The girls don’t think it’s cool to read.
Sad isn’t it? These kids’ parents read to them every night. With expression. And voices. Lots and lots of voices. So what gives? Why believe there’s no such thing as a good book? Should I blame Disney Channel? Vine?
Smartphone apps that allow you to spin your mental wheels without getting anywhere? This is what happens when the school makes kids read books they don’t like.
During summer vacation.
What if we did this …
What if … we let the kids read … whatever they wanted to read?
Think about it a minute.
Grown-up book readers – what book hooked you? A trilogy or short work of fiction that trumped TV and baseball, boys and bike-riding? I’d bet it was something you picked out on your own. A classic?
Or, it might not.
But it hooked you.
Twilight never saw the light of day in our house, but the Hunger Games books did. The girls have dusty favorite kid books on the shelf. Some come from dad’s childhood, some from mom’s, some completely their own. Who doesn’t love a story?
How sweet is a story that you discover on your own?
Books have moved Elise since she was 4. It was Rosie’s demise as the Jetsons family robot that got her misty then. More recently? A book about the holocaust kept her up at night. Books rouse and books stir.
And I’d love to find a way to help my girls discover them again.
My guest post on Diary of a Word Nerd got me thinking books. And writing about them. Not just to impress Letizia. Although, won’t she be?
So come on CD – what books did your girls hate?
It wasn’t so much the books. Although, I wasn’t crazy about them, either. Assigned reading feels like a summer-long homework assignment from hell. Don’t be surprised if your audience is tough to impress.
Here’s what I’ll do about it: The girls and I will visit a huge book store in Rock Hill. I’m will let them loose. This joint has paperbacks from every genre. I’ll watch them choose something. Anything.
I want them to judge a book by the cover or at least by the book-jacket blurb. I want them to choose something … and read it.
Grace spent her own money at the book fair, and picked Doll Cemetery and a Percy Jones book. I hope they become tattered and dog-eared. Marie liked Divergent. Elise devoured The Hunger Games trilogy.
So here’s the plan.
The book they pick? Not required reading.
But if they finish … we’ll go back. We can get the next in the series, or another book like it, or one they checked out but passed over. Maybe something new. And maybe we’ll stop at Sonic because it happens to be happier hour.
We might talk about the books, and I might tell them about mine. Books by Stephen King and Jack London and Lee Smith. And Ernest Hemingway, at some point.
Maybe they’ll read the books their sisters read. Or that I did.
And this might become a expensive, but what an investment.
And maybe I’ll even put down the draft of the next blog, and pick up a book from my shelf that has propped up our Christmas village for years.
And reading might even feel … cool again.
What book hooked you on reading as a kid?