, where we don’t see the power in reading. We’re reading.
I would also say that awesomely we have a promotion running until the 30th. So, with the code BOOKSUMMER21, you can get your registration for 50% off. What do we need to say? We have a session starting this upcoming Monday on the 28th. We have two other sessions: July 19th and the session after that starts July 26th. So, we’ve got options and we’re so excited! So, we hope you can see our excitement and join us for a really fun book summer!
Kathleen: It’s going to be really fun. Like Myiesha said, we’re just really excited to be here and to be a part of this. We see how special this is and we’re grateful that we get to be a part of something so cool. I know Angelina, our other reading guide feels the same way. If you tune in to our next Facebook Live series, you’ll get to meet Angelina and hear a little bit about her passion for reading and her background, her story.
Thank you so much to everyone for joining us. If you have any questions at all, feel free to send us a question on our Facebook Messenger. There’s an email account on the website that you can reach out to. We’re here to help you and we want to make this an exciting and fun thing for everyone involved. So, thank you so much for being here today. Tune in next time. Stay posted on our Facebook for more updates and exciting things to come. Thank you everybody!
Myiesha: Bye everyone. Thank you!