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June 14, 2023

The key to a better tomorrow: Karla M. Gurley | My Bookmark

Karla M. Gurley is a program manager for Reading Partners North Texas. One of her earliest literary memories is sitting with her sisters and other family members as they read books together. Her favorites were stories by Dr. Seuss. 

the shack book cover, better tomorrow

When she was a little older, she remembers reading The Shack, which became one of her favorite books. It was that story that sparked the tension, intrigue, and excitement that she feels when she reads today.

Since her early days of reading Dr. Seuss books with her family, Karla’s literary journey has evolved. “Now that I’m older, have joined book clubs, and made friends who love reading books, I am being introduced to new books that I wouldn’t necessarily choose on my own,” she says. “It’s great learning about new authors and falling in love with new books!”

m is for melanin book cover, a better tomorrow

There are many books that Karla wishes she had when she was a kid, but one stands out more than the others: M is for Melanin, a book that affirms and inspires boys and girls with brown skin.

“Representation matters in books. I love seeing book covers and characters who look like me. It immediately makes me want to read the book and buy it for a friend,” Karla says. She feels an immediate connection to books like these and knows that they can help kids develop a love for books and a desire to read. 

Not only can diverse books inspire a love of reading in young children, but Karla believes they can also be the catalyst that changes the world. 

“The right book in a young person’s hand can give them the ability to dream and hope for their huge and amazing tomorrow,” she says. Books can “touch a young person’s mind, can empower them to think about things they don’t usually think about, and encourage them to live out a ‘Yes I can!’ mindset.” 

Karla believes that the life-changing nature of books may be why some seek to ban them in schools and libraries. “We often fear what we don’t know,” she says. “Maybe the key to our better tomorrow is empowerment through reading!”

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