Saturday, January 12, 2013

You read the wrong books...

My post title is one of my favorite--albeit watered down here--quotes from Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. When I first heard this quote, it resonated with me. I had always considered myself a voracious reader, devouring anything I could get my hands on, but had I missed the right books somewhere along the way???

Even though I was an English major and loved writing myself out of any pickle, I often opted for the cliff notes versions of some of the classics I was assigned to read. I appreciated the imagery-rich descriptions of settings and clever dialogue and delving deep into the language to discover hidden meanings, but I much preferred the thrilling page turner with the seductive plot (Judith McNaught's Paradise was one of my all-time favorites. I know, right!?!?). As an English teacher, I have been so blessed with getting to go back and give some of these classics their due, but I always encourage my students to find something--anything--that they can sink their teeth into when they choose their own reading materials. I firmly believe that reading something is better than reading nothing (with the exception of fifty-shades-of-trash and the like).

As a child, I spent hours holed up with Little House in the Big Woods, Ramona Quimby, Anne of Green Gables, The Chronicles of Narnia, and my mom's old Nancy Drews and Boxcar Children, but I also devoured every Baby-Sitter's Club and Sweet Valley Twins book I talk my mom into ordering from Scholastic as well.

As a mom, I have tried to be intentional about what I have introduced my girls to in the literary world.  I am so, so thankful for my friend who introduced me to this book below:

It is such an inspiring book that really challenges what we are teaching our kids through what we expose them to. As a literal--and literary--person, I have always been focused on the words, the word pictures, the dialogue, and the story. This book reminded me of the power of the illustrations, and I have been introduced into a whole new world of capturing the young reader through actual visual pictures that make the words come alive.  I am reading these books with fresh eyes.  This book supplies a recommended reading list for each age group, and we have made our library lists--and our Amazon wish lists--through this resource.

Below are some of Addison's current favorites.  The Great Girl Stories collection is something that my mom picked up at a bookstore in Seattle a couple of years ago. In it is a collection of snippets of some of the classic early chapter books that I hope Addison will want to read--stories from Anne of Green Gables, Matilda, The Little Princess, Ramona, Pippi Longstocking, Heidi, Little House in the Big Woods.  We have just started reading some of those, and it thrills me to see her focused interest. I also LOVE it as well!

These are some of Ansley's current favorites. She asks for the Rainbow Fish every time we sit down, and she has named her babydoll Annabelle, and all of her stuffed monkeys are now George.
I am so thankful to have come across this book, and I would definitely recommend it!

***In my reading world, I just finished Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, and it was so, so interesting!

1 comment:

J said...

I loved the King book 11-22-63. You would love it, Kristy!

I have just started The Book Thief. Have you read that one?

I can't get the boys into the book love affair I had when I was their age, specifically Luke's age...I was a bookworm by third grade. He can take it or leave it. I blame video games and their being boys. Jake seems more interested, so we'll see.