December 18, 2017

There’s an eight-year-old reading stories to sick kids on YouTube, and it will warm your cold heart


The amazing Shira. Via YouTube.

Another story to file in the children are heroes department: eight-year old Shira Josephson uses her YouTube channel to read books to children who are too sick to leave their hospital beds or have visitors.

As Jason Duaine Hahn writes at People, Shira got the idea for her channel while training to become a Junior Ambassador at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She noticed there was an area of the hospital she wasn’t allowed to visit because the kids there were too ill.

Then she had an idea: if she filmed herself reading stories, the kids would be able to watch from their rooms on their computers. Within a week, Shira created her own YouTube channel, Shira’s Story Corner.

Shira posts a video about once a week, with help from her mom who films her on an iPhone. From a cozy chair surrounding by stuffed animals, she reads from quintessential children’s books such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Corduroy, Paddington Bear, and Peppa Pig. And yes, she takes requests.

Shira tells Hahn that she wants the children to know, “I will do everything I can to make the videos special for you, so you don’t feel alone.”

According to her parents, Shira has been a book lover for most of her life. Last July, she became an author herself, after publishing her first book, The Girl on the Subway, twenty-four hand-drawn pages, with proceeds going to benefit the CHLA.

It’s encouraging and impressive to see a philanthropic spirit in someone so young, and Shira has obviously mastered the art of combining books with technology. The children are our future.



Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.