Celebrate Read Across America Day with NewsCenter1!

NC1 staff reveal what their favorite books are and why!

Read Across America Day Courtesy Fo The GfwcRAPID CITY, S.D.– Originally started in 1998 by the National Education Association, Read Across America is the nation’s largest campaign dedicated to reading and March 2 tends to be the main day associated with the campaign as it falls on the birthday of world-renowned children’s author Theodore Geisel, a.k.a “Dr. Seuss.” Geisel’s rhyming patterns and easy-to-read sentences helped revolutionize reading and create ways to keep children engaged in the text.

To celebrate Read Across America Day, check out some of the NewsCenter1 staff’s favorite books!

NewsCenter1’s favorite reads

Anya Mueller, “Connect With Us” host: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

  • “I like the book because it is bright and colorful, and even has holes in some of the pages for children to count,” Anya said. “It also teaches about overindulgence and that we never stay the same and are always changing.”

Brant Beckman, Chief Meteorologist: “The Last Kingdom” series by Bernard Cornwell

  • “Set during the Danish invasion of England in the early Middle Ages, the series lets you follow the travels of one person during the chaos of Alfred the Great’s rise to power in the late 9th century. He has only one goal – to take back his rightful claim to a small, rather insignificant fort, but gets caught up in the chaos of the time and is forced to take different roads that take him further and further from his goal and accidentally propels him to great events he doesn’t want any part of,” Brant explained. “Life, death, (multiple) heartbreaks, history, and a question of piety… does Odin protect him or the one Christian god? The book really encapsulates man versus everything. There’s been a Netflix adaptation to the book series, but I encourage the book for a more personal feel. Everyone can empathize with trying to hold everything together during times of chaos – particularly given the modern world stage,” he adds.

Eric Greene, Anchor: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

Justin Wickersham, Sports Director: “Sports Illustrated” Magazine (not a book or series, but still counts as reading material!)

  • They have interesting in-depth stories about the athletes,” Justin said. “You learn more about the athletes than just their accomplishments on the field.

Anna Hamelin, Morning Meteorologist: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

  • “It reminds me that the most special parts of life are things we often take for granted,” Anna said. “The society depicted in “The Giver” has been washed clean of all of the quirks of life– from painful memories, to color, to music, to true love. The main character eventually learns to embrace his gifts even though this puts him on a path away from the familiar, and stands up to save a child too.”

Kevin Stanfield, Morning Anchor: “If God is Love” and “If Grace is True” by James Mulholland and Philip Gulley

  • “I grew up in a religion that required strict obedience and God’s love and grace required your “living worthily.” And years down the road I felt unworthy of God’s love and grace and found myself in a perpetual guilt cycle,” Kevin explained. “Mulholland and Gulley’s books gave me a fresh perspective that was 180 degrees from what I grew up with. I consider them to be scripture.”

Joey Kragness, Weekend Meteorologist: The “Alex Rider” series by Anthony Horowitz and “The Leviathan” trilogy by Scott Westerfield

  • “The main characters were around the same age as me when I read them,” Joey said. “And it was easier to imagine me in their place.”

Dave Kidd, Chief Photographer: “Ready Player One” and “Ready Player Two” by Ernest Cline

  • “Ready Player One”- “It is far more than a book about video games and virtual reality. The virtual world of The Oasis serves as an escape for many, in reality, from a world that is used up and hard to live in. It explores just who owns the media when it has become such a huge part of the world– the people that support it or the corporations looking to profit off the platform,” Dave explains. “This book has it all; a love story, a story of loss, and one of perseverance against incredible odds mixed in with all of the 1980s pop culture references your heart desires!”
  • “Ready Player Two”- “The sequel focuses on how far a person is willing to go for those they care about and forces the reader to ask themselves how they define what a person is,” he adds. “Do they have to be flesh in blood or is there more to it than that? As an added bonus the audiobook is narrated by the king of the geeks, Will Wheaton!”

Christina Holiday, Multimedia Journalist: “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster

  • Since first reading it years ago and then watching the movie (which is a very faithful screen adaptation!), I have revisited this novel multiple times and always pick up something new from it. Juster creates a colorful world of characters and locations out of literary devices and plays on words that come together to teach lessons people of all ages can relate to. And the book is full of memorable quotes including one of my all-time favorites: “What you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.”

