We have a calendar at From the Mixed-Up Files. It gives us members the dates of the upcoming posts, who is assigned to a particular date, and lists if something special is celebrated on that date. My assigned day was today, October 24, 2018, and the something special celebrated on October 24, 2018, was listed as United Nations Day.
United Nations Day?
How in the wide world of sports was I going to find one of my usual go-to middle-grade sports book topics to fit with United Nations?
It’s World Series time! College and professional football have hit their full stride. College and professional basketball have started. Volleyball! Local high school fall sports! All this plethora of sports-related fall activities and not one is United Nations related.
Oh well, so much for working in United Nations Day into a post.
I started thinking.
Dangerous, I know.
Yet, the wheels in my distracted brain turned. The gears whined and squealed and smoke billowed out of my ears.
What unites us? A lot of things, that’s for sure. My guess is that we have more things in our human existence that can work to unite us rather than tear us apart. Two things, though, kept appearing on my mind’s horizon.
United by sports.
United by books.
Think about it? The World Cup. Harry Potter. The Winter Olympic Games. The Hunger Games. The Summer Olympic Games. Ghost by Jason Reynolds. Baseball. Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park. NBA. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.
Book fandoms unite!
And then books as a unifying force streamed into my feeble brain…
How about some global book unity in Pernille Ripp’s Global Read Aloud?
- 2017 Middle Reader Selections
- Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
- The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
- A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park
- 2018 Middle Reader Selections
- A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
- Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
Nerdy Book Club and the nErDcamp Movement
The Nerdy Book Club blog is a daily dose of this book unification theory. If you haven’t treated your book-lover soul to a nErdcamp yet, I suggest you get yourself a free ticket and make the plans to catch one soon. Here are a couple of links to my favorites.
Classrooms & Libraries UNITE with a book!
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
- Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt
- The Night Gardner by Johnathan Auxier
- How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia
- The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
- The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
- The Amulet Series by Kaz Kabushi
- The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
I could go on forever listing books which have united me in brotherhood with fellow readers, young and old. How about you? What books have brought you a sense of community and shared experience?
Books are powerful elixirs.
Reading is a superpower.
Books have the inherent ability to attract like-minded humans. Carry a beloved book, like your tattered copy of Coraline or Hogfather, around in public and see what reactions this incites. My guess is there will be comments or, at the very least, a shared smile in appreciation of the book. Just as a sports jersey of your favorite team pulls together other fans like moths drawn to the porch light, readers are held in orbit around their favorite books by literary gravity.
Wouldn’t it be cool to see the UN General Assembly set aside a month for a book exchange? All the countries exchange a book from their country with a polar opposite country. Bond through books. Peace one page at a time. Words for a wise world.
Imagine a class, a library, a town, and a nation enjoying the camaraderie of a single book. Not quite magic, but something really close. Something that has the potential energy of a lightning bolt wrapped between the front and back covers of a book.
Like with our favorite sports teams, we are passionate about books.
We are united by books and that, my friends, is a powerful medicine.