Book Lover: Reading Helps Aisha Johnson Know Different People, Places And Times

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Besides spending time with her family and friends, Aisha Johnson loves cuddling up with a good book. When you walk into her house, you can tell she is a voracious reader because of the big bookshelf filled with stories for all ages! She has even let me borrow a couple.

Even as a child she loved to read, her favorite book at the time being Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry. I have that book but still need to finish it.

I’m excited that Aisha Johnson is today’s book lover because not only is she a fan who interacts with me on nearly every post on my Elena Reads website, but also is a really special family friend, Check out what she had to say about books:

Question: What is your favorite book and why?

Answer: My favorite book is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.  I read it first in high school, and admit then a lot of its meaning went over my head, but I recently re-read it and the two other following books (it’s a trilogy).  The book is about the transitions in tribal culture in Nigeria with the arrival of Europeans.  It’s about the rapid changes that happen, and the different ways the culture was infiltrated- from hostile violence to introduction of religion to provisions of schools.  Also, the ending in the book is so abruptly heartbreaking, that the feat of writing so much in really just a page of two highlights Mr. Achebe’s incredible talent.    My second favorite book is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabella Wilkerson.  It is about the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to North and West.  I learned a lot from that book, and also am able to relate, as my own family is part of this migration effect.
Q: What was your favorite book when you were my age?
A: My favorite book when I was your age was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.  Have you read it?  The main character is a nine-year-old girl, and she has a very strong family that is a support as she has to navigate the racism of the Jim Crow South.  It’s a tough but really important topics for all kids, but especially Black kids to learn about.  People had to be so strong and resilient to survive that system.  It’s a great lesson on how strong even young people can be.
Q: Why do you love reading?
A: I love reading because it opens up new worlds.  Reading allows me to experience different people, places, and times. I read a lot of books set in places I want to visit.  I also read books for inspiration, especially historical fiction that tells how people overcame great odds, or had a lasting impact on the world.  I also find reading to be very relaxing, it’s a great way to wind down the day.
Q: You  always ask really good questions on the blogs posted to my website. What do you love about elenareads.com?
A: I love your blog for a several reasons.  First, the amount of content- you are such a voracious reader and have so much to share.  I also love that you read and review books for different age groups, so you appeal to beginning readers through older kids.  I think you ask very good questions of the authors/ illustrators you’ve interviewed, and I can see progression on the maturity of your writing style over the last year.  Lastly, I adore the commitment you’ve shown to the blog, and it’s exciting to see how it’s growing and the types of amazing opportunities (eg. EdTalk) and people (Madam CJ Walker’s great-grea-granddaughter) that you’ve had because of it.
Q: Do you love print books, e-readers, audio books, magazines, or newspapers better, and why?
A: I prefer e-readers best because they are easily transportable.  I do sometimes listen to audiobooks, but tend to find I prefer the narration voice in my own head as a read over the recorded reader!
Q: If you start a blog, what will it be about?
A: Hmmm, I think I would start a blog about kids and ergonomics (the study of fitting the person to the task).  I studied ergonomics in college and work in the field, and I see so many kids using poor postures while they work on their laptops or smart phones, or carrying too heavy backpacks.  Also, I think a lot of the world is designed with poor accessibility to kids.
Q: If you could rate yourself (1 being the worst and 10 being the best) on your love of reading, what would your score be and why?
A: My love of reading is probably a 7 right now.  I score that way because right now I’ve let a lot of other priorities get ahead of me taking the time to read, so it’s been a couple months now that I’ve read a book.  But, I still love it- and this has inspired me to go find something new to read!
Q: What do you do for fun besides reading?
A: My main source of fun is spending time with my very active family, and seeing my friends when I can.  (She is pictured with her husband and three boys in the featured photo.) I also love to garden and to try new restaurants.

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