Mackenzie Dahlberg, Multimedia Journalist: “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult

  • “The Storyteller” is one of my favorite books mainly because it’s historical, and historical fiction is what I usually find myself reading,” Dahlberg said. “What I think makes this book stand out and what it does so well is how it shifts between the present and the past as characters share what their lives were like before and during World War II.”

Catherine Maher, Multimedia Journalist: “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones

  •  “It is a fun and light read that whisks the reader away into a fantasy world featuring an interesting storyline and loveable characters,” Catherine said. “I definitely consider it as my favorite quick comfort read as it always brings me joy.”

Chris Dancy, News Director:

  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee- “A wonderful story well-told with really interesting characters. There’s so much more in the book than they were able to fit into the movie,” he added.
  • “Across Five Aprils” by Irene Hunt- “An interesting way to tell the story of the Civil War, through the eyes of those left behind when fathers, brothers, and cousins went off to fight.”
  • “Johnny Tremain” by Esther Hoskins Forbes- “At the time I first read this, I was about the same age as the main character, so I could really identify with life in Revolutionary War-era Boston,” he explained. “When I re-read it as an adult, I still thought it had interesting characters and a good story.

Ben Jensen, Digital Staff Writer: “Dragon Teeth” by Michael Crichton

  • “I was first drawn to the book because the cover features a T. Rex skull, and I’m really into dinosaurs. And we all know one of Michael Crichton’s most famous books is Jurassic Park, and I’ve been a fan of Crichton since. The main character is a fictional character, but he gets caught up in a real-life feud between paleontologists Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh.” he explained. “Perhaps it is how the story flows from attending a fossil expedition, to facing the lawless beginnings of Deadwood, but I found the story captivating and I couldn’t put it down. When a chapter ended, it made me want to read another chapter to see what happened next.”

Ben Ross, Digital Staff Writer: “The Toy Collector” by James Gunn

  • “The Toy Collector” is full of amazing characters and incredible storytelling,” he said. ” Also it is James Gunn, so it is super wacky!”

Melissa Cline, Digital Staff Writer: “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens and “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado

  • For “A Tale of Two Cities”- “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”  A Tale of Two Cities is the greatest love story ever. Sydney Carton sacrifices his own life and being with his love Lucie so that his friend Charles Darnay can escape the fate of the guillotine and be with Lucie,” she said.
  • Facing your Giants- “It is a Christian-based book encouraging you to face life’s battles just as David did,” she added. “David brought a rock to a sword fight. Even if you are not the strongest, the smartest, the best equipped, God gives you what you need when you need it.

Reed Langer, Media: “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

  • “I really liked Steinbeck’s timeless pondering on the relationship between values and ownership,” he said.

Miranda Kruse, Production Manager: “Faerie Tale” by Raymond E. Feist

  • “The book explores the truer nature of what the Fae are, but in a modern setting,” Kruse explains. “Spoiler alert: They are NOT cute and fun.”

Jasmine Moreno, Digital Fulfillment Coordinator: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

  • “For me I enjoy taking time to learn about the life I live in and the people around me including myself. I think the more time we take to understand the universe around us; the more time we take getting to know ourselves and from there we can provide more authentic love and understanding in the world,” she explained. “This book is a great direction of universal understandings on how to live a more authentic, loving life and how to heal from some of the things we may have to deal with living in this world.. Nothing is absolute in this life but it is cool to have inspiration and this always gives me a lot of that.”

Desiree Rohrbach, Creative Services Manager: “Pet Semetary” by Stephen King

  • “Pet Semetary is a fantastic read but not for the faint of heart,” Rohrbach explained. “What I love about Pet Sematary is that it’s a cautionary tale about the dangers involved in tackling grief and how trauma can change a person. A slow burn horror story in which Stephen King sews discomfort and tension in unexpected ways. A book that he almost couldn’t finish writing.”

Jo Anne Schaffer, Business Office: “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers

  • “Redeeming Love” is the story of Hosea in the Bible, written in the times when we were experiencing the Gold Rush,” Jo Anne explained. “It is a reminder of how much God loves us and the extent to which He will go to chase after us and pursue us.  It also keeps you guessing all the way to the end and keeps your interest.”
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