Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Neil Gaiman

Last night I had the opportunity to hear Neil Gaiman speak in a videoconference at the local public library. He won the Newbery Medal last year for The Graveyard Book, but that's the only book of his I have read (though a friend has sent me another of his books and I'm planning to read it soon). Most of the people at the talk were clearly fans, and asked great questions about his books and his writing.

Gaiman talked about many things: intellectual freedom, censorship, his love of libraries and reading, his work as a journalist, his ideas about writing. But my very favorite thing he said was about reading to his children.

I love reading to my kids, and I love reading to my students. Consistently my students talk about my reading aloud as one of their favorite things about my classes. I have posted on this blog about many of the books I have read aloud to my students and my own children. So I completely agreed with Gaiman when he said that reading to his children has provided him with "long-term wonderfulness" and some of the greatest moments of pleasure in his life. He also said that many authors would love to be able to do their own audio books but aren't allowed to by their publishers. He gets to do his own - and even won an award last year for his audiobook of The Graveyard Book. He said the reason he is a good enough reader to do that is that he read to his children for years.

Here's a post I wrote a long time ago about reading aloud to my students.

Edited to add the link to the video of Gaiman's presentation.

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