Drop Everything and Read Day


     I have often felt embarrassed to admit the type of books I love to read; my favorite book genre has been a source of embarrassment for far longer than I’d like to admit. The source of this discomfort stemmed from family members shaming me for still being a fan of Fantasy and YA Fantasy novels as an adult. 

     Within the past few years, I noticed myself perpetuating this cycle of literary shame with my own daughter. Once she started to read on her own, she fell in love with graphic novels. But last spring, as she was nearing the end of 5th grade, I convinced myself that she would ONLY be prepared for middle school by reading chapter books. 

     I stopped buying her graphic novels, and filled her bookshelf with chapter books. Instead of encouraging her love of reading, I turned it into something she started to dread. I cringe to admit that I started to do what my own mother had done to me. Toxic, generational cycles are a you-know-what, aren’t they?

     I made the mistake of believing the reading myth that graphic novels don’t count as “real reading”, just like my own mom believed that reading Fantasy was a waste of my time. I’ve since realized that the benefits of reading don’t suddenly disappear just because a book has pictures. 

     She learned about the horrors that Jewish people had to endure during WW2 when she read White Bird: A Wonder Story (A Graphic Novel).  She was learning about genocide, racism, and fascism (in an age-approrpiate way) from a book with pictures?!? Yep … and she also learned about empathy, kindness, and hope. 

     She could relate to the Latino kids in a mostly white school when she read Invisible: A Graphic Novel. She also learned about racial prejudice and stereotyping, language barriers, homelessness, the separation of families, migrant workers, toxic masculinity, and bicultural identity.

     One of her favorite graphic novels ever is Go with the Flow. It made a difficult subject relatable, and helped her feel more comfortable to talk about periods with me. It also touched on social media, gender dynamics, institutional misogyny, and activism in an approachable, age-appropriate way.

a girl on a bench reading a book

     I hope you get the chance to read today – and to read something you love – because today is Drop Everything and Read Day. DEAR day is celebrated each year on April 12th as a reminder for families to make reading a priority. It took me a while to get here, but my name is Maddie and I love reading Fantasy. And my daughter Sophia? She loves graphic novels. 


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Maddie K
Maddie is a fulltime single mom to a biracial and bicultural daughter. When she's not busy surviving her daughter's tween years, you can find her reading. This proud book nerd's other favorites include: coffee, Harry Potter, Spanish, fighting the patriarchy, scuba diving, skincare, tacos, and always advocating for inclusion. Definitely an introvert, she has way too many pets, and no longer allows herself to look at the social media accounts for Stray Rescue or the Humane Society. A former educator, Maddie is now grateful to work from home as an analyst. Maddie is also a childhood AML Leukemia survivor, and has been battling Papillary Thyroid Cancer since she was 19 (without divulging her age, let's just say it's been way too long lol). She's spent most of her entire life in the St. Louis area - some of her favorite things about the city are: STL sports teams, the Zoo, the cat cafés, Novel Neighbor, and Imo's pizza (Provel cheese is still real cheese in her heart)!


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