By: Sara Walker

Do you remember what SSR stands for? No, I didn’t either until I read the words: Silent Sustained Reading. It was that period of time they assigned you in school- the fifteen or twenty minutes you would get to read any book you wanted. SSR in this context also stands for Shit She Read, which is a fun play on words.

Let’s think more about SSR from middle school, though. If you were anything like me, you weren’t reading the assigned books we had from classes because you had already finished them. And that 15-20 minute SSR time, was pure heaven.  Alli Hoff Kosik is probably a lot like you and I back in the day.  She just loves books.

In fact, she loves them more than most people.  Ali started her career at the Penguin Random House Publishing. Yep, that place all readers have heard of.  She now works in the freelance world which allowed her to develop her podcast SSR.  Her motive behind creating the SSR podcast was to revisit the books that inspired, shaped, and impacted her as a young person.

SSR is not simply a trip down memory lane however, it goes a lot deeper than that exploring the impact that storytelling and reading stories as a young person can have on us. The media, whether it be books, music, or digital, has an impact on how we view ourselves and the world around us. Sometimes this is positive. Sometimes this is negative. Often times, it isn’t everything that we remember it to be.

Alli explores childhood stories that appear quite different to us now as adults.  She explores the impact that reading adult content as young people can have on us. Some topics have included feminism, or rather anti-feminism, gender topics, diversity, politics, sex, and more. Important concepts and topics, but how does what we read shape us?  What are young people reading now and how are those conversations moving forward in a positive way? Who knows, but Alli will likely explore it.

So, how does she do it? Every week Alli features a guest on the show. She invites them to reread a common book from childhood. They discuss the book and its effects afterwards with no filter. Some of the books that have been reviewed are A Wrinkle in Time; Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; Goosebumps; Little House on the Prairie; Nancy Drew; and more. 

So, get ready to take a memory lane trip and analyze the impact of what we read when we were small by listening to the SSR podcast every Tuesday on iTunes. This show is funny and offers smart reactions to some of our most beloved stories from childhood. You can also visit the SSR website here and learn more about Alli, her views, and her new popular podcast. It might be your new favorite. Enjoy!