Episode 39: The Magic of Reading With Your Kids | Jed Doherty (aka Jedlie)

 On this week's dose of book recommendations, library love, and literary enthusiasm, our guest is Jed Doherty. Jed is the host of the Reading With Your Kids podcast, the co-host of Solve It For Kids and an educational comedian and magician. Today we'll talk about the importance of reading with your kids, how Jed ended up being a magician, some of his stories from his many travels and interviews, and swap some really great book recommendations. I had an absolute blast recording this episode, and I hope you enjoy it. 

Follow Jed and his projects on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramReading With Your Kids Podcast , Solve It For Kids Podcast, andYouTube

Follow Laura on Instagram @library.laura and on the Facebook page

Bookshop.org books from today's episode 

This week's guest on The Library Laura Podcast - Jed Doherty. Jed is a podcast host, educational magician, and more! 

Jed hosts and produces the Reading with Your Kids Podcast, which provides book recommendations and author interviews designed to encourage parents to spend more time reading with their kids and having meaningful moments together. 

"Whether you acknowledge that you're telling a story or not, you are."

When I connected with Jed, I knew that we would have a great time talking about the importance of reading with your kids, something that we are both passionate about. Reading with your kids shows them in a real, tangible way that you love them and care about them. It also builds their vocabulary. Kids understand reading aloud at a higher level than they can comprehend when reading on their own. 

What I didn't know was how many amazing stories he would have to share from his own life and experiences. Sometimes I do a pretty great job of summarizing conversations from the podcast here on the blog. But Jed told some wonderful stories and typing them out here would not do them justice. If you need something something written out, let me know and I'll do my best to accomodate you. But if not, please enjoy listening to today's episode for the the full effect! 

Jed invited anyone who is interested in having a live virtual magic show for a group of kids to let him know. He usually talks to school administrators, but those wonderful people are flooded with other responsibilities right now. He's looking for other people who work with groups of kids that would be interested. He still wants to do everything he can to make sure as many kids as possible get to benefit from his shows, so if this sounds beneficial to you or some kids you know, reach out to Jed

So, without further ado, let me share with you the titles of the books that we talked about today for your reference. 

Books Laura Recommended to Jed

Jed enjoys reading widely. He explained that he used to love Stephen King, Anne Rice, and scary, gorey vampire story genres. However, he said the day his son was born he put down creepy books and never looked back. 

Currently, he reads a lot of mysteries and detective procedurals for fun, such as the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child, and also enjoys informative books like The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray. He also loves stories about people, such as Father Greg Boyle's books, that inspire him to be a better person. 

I recommended: 

  • The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God's Goodness Around You by Shannan Martin - Jed's stories about Father Greg Boyle reminded me of this book that I read last year. This book tells about Shannan's experience living in an inner city with her husband who is a police chaplain. It emphasizes opening up your heart and home and stepping out of one's comfort zone. 
  • We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly - set during the failed launch of the Challenger from the perspective of school children, also a great story about the influences of teachers. 
  • Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown - I recommended this based on Jed's reading of the Madness of Crowds. I thought he would enjoy this one especially, but I love all of Brené's books. 
  • Summer of L.U.C.K. by Laura Stegman - a fun fantasy book that could inspire many conversations with kids if used as a read-aloud.
  • I couldn't help myself, I had to recommend Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. This was partially based on Jed's appreciation for detective stories because Thursday is a literary detective. Also this series is very zany. Finally, the "mime field" scene in one book was in my mind's eye, and I felt like Jed would appreciate this. 

Books Jed Recommended to Laura

  • I told Jed that I was interested in a good read aloud for some 5-year-old girls that I know, and he recommended The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola. Jed said this book was beautiful and meaningful to him and his kids. It helped Jed's kids understand what their dad did for a living. And Tomie DePaola is one of the greats of kids literature. 
  • I also wanted Middle Grade recommendations from Jed for my own reading life. He recommended The Phyllis Wong series by Geoffrey McSkimming:  Phyllis Wong and the Return of the Conjuror and Phyllis Wong and the Waking of the Wizard. She's a magician and she has inherited a mechanism for time travel. The books celebrate friendship and responsibility and have a great vocabulary. 
  • Jed recommended a historical book for me to read called Voyage of Mercy by Stephen Puleo. It tells the story of the USS Jamestown, a converted warship, which left Boston in March 1847 loaded with precious food for Ireland. 

Other Books Mentioned on the Episode 

Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir by Father Greg Boyle

LeVar Burton was a guest on the RWYK show featuring his book Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm 

Laura mentioned growing up with read-alouds like The Wizard of Oz Series and the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy

Laura read some childhood favorites to some kids in the family over Zoom early in the Pandemic, which included Winnie the Pooh, Madeline, and I Don't Care Said the Bear

And...last but not least, your bonus content for the week 🤡

This is the picture I was describing to Jed when I was telling him about my childhood aspiration to be a clown. I can't believe I'm showing y'all this. Also, I am glad that I have ended up as Library Laura instead of Lizzy the Clown. But I also love the fact that I learned about making balloon animals, and I still love bringing people joy whenever possible. 

With lots of literary love from my library to yours! 



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Library Laura
Laura is an avid reader who is happiest when surrounded by books, tea, blankets and/or friends. Host of the Library Laura Podcast.


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