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October 25, 2023

Racing to read: Maddie Amberg | My Bookmark

Maddie Amberg is a volunteer coordinator for Reading Partners Seattle. Her reading journey started before she got to kindergarten. She remembers listening to her friend read Charlotte’s Web to her and realizing that she wanted to be able to read it herself.

The next book on her reading journey was The Stinky Cheese and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, a book that she and her three younger siblings absolutely loved.the stinky cheese man and fairly stupid tales; racing to read

“It was such a silly book with a plot that centered entirely around a stinky cheese man running all around town and causing havoc!” Maddie says. “My mom would sit down with us almost every night to re-read it and all of us would be laughing so hard by the end of it!”

A couple of other books she remembers virtually every word from are Skippyjon Jones and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

“There were super worn-down copies of both in one of my grade school classrooms and I have such a vivid memory of always racing to read one of those during silent reading times,” Maddie says.

When she first started reading books, they were mostly titles picked out for her by the teachers and adults in her life. “Although I loved a lot of those pre-selected books, I’ve slowly started to read books I’ve chosen for myself and quickly realized reading on my own terms makes me want to read all day every day!”

When Maddie thinks about books that are around today that she wishes she could have read as a child, a few titles come to mind.

in our mothers' house; racing to readA Family Like Ours, In Our Mothers’ House, and more offer growing readers an opportunity to learn about worlds different than their own, which I believe will help build a more inclusive and accepting culture in our world,” she says. “Growing up, there weren’t many books about all the different types of families and family structures, both of which are seen in a lot of new children’s books today. It’s so exciting to see that children today have more opportunities to see themselves and their families reflected in books!”

Maddie believes that reading books can be incredibly empowering for young students today. 

“Books can help students see themselves in a positive light (especially when someone who looks like them is the protagonist) and also expose students to worlds they might not be familiar with,” she says. “When students feel better about themselves and are familiar with worlds dissimilar to their own, they have more opportunities to grow up to be successful, kind, and inclusive leaders in our society.”

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