I Love a Good Book
I Love a Good Book is a story of a young boy who loves books. He loves books with family members, non family members and alone for a humorous reason. I Love a Good Book is the first book written by Dr. Kimberlie Harris, a veteran elementary teacher and owner of PHraseD LLC, a freelance writing business.
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When did you write I Love a Good Book?
Explaining when I wrote I Love a Good Book is tricky and I keep replaying it to make sure I’m not remembering wrong. I’m sure that it all started in 2016 when I was at home on maternity leave. I breastfed my son and that often led to long periods of time sitting and doing nothing other than feeding him. At first, I tried watching tv and that worked for a few weeks. I completed Lost and many other series on Netflix, but then I got tired of watching television, so I started singing to my son and also making up silly stories. Some of them were ridiculous stories about family members and the different toys my son had, but a few were not shabby. While my son slept, I started writing some of the stories down. I planned to share them with him one day when he was older, but when I went back to work I didn’t think anything else about them.
An entire year went by, since I had written those stories, and then I was on summer break with my now 1 year old son. While writing a recommendation letter for a friend, I came across the stories. I had fun reading them to my son, so much so that I started writing some new stories about the things that he was doing then, since the first ones were all based on him being only a few weeks and months old. One of his most favorite things to do at the age of one was read. Now, I know you’re either rolling your eyes or wanting proof of my child prodigy, so let me explain a little more about the backstory of I Love a Good Book.
Now looking back, I Love a Good Book was really written about my son’s relationship with books between the ages of one to three. The original story was written about his beginning love for books as a one year old and then updated and fleshed out over the next few summers as he grew as a reader at the ages of two and three. I do even have video footage of him throughout those years that prove his book lover status. I have videos of him going to get books and bringing them to different members of our family, pushing books around the floor, opening up books and “reading” them to himself. Like I said before, I Love a Good Book was one of the new stories I wrote in the summer of 2017, but then over the next two summers I updated it with his new book loving pursuits.
I Love a Good Book wasn’t the only book that I wrote over those summers. There were three in all, each dedicated to some new experience or activity in his life. Funny enough, when summer was over, I didn't think anything else about I Love a Good Book or any of the other stories for that matter until the following summer and then the summer after that. Each summer from 2017 to 2019, I’d go back and read the stories, read them to my son and update them a bit, but that was all. Many teachers can support me in saying that once the school year starts, we tend to have tunnel vision and we rarely have time for anything else except for work and our family. I didn’t really think about I Love a Good Book or the other two stories again until spring 2019, one day as I was teaching a group of my fourth graders.
Why did you write I Love a Good Book?
Telling why I wrote I Love a Good Book is much easier to answer than when I wrote it, lol. I wrote I Love a Good Book to celebrate my son’s love for books. I have read to my son since I found out that I was six weeks pregnant. As an elementary language arts teacher, for the majority of my teaching career and an avid book lover, I knew that I wanted to give him the best chance at educational success, but more than that I wanted to make sure that he had a good relationship with books, so that it could be something we bonded over. My father and I are book lovers and bonded early over a love for comics and our love for dark dramas (I started reading Stephen King at an early age). I was hoping for the same bond with my son. I Love a Good Book is in some ways a peek into how books became not just a way for my son and I to bond but a way that our entire family bonded with him.
I didn’t understand this at first, but the more that I think about it, the more that I realize that I also wrote I Love a Good Book for my students. There is a lack of positive books about boys that are not sports related. There is a lack of diverse children’s and picture book stories. I Love a Good Book is one that I knew, on some internal level, that my own young students (kindergarten to about first or second grade) would like to read. Each day when I see them we start our day with book checkout, then reading and writing or engaging with books and the young boy in I Love a Good Book is someone that I knew my more reluctant boy readers would like. I Love a Good Book checks all of the important boxes because it is positive, fun, shows diversity and is relatable for young boys.
Who is I Love a Good Book for?
I Love a Good Book is for children. In beta reader testing, it was enjoyed by both boys and girls. It’s meant to inspire young children to read and love books, but I Love a Good Book is especially for young boys, especially Black and Brown boys. Yes, I originally wrote it about my son, but I have realized that it wasn’t just about him, but about all the boys I have ever taught. I can tell you name after name and stories after stories about the young boys I’ve taught that hated reading. Their hatred for reading is one of the reasons that my main missions as an educator became giving children the tools to make sense of their world and to be successful on their own terms. Data and research prove that one of the best ways to equip students for success is to ensure that they read and write well, so literacy and early literacy became one of my passions. It is the reason I pursued the additional degrees and conducted the action-research and dissertation that I did for my master’s and Ph.D. I Love a Good Book brings that entire journey full circle.
Officially, I Love a Good Book is for children from age 0 to 6, but in reviews from Beta readers, it was enjoyed by students as old as 8 years of age. I Love a Good Book is a perfect choice for daycares and schools to purchase on behalf of students from preschool to second grade (depending on their reading level). There are also lessons and activities that accompany I Love a Good Book to help children in that age range to start learning and practicing the fundamental skills they need in those grade levels.
Why did you decide to publish I Love a Good Book?
Explaining why I decided to publish I Love a Good Book is another tricky answer. I decided to publish I Love a Good Book for quite a few reasons. The first was not to be a hypocrite. Yes, you heard me right, I published I Love a Good Book to not be a hypocrite. Earlier, I mentioned a day when I was teaching strategies for writing narrative essays to my fourth graders. To break the ice and motivate students during our writing sessions, I always share stories from my own life (mostly from my childhood growing up in Jamaica). I would also model