The greatest honor of my life is being raised by two parents who share a deep passion for literature and great books. I remember listening to the crime-solving Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on cassette tape during road trips in the station wagon and reading Jane Austen's Emma for the first time because it was my mother's favorite book—memories woven into the pages of literary giants.
When Principal Stoltzfus told me last year it was her personal goal to read one book each year that her daughter Avery was reading in high school, I decided to embark on a similar journey with my then third and fourth grader. I eagerly immersed myself in the world of swashbuckling pirates within the pages of Treasure Island and laughed alongside Mr. Popper and his mischievous penguins.
Reading these stories with my children exceeded my expectations. Not only did I find satisfaction in reading these classic stories for myself—it opened a door to create meaningful conversations and connections at home.
At Liberty, we hold these literary treasures in high regard, recognizing their immense value in shaping young minds. However, the responsibility of nurturing a love for classical literature does not rest solely with educators—it rests with parents. When parents read alongside their children, they send a powerful message about the value they place on these stories.
Daniel Willingham, author of the book Raising Kids Who Read, said, “How can you show your child that reading and learning new things are family values? An obvious implication is that your child should see you reading. Telling your child to do something you neglect yourself won’t work.”
The Read-Together Challenge was born out of this idea of shared experience. By reading classical literature with your child, you embark on a journey of discovery together. Parents are given an opportunity to model the pursuit of beauty and goodness and hopefully, find themselves immersed in the stories for themselves.
The stories selected for this challenge are a great place to begin the adventure, and there are so many great stories to choose from on the Liberty Great Books List
and in your student's curriculum map
. Read your student’s copy at home, check out a copy from the local library, or purchase a copy to add to your personal library. Take advantage of the opportunity to read together. The rewards are boundless, and the journey, unforgettable.