Elena reads. A lot. She loves, loves, loves to read. So Elena, who lives in Oakland County, decided to become a blogger, book reviewer and interviewer of authors and illustrators over at Elena Reads.
And Elena, 10, has also shared her love for reading as a featured speaker at Ed Talks, a series of short sessions during Metro Parent’s 23rd annual Education Expo held on Sept. 30, 2018, at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. Elena recommended her favorite books that reflect diversity, including Malala’s Magic Pencil.
Before and after she was on stage for her Ed Talk, Elena was hanging out with her family – her parents and younger brother – at her exhibitor table in the Rocks & Minerals area of Cranbrook Institute of Science, sharing her insights and recommendations. Elena chatted up her literary gems among the gems.
Through her Elena Reads website and her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, Elena turns other kids on to the books, authors and illustrators that reflect diversity and that widen her view of the world. She knows she’s reaching other kids because, as Elena puts it, “They comment on my posts – even from India and the Philippines.”
Elena picked Malala’s Magic Pencil as one of her favorites because, she says, “It was inspiring to me, but also will be inspiring to other girls to do something like Malala did.”
Pakistan-born Malala Yousafzai, 21, is a Nobel Prize laureate; she has become a symbol of bravery and resilience for women and girls across the world. Elena learned about Malala in second grade (she’s now a fifth-grader), but she says it was Malala’s first picture book – woven around a magic pencil that Malala uses to change pictures around her – that really touched her.
What would Elena ask Malala if she had the chance to interview her?
She says she’d ask, “What advice would you give to kids who want to be brave and make a difference?”