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Friday Reconnect: Week One

By Chloe Grant, Read to Them Staff

Hey there, readers! Today marks our halfway point in our journey through Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi. As we head into the weekend we’re eager to find out what will happen between Grahame and the town villagers. We hope they come to know and love Grahame for the charming drake he is. Did you know that a member of our team got the chance to interview Grahme’s creator live? That’s right, if you’re looking for some book related content to fill your weekend, look no further! Check out Emily’s Q & A with Tony right here. Similarly, if you seek for something to do that will sharpen your practice of the spoken word, we’ve got you covered.

Grahame and Kenny bond over a love of literature and poetry. Have you ever thought about poetry or literature as the art of spoken word? As we’ve been reading this week we’ve looked at the words in our book a little differently. We’ve taken some time to read them aloud and appreciate the sounds and feelings they produce. Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. And trying it is exactly what we’re inviting you to do this weekend! Find a poem, a section of this book, or any other book that you’re particularly fond of, or like a lot. Then, practice reading it aloud. Have fun with it! Add voices, personality, and notice how each word rolls off your tongue. If you’re feeling dramatic, perhaps you’d like to memorize your selected piece and perform it as a monologue. (A monologue is a dramatic speech performed by an actor, in this case, you!)

However you decide to celebrate the art of spoken word, have fun with it! While normally in a Friday Reconnect we’d include writing prompts, today we’re offering some thoughts, questions, tips and tricks surrounding the practice of reading aloud:

  • Not sure where to get started, or what poetry is even about? The Poetry Foundation has lots of content to help you out...Including a page made specifically for children. There you can find poems and resources curated by Naomi Shihab, this year’s Young People's Poet Laureate.

  • is another great resource for exploring children’s poetry, they too have a whole section of their website devoted to poems for kids.

  • Are you curious about making spoken word, or reading aloud, a regular practice at home? Check out the Make Reading Fun section of our website to find a few tools and tips that may help reading aloud become a fun part of your family’s routine.

  • As you’re preparing your monologue, poem, or maybe even writing your own piece to perform, ask yourself, what makes this piece special? Is it the dialogue of the characters? Or perhaps the way the words flow together? Think about what you notice, and be active in bringing those things into your reading! When you start to read aloud, wonder to yourself, how can I make my listener notice those same things?

  • In this week’s chapters Kenny tells Grahame about his struggles with the other kids at school. They don’t really understand his interests, and his love for literature and poetry isn’t something his classmates can relate to. Do you have any interests that make you feel othered or left out? Why do you think that is? How can you create an open environment for you and your friends to explore your interests and share them with one another?

  • Also! Did you know that the United States appoints a National Youth Poet Laureate each year? You may be familiar with the inaugural youth that served in this position in 2017, Amanda Gorman. She herself is a powerful poet and performer of spoken word. Here’s a performance she did on CBS This Morning of her poem, “The Miracle of Morning.”

We hope your weekend is filled with sweet words and happy readings. We’ll see you next week as we embark on the remainder of our journey with Kenny & the Dragon. Stay kind, and thanks for your time!

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