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John Schu has made a career out of advocating for the people and things he cares about most: kids, books, and the people that connect them. John is a children’s book author, a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and the children’s librarian for Bookelicious. He was named aLibrary JournalMover and Shaker for his dynamic interactions with students and his passionate adoption of new technologies as a means of connecting authors, illustrators, books, and readers. He has served on multiple national committees, including the John Newbery committee and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature selection committee.
John is the author ofThe Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life(Stenhouse, 2022),This Is a School(Candlewick Press, 2022) illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison, andThis Is a Story(Candlewick Press, 2023) illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Lauren Castillo. He is a contributor toThe Creativity Project(Little, Brown, 2018), edited by Colby Sharp. John Schu lives in Naperville, Illinois, and his greatest joy is sharing his love of reading with countless educators and students around the world.
With the rise of teacher stressors, new and changing state standards, and high-stakes testing, it is more important than ever to remind literacy teachers and teacher-librarians about the reason that brought them to this profession: the love of story.
The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life, by John Schu (affectionately known as "Mr. Schu" all over reading communities), invites readers to consider literacy beyond its academic benefits and explore how universal truths found in stories can change us, inspire us, connect us to others, answer our deepest questions, and even help us heal along the way. Using his experience as a teacher, librarian, book lover, and story ambassador, Mr. Schu asks readers to reflect on what it means to share their hearts through stories and how it can connect us to individuals and learning communities.
The Gift of Story is presented through a study of five affective elements: Healer, Inspiration, Clarifier, Compassion, and Connector. Along the way, readers will encounter insightful contributions from educators, children’s writers, and illustrators, as well as recommendations for sharing the gift of story with learning communities including: treasured book suggestions that stir reflection, engaging tips for celebrating literacy, and heart-growing applications to lift classroom and library practices.
Celebrate the way we define and imagine ourselves through literacy by using stories to connect to others, build and strengthen community, and honor the children we were called to teach.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion