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To My Fellow Readers,


The Reading Den with Shen is a moniker I adopted to advocate for children’s literacy. As a career educator, I have dedicated my life to advancing the potential of young learners. It is a passion that burns still today. I believe it is my earnest love for reading that taps into the hearts and minds of young children, and pushes them towards a lifelong love of literature.


My journey began over 40 years ago when I started teaching elementary school. The first stop was Harlem, NYC where I taught under-privileged children. From there, I would serve as a reading specialist for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for over thirty years. I always enjoyed being involved in programs beyond the classroom. A lot of my time was spent working with the Smithsonian Institution storytelling project, coordinating a mentoring program, and creating a school-wide radio show. Today I call Southern California home. I continue to teach reading and writing at the elementary level for students on the accelerated track.


I ascribe to the notion that every child deserves a personalized reading program based on their needs and interests. Great new books are never far away if you know where to look! My discovery process includes attending children’s literature conferences, chatting up librarians, and researching my favorite authors.


Shendel Haimes

is Mrs. Read For Fun!

Every year I read dozens of children’s books to better understand their difficulty level and theme. Armed with this knowledge, my goal is to motivate children to pick up a book and invest time in a story. I strongly believe that advocating for these books is the best way to get children to read.


Reading is a family tradition. My husband and I enjoy sharing countless adventures on and off the page. My son is a screenwriter, proving that a love of reading and writing can be passed down from generation to generation. Please join in the fun and share books with someone you love!



Shendel Haimes


P.S. Ask me about my collection of autographed children’s books, and what it was like to meet some of my favorite authors!

Shen has been a reading specialist for over 40 years with a masters in education.

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