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Monday, May 9, 2011

What To Do?

I spent today doing things I especially love: reading and quilting. The quilt has been evolving for a year now...an experiment of patterns and green fabric combinations. The borders are finally attached, the backing is sewn together, and quilting designs are moving through my mind.

The reading has not been as pleasurable as usual, and I am always uncertain about what to do when this happens. Our state has a youth reading award, and each year twelve books are nominated to receive it. Some I have read, and some are titles we never ordered. So, I began reading two of those "new" to me today...and was disappointed. One has a narrator who is seven but sounds like she is seventeen. The other has a interesting plot, but the characters do and say some inappropriate things (which makes me think of movies with added curse words for which there seems to be no purpose other than shock value).

Each fall I do a book talk about these nominees for the fifth graders and encourage them to read all twelve. To vote, they only need to read three, but we talk about what a better understanding of the voting process a reader gets when all have been read. So, now I struggle with how to promote books I do not feel are all that great.

To remind myself of what good books feel like, I started rereading The Wednesday Wars for the fifth time! As one of my favorite book characters (Isola Pribby in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) said, "Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."

3 comments:

  1. Even though some of the books don't appeal to you, maybe for a few of your students they will seem perfect. It reminds me of our governmental elections; there have been some candidates who say things merely for their shock value and are totally inappropriate for office (in my opinion), but other voters love them...and some have even been elected!

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  2. Or, could you be honest with your students? Say, "These books didn't appeal to me, but one of you might like them." It could almost be a challenge for them.

    Loving your quilt--those greens remind me of our new spring leaves.

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  3. You're right, of course, David. And your words are the right way to handle the presentation, Joyce.

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