Phalen recently interviewed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers about literacy and his ambassadorial platform “Reading is not an option.” One of my favorite moments:
I was raised in a foster home and my mom was not a wonderful reader—she could read with her finger tracing the words. She would read with me maybe three days a week. I looked forward to that time—it was just mom and me. I wasn’t conscious of learning anything—I was just sharing the time with her. And eventually by the time I was four I was picking up words because she was reading primarily True Romance magazines. By the time I was five, I could sit there and read to her. And it was not something that I was formally learning or she was formally teaching me. It was just the time that we spent and shared together. . . . What I’m seeing is that many of the parents think you have to be a really good reader to teach your child. And that’s not true.
Read the abridged interview or listen to it in its entirety here.