Cherry Hill Men Read

Real Men Read, first introduced in the Chicago Public Schools in 2006, aims to inspire students to improve
their reading skills and introduce them to men who value education. 
Cherry Hill Public Library is partnering with our

school systems and local community to create our own Cherry Hill Men Read!

Art Simons
     ~Cherry Hill Public Library Board of Trustees President


Have you always been a reader?
I was a voracious reader as a child (we had contests in school to see who could read the most books). While most young boys were reading The Hardy Boys, I read a series of books by John R. Tunis about The Kid from Tomkinsvile. The star baseball player was thinly modeled after Ted Williams. I also read a series of well written English books about kids solving mysteries but I cannot remember anything else about them. 

Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy historical fiction (i.e. Erik Larson) but I've been on a mystery book kick for several years, authored by Louise Penny, Elizabeth George, Charles Todd, and Donna Leon.

What are you reading now?
I'm currently reading an Elizabeth George mystery (Inspector Lynley), a bridge book, and The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson. Among my recent reads, I highly recommend Larson's The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance during the Blitz.

Ben Ovadia
~Member of the Cherry Hill Board of Education


Have you always been a reader?
I have always loved to read, for myself, and to my kids. I am a lifelong Dr. Seuss fan - Oh, the Places You'll Go! is my favorite of his, but I always enjoy Sneetches, The Lorax, and the Cat in the Hat. And Where the Wild Things Are is my favorite to read aloud to my kids. This year, I read Show Way virtually at Horace Mann Elementary - it was a new children's book for me, and very touching. 

Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite genres to read?
I love books that make me think; that have a point of view to explain the world. Malcolm Gladwell is a favorite author of mine. Blink is my favorite of his. I recently discovered John Maxwell and his leadership books. I enjoyed the 360 Degree Leader that I picked up last year. 

What is your favorite genre?
I am a big fan of great literature - like George Orwell books. 1984 is my favorite of his. Catcher in the Rye is another favorite. Fahrenheit 451, The Crucible, and The Scarlet Letter are great. I guess I enjoy a touch of dystopia, though I consider myself a realist with some optimistic tendencies. 

My recommendations are: I planned to re-read The Book Thief and try Freak the Mighty to be able to discuss both summer reading books with my kids. My son and I are committed to trying a horror-genre audiobook on an upcoming trip. We'll see which title that turns out to be. Overall, I recommend reading different genres and trying on different points of view; I've never gone wrong by picking up a book or giving an audiobook a try either. 

Dr. Joseph Meloche 
~Superintendent of Cherry Hill Public Schools


Have you always been a reader?
I have always been an avid reader - my parents both loved to read and instilled that love and passion in me. 

What are some favorite books from your childhood?
Charlotte's Web, Davy Crockett biography, Abraham Lincoln biography, Call of the Wild, White Fang, Little House on the Prairie series, A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Rumble Fish, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Gulliver's Travels.

What authors or genres do you enjoy?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Jack London, Matthew Quick, Sarah Crossan, Kwame Alexander, William Shakespeare, James Baldwin, Natasha Tarpley, Alan Gratz, and John Irving. I enjoy historical fiction, biography/memoir, and contemporary young adult. ​

What are you reading now or do you recommend?
Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man, Nevertheless We Persisted, A Gentleman in Moscow, Educated, The Color of Water, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Refugee, and The Jungle.

What are some of your other hobbies? 

Besides reading, I enjoy going for walks, visiting the beach, and playing pickleball. 

Abel Augie Ramos
~Assistant Principal, Cherry Hill West


Have you always been a reader?
Yes! My
mother would always tell me that if I can read, I can do anything.

What are some childhood favorite books?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Pearl by John Steinbeck, and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite genres to read?
Shel Silverstein, Nick Hornby, Kurt Vonnegauht, and James Baldwin.

