Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Read Well And The Rest Will Follow

My daughter is eight years old, and one of the most important goals I have in raising her is to teach her to love to read because I think reading is such an important skill to have.  I feel that the better she reads and the more she reads the eaiser other subjects become.  I truly believe that.  Read well and the rest will follow. 

We have always read together.  I've read to her since before she was even born.  When she was younger she used to watch me read my adult books, eventually getting one herself and pretending to read.  She watched me pack my book around in my purse.  She watched me shopping for books.  She watched me add books to my list.  She has always been interested in what I'm reading.  She'd ask for me to read to her from my book, and when appropriate I would.  Reading has been one of our favorite things to do together.  She loves to go to the library and has participated in story time and the summer reading program since she was two.

I read to her almost everyday of her life until Kindergarten when she started reading to me.  One of my favorite things to do is to listen to her read.  It makes me so happy and so proud.  She started reading chapter books a couple years ago.  We started out reading them together.  At first I'd read them to her, then we started taking turns, and eventually she was reading on her own.  I remember the exact moment I knew she was a book lover...She was reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  All was quiet in the house.  We were both reading on the couch.  She was reading her book, and I was reading mine.  All of the sudden I heard her go, "Whew!!!".  I looked up at her and she was breathing heavy with a big smile on her face.  "What is it," I asked.  "That scared me," she laughed.  Even though I know she told me at the time, I don't remember what was happening in the book   All I know is, that is the exact moment when I knew she got it.  Reading wasn't just reading to her.  It was an experience, an escape, an adventure, and I was so happy for her.

Last year she watched the movie, Percy Jackson & The Olypians: The Lightening Thief.  (Movies are another of our hobbies.  We both love them)  She liked the movie so well I decided to get her the first book in the series for Christmas last year.  Let me just say she loved it, and devoured the rest of the books in the series in two short months.  Pretty good for an eight year old if I do say so myself.  She cried when she finished the last book and was sad for an entire day.  I was sympathetic because I understood.  I was about her age when I met Anne Shirley.  In January she started keeping a book list herself.

I said all that to say this...I am now on the third book in the Percy Jackson series, The Titan's Curse.  It's not the type of book I usually read, but I'm reading it anyway.  How can I expect her to read the books I suggest if I won't read the books she loves.  I'm reading it because my daughter asked me to read it.  I'm reading it because it's important to her.  I'm reading it becasue we're reading buddies.  I'm reading it out of respect for a fellow book lover.

Booklist 11-20

11.The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
12.The Winter of our Discontentment by John Steinbeck
13.Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
14.The Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty by William Bligh
15.Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
16.A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
17.Billy Bud by Herman Melville
18.The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
19.One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
20.The Wizard of Oz by Fran L. Baum

Robert Louis Stevenson

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