Friday, March 27, 2015


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Kip would tell you that he isn't a reader, but he actually reads other things besides books all the time. It's puzzling to me, not because I like to read SO MUCH, but because of what I do each week at school talking with reluctant readers. This is one of our biggest challenges especially when working with middle school boys. They say they don't like reading, but lots of times no one has handed them the right thing yet! I like to imagine that I could time travel back to adorable middle school Kip and hand him something else to read that may have interested him way more and kept him in books. I have a feeling it would have been nonfiction, and probably a wide range of it too.

I had to be kind of sneaky to capture these pictures of Kip reading. I caught him reading articles or magazines that family saves for us, but he also checks in almost daily on the web reading lots of news articles. For Valentine's Day I surprised him with a book about the ambush of Bill Keys. He wanted to get it after the tour on our honeymoon, but the National Park bookshop was closed. And then he forgot about it so it was an excellent surprise. It was a cold weekend so he read the whole thing in the next two days, and I think really loved it. He's definitely the lifelong learner I thought I would marry.

The best thing about Kip? He gives me plenty of space for my books and time for reading. It's gotten really bad lately because we keep getting new books at school or something good that I requested at the library comes in, and I can't wait to read it too. We're at a time in life where there is some extra time to read - no wedding to plan and kids to chase. AND I'm using reading to avoid grad school. What else is new? Maybe reading all this young adult literature is research for grad school too? Maybe.

One of the kids at school told my friend Amy that he didn't know any adults who liked to read. We're working hard to build our reading culture, and we shared this quote from Gary Paulsen with our students. I think it captures how I feel pretty well.

“Why do I read?
I just can't help myself.
I read to learn and to grow, to laugh and to be motivated.
I read to understand things I've never been exposed to.
I read when I'm crabby, when I've just said monumentally dumb things to the people I love.
I read for strength to help me when I feel broken, discouraged, and afraid.
I read when I'm angry at the whole world.
I read when everything is going right.
I read to find hope.
I read because I'm made up not just of skin and bones, of sights, feelings, and a deep need for chocolate, but I'm also made up of words.

Words describe my thoughts and what's hidden in my heart.
Words are alive--when I've found a story that I love, I read it again and again, like playing a favorite song over and over.

Reading isn't passive--I enter the story with the characters, breathe their air, feel their frustrations,
scream at them to stop when they're about to do something stupid, cry with them, laugh with them.
Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.
A book is a friend.
You can never have too many.”

1 comment:

It was so nice of you to stop by and say hi!