What are you currently reading?
by Isabel Wilkerson and Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon


Josh Greene
~Adult Services Librarian

Have you always been a reader?
My mom was a teacher so my siblings and I read a bunch growing up. As a child I used to love the books Corduroy by Don Freeman, The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss and Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale, to name a few I can remember. As I got a bit older I started reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, Madeleine L'Engle ‘s A Wrinkle in Time alongside it’s sequels, and whatever I could find in our school library since we had to do reading programs in elementary and middle school.

What genres and authors do you enjoy?
I tend to go for speculative fiction (Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror or little sprinkles of magic and superpowers), regular fiction, YA Fiction and graphic novels/manga. I like how authors are able use fantastical elements in a way that can reflect in real life. Sometimes it’s easier to separate from the real to seriously gain a better perspective plus it’s like going on a wild adventure in the safety on your own home.  Some favorite authors right now are N. K. Jemisin, Grady Hendrix, Joe Hill, & Stephen Graham Jones.

What recommendations do you have?
I’m an English major so I have a list of mandatory and voluntary books I read. Out of the academic books I had to read, Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells and Outsiders by S.E. Hinton were stand outs. Other books I would definitely suggest reading is Runaways (volumes 1-3) by Brian K Vaughn & Adrian Alphona, The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gilleron, All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, NOS4A2 by Joe Hill and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.


Kip Bard 
~Library Assistant

Have you always been a reader
Yes. I have pictures of my Dad (see above) reading to me when I was a toddler. We had a collection of Little Golden Books and the Childcraft series that I remember reading when I was very young. When I was 9, the Civil War Centennial was a huge thing, and I became very interested in the Civil War and for years I read a great deal about it. I especially liked the American Heritage history of the war and This Hallowed Ground by Bruce Catton, a book about the Battle of Gettysburg. I also very much enjoyed books by Richard Armour, a college professor who wrote humorous satirical books about history (It All Started with Columbus), literature (American Lit Relit, The Classics Reclassified, Twisted Tales from Shakespeare), libraries (The Happy Bookers), medicine (It All Started with Hippocrates) and a number of other topics in addition to personal memoirs. Sadly, I think they are out of print now. It was a family joke that when I got a book for Christmas, I’d start reading it as soon as I unwrapped it and it was hard to get me to open the rest of my presents.

Who are your favorite authors/genres?
I only read non-fiction. I read mostly about baseball history. One of my favorites was Steve Rushin’s The 34-Ton Bat. I also like U.S. history books with a light, off-beat touch, like You Never Forget Your First, a biography of George Washington. I also liked a book about the final resting places of the presidents, but I can’t recall the title. Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers (there are dozens) are a favorite for light reading.

What are you reading now?
Now I am reading Ray Didinger’s Finished Business and enjoying it. I also liked The Sawbones Book, a light-hearted history of medicine and Leigh Montville’s Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth.


History of the Real Men Read Program

Impact of the Real Men Read Program

Studies have shown that the Pre-K-12 student population that needs the greatest support are Black and Latino males (Noguera 2012) and that the involvement of a father or positive male role model has a positive impact on children (Rosenberg and Wilcox 2006).

In other words,
Male mentorship + reading aloud = could lead to an increase in students' interest in reading and encourage students' overall reading activities.

  • The Potential outcomes of this focus on early literacy (Pre-School and Kindergarten) include:
    • Increased use of library
    •  Increase in # of parents who read to children
    • Lifetime love of reading
  • Real Men Read connects public libraries and librarians with elementary schools in New Jersey through library-school partnerships.
  • Real Men Read addresses the need to help children with reading and provides male mentorship.
  • Real Men Read involves partnerships with K-12 schools in your community.
  • Real Men Read can lead to an increase in library patrons and use of resources, especially children's literature.
  • Real Men Read has the potential to support our greatest at-risk students, African-American and Hispanic males.
  • Real Men Read can make a difference in the lives of children.


Cherry Hill Men Read
Real Men Read