2020 Reading Year in Review: Part Three

Welcome back for Part Three of my 2020 Reading Year in Review! This final installment reflects back and looks ahead to my 2021 Reading Forecast. How did I measure up against my 2020 Reading Goals? Which anticipated sequels am I squeeing over? What unfinished reading business do I bring with me into the new year? Read on to find out!

Looking Back

2020 Reading Goals

I entered 2020 with some pretty lofty reading goals. I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish despite my pandemic brain!

I met my first and most important reading goal of reading more diverse books. At 55%, diverse books accounted for more than half of my shelf (up from 41% in 2019). I wanted to do this because what I read is what first comes to mind when I make recommendations. I’m much more happy now with the representation in my “mental quick picks” lists. For example: like Junie B. Jones? Meet Lola Levine, Mindy Kim and Mia Mayhem!

I also met two of my other goals: upping my transitional chapter book and animal fiction advisory game. Alas, I spent a lot of time seeking solace from other fantasy worlds and did NOT read much nonfiction about this one. I also didn’t explore as many early readers as I would have liked. The early reader landscape has changed A LOT since I last taught kindergarten some 5 years ago, and I really want to refresh my knowledge of this collection area.

Unfinished Business

Speaking of reading nonfiction… I am such a SLOW nonfiction reader! Taking my time and lots of notes with these two titles. I am loving the Libby app and the ability to export my reading highlights and notes into Evernote!

Looking Ahead

Sequels to Squee Over

Being a serial reader, there are SO MANY sequels coming out in 2021 that I can’t wait to read! And for me, that means re-reading the books before. Maybe I should try a “don’t read series until they’re complete” goal… 🤦

2021 Reading Goals

In the spirit of Melinda Gates, I picked one word instead of setting specific goals for 2021. My word of the year: FOCUS.

This might mean focusing on my practice and picking up some professional development books; focusing on my personal well-being and reading books about health and wellness; focusing on what I love to read and binging on some manga series. We’ll see!

New Reading Resources

Wherever else my FOCUS takes me, I always want to be reading more diverse books. Here are some great new-to-me resources:

Black Children’s Books and Authors (BCBA)

“Our mission is to promote awareness of children’s and young adult literature by Black authors. Our online author directory lists traditional and self-published authors. Whether you are a student, parent, educator, librarian, avid reader, or someone who just stumbled upon this site, this resource is for you to expand your knowledge of Black children’s authors and the stories they write.” I love the monthly New Releases posts – this is an excellent resource if you work in collections!

Heartdrum (HarperCollins Imprint)

Heartdrum, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, offers a wide range of innovative, unexpected, and heartfelt stories by Native creators, informed and inspired by lived experience, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes.

Project LIT Community

There are more than 1,900 Project LIT chapters across all 50 states (along with several international chapters), all committed to the same goals:

  • EMPOWER our students as readers, writers and leaders
  • PROMOTE a love of reading in our schools and communities
  • NURTURE authentic reading identities by increasing access to high-quality books, building community and fostering a sense of belonging
  • CHAMPION young people and books that reflect their lived realities, communities and identities
  • ADVOCATE for literacy policies and practices that will build lifelong readers
  • SUPPORT AND INSPIRE one another as we improve our practice and pedagogy
  • READ, DISCUSS AND CELEBRATE books that make our students feel seen, heard, affirmed and valued
  • DEVELOP our cultural competence and EXPAND our thinking, regardless of individual starting point
  • AMPLIFY voices and stories of students and educators of color
  • REWRITE the narrative about which texts and authors are deemed worthy of academic study
  • PROVIDE students with as many positive literacy experiences as possible

The 20-21 Book List is fantastic and I am thoroughly enjoying reading my way through it!

20-21 Project LIT Picks

2020-2021 Project LIT Booklist Plain Text Version

Lastly, I really want to circle back to my 2020 reading resolution to read more nonfiction. The Teen Librarian Toolbox #FactsMatter Project is focusing on juvenile and teen nonfiction and information literacy throughout 2021. I can’t wait to get good book recs and program ideas!

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