A little about us

Jill Berrett Given

I am Jill Berrett Given, a former librarian, current mother and, most importantly, a lifelong lover of books. Growing up with my five sisters, we all read so much that my parents had to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule to get us to put our books down. Every so often they would declare a “reading dinner” where we got to read at the table, and you would have thought Christmas had come early in our house!

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in History from Brigham Young University, I decided to gain some actual employable skills and started a graduate program at Indiana University. I earned my Masters of Library Science in 2010 and spent that summer as an intern in the archives of one of the Smithsonian Museums. Luckily for me, Amanda was an intern at the same museum that summer and, with much in common, our friendship has continued to today.

I remained in Washington, DC after my internship and worked in the special collections of the Gelman Library at George Washington University. I married my love, Sam, in 2012 and now stay home with our children. My heart soars every time I see one of my three kids pick up a book to look at on their own and this past year we have embarked on a next level of joy in our family, as our oldest has been learning to read (and is rocking at it)! I very strongly believe that a love of reading brings untold amounts of joy into lives, and I am here to spread that love wherever I can!

Three books I’m lovin’ right now:

Amanda Fristrom

I am Amanda Fristrom, and I am a travel-loving mother currently living in Dubai, though I claim South Dakota in the USA as my home. I truly enjoy puttering around in the kitchen and have an ever-growing spice collection. I have my own business, redecorate my home constantly, and am most definitely a wanna-be musician and linguist. Really, though, I am an old, cat-lady at heart. My introverted self loves the idea of snuggled in front of a roaring fireplace or by a large window listening to the sound of the rain while I drink a giant mug of cocoa, book in my hand, cat in my lap.

We travel. A lot.

While attending Brigham Young University- Hawaii for my Bachelor’s in International Cultural Anthropology (yeah, that’s a thing you can get a degree for), I started my love affair with traveling and lived as a llama shepherdess in Peru, studied the Middle East in Jerusalem, and got pretty far into learning the Tongan language (yeah, that’s a language – but don’t ask me anything now other than “hello”). I found my way to an internship at a museum branch of the Smithsonian collecting data for houses of worship, and met Jill. We bonded over daily crossword puzzles and shuttle bus commutes discussing the boy I really wanted to be dating at that time.

At some point I ended up not only dating that boy, but marrying him. He whisked me away in 2011 to his native land in the Nordics, and I’ve formally had my mailing address abroad ever since. After Stockholm and Helsinki, we moved here to Dubai in 2013. My full-time job is at home with my children, though I’m pretty sure I dabble in almost everything while I’m doing that.

I grew up in a home with two professors who fostered in me a respect for language, education, and books. Now I appreciate this upbringing even more as I see people from all different demographics trying to build better lives for themselves and their families.

Three books I’m lovin’ right now:

We hope you join us on our journey learning about implementing reading strategies and a love of books in our homes that will improve all of us in our families and in our communities and societies as a whole.

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