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Meet Kindler #1: Shanesha

favicon The Kindle Classroom Project is going well.

This year I’m teaming up with a teacher in Oakland who is as passionate about independent reading as I am. He’s got a great group of ninth graders reading every day, and the results are good so far.

I’m happy to announce a new feature at Iserotope: Meet the Kindlers. Each week, I’ll be introducing you to one of the students in this year’s Kindle Classroom. Here goes.

Shanesha is 14 years old, lives in Oakland, and is excited to be part of the Kindle Classroom. If you asked her last year about reading, she would have told you it was “stupid.” “I didn’t like reading,” she said, “but that’s because I never could pick the books.”

Now things have changed. Shanesha likes choosing what to read and has already completed two books this year. Now she’s reading Perfect Chemistry, by Simone Elkeles, a favorite among girls.

Shanesha said she was drawn to the Kindle because of its selection (the 130+ titles “are actually good,” she said) and its built-in dictionary. When she doesn’t know a word, she can find out its meaning quickly instead of using a dictionary or staying confused.

First quarter grades went out, and while Shanesha is satisfied with her 3.5 GPA, she knows that she must do better if she wants to get accepted to UCLA or Spelman College, her top two college choices. Right now, though, the primary purpose of reading is not for any long-term goal. “It’s just fun,” she said.

Please leave a comment or question for Shanesha!

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I’m excited about where the Kindle Classroom will go this year. In a weird way, it’s almost more exciting when the participating students are not my own. It’s like they’re wondering, Who is this guy with all the Kindles who’s willing to buy me books I want? And it underscores my belief that all young people like to read.

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Meet the Kindlers! favicon


  1. Michele

    Shanesha – this is so cool! I haven’t heard of Perfect Chemistry; I’ll have to check it out. What else have you read that you like? Also, does your Kindle have audio, so it can read to you aloud, if you want it to? I’ve always wondered if people like that.
    Thanks. And have a super fantastic year!
    Michele G

  2. Dave

    Hi Shanesha, Hearing that you have already read two books this year is inspiring. My daughter doesn’t really like to read too much so when I hear stories like yours I get excited. Can you recommend a book that she might like? She is a little younger than you so I’d love to know the name of the first book that you enjoyed reading (even if it’s Perfect Chemistry).
    Thanks and have a great year.

Please share your brilliant insights!