Guest review written by Casssandra Hamlin
What is your most favorite book in the whole wide world? Could you name a book title quickly or would it take you a while to search your mind for that perfect book? How would you feel after being asked that question?
Many people would love the opportunity to talk about their favorite book. For Henley, the main character of the book, My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World, this task is one that he struggles to complete because of his relationship with books and reading.
Throughout the story, it is evident that Henley would rather do other things than read books. He tries and tries to find that “perfect” book, but realizes he must first search deep within himself to discover what truly is his favorite book in the whole wide world.
After reading this book, I naturally wanted to research more about the author. In the process, I came across another amazing story of a reluctant reader-Malcolm Mitchell himself.
Malcolm was a highly successful college football player for the University of Georgia, an NFL football player for the New England Patriots, and was part of the 2016 Super Bowl championship team. While he is known for his very decorated past and has accomplished many great feats, Malcolm Mitchell has also been very honest about his history with reading and how he struggled to read even up to his college days. He realized that reading was just like football in that you must practice becoming a better reader.
And that’s exactly what he did. Malcolm practiced and practiced. He even joined a woman’s book club after a chance encounter at a local Barnes and Noble bookstore that changed his entire reading life (watch it here).
Malcolm Mitchell eventually set out to become an author of two children’s books: The Magician’s Hat and My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World. He is also the founder of a reading initiative called, “Read with Malcolm” which focuses on book ownership for students and helps promote literacy in schools.
This year, World Read Aloud Day will be celebrated on February 3rd, 2021, and My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World has been selected as one of Scholastic’s top picks.
This book is a special pick in which many young reluctant readers will be inspired by Henyley's and Malcolm Mitchell’s personal stories on literacy perseverance. It just may very well be their favorite book in the whole wide world!
Cassandra (Cassie) Hamlin is a veteran Literacy Leader. This is her 23rd year in teaching. She is an advocate for students who struggle with reading and believes in having fun while learning. Cassie loves children's books and is an enthusiastic life-long learner.