Monday, November 8, 2010

I like nonsense -- it wakes up the brain cells.

I like nonsense -- it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope...and that enables you to laugh at all of life's realities.~Theodor S. Geisel

I met a 13 year boy the other day, we were talking about my books.  He told me he hated reading, but he loved reading picture books.  This amazed me, because I meet so many children who don't even consider a picture book.  They go right to the chapter books.   They want to grow up so fast.  I was fascinated with his comment.  

This made me think about when I was in 5th through 8th grade I really didn't like "school reading".  I remember taking such strides to make sure I would avoid all reading homework and found in 6th grade going to the lower-level reading class when we broke up for reading.  I would constantly get remarks on my report card that I talked too much in class, was disruptive in class, etc.  Before my 8th grade year, I found I was moved back up into the average reading level with the rest of my classmates.  I was not stupid, knowing I would actually have to read in reading class.  Well, I didn't.  I remember not liking any of the stories that were in the books.  They were point-blank, "boring".  So, my teacher pulled me aside and said, "Have you ever considered reading a fiction novel, like Stephen King?"So, he gave me my first novel and from then on, I was hooked.  I would read every waking time I would get.  I would ask for more paperbacks for Christmas.  My mom was stunned, you want books?  I said, yes.  I remember my friend Kristen introduced to the Thorn Birds in high school.  This was the biggest book that I ever read.  I knew that it would take me a while to read, but every minute between classes or evening hours I had, I would pick up the book and read.  It was one of my best books ever to read.

If the young boy who didn’t like to read felt pressure and would rather read picture books at age 13, then let him.  Get the comic books out or even what’s really wrong with reading a picture book at age 13 or even age 18 for that matter?  I think our schools, parents and others push us into reading at higher levels.  Let the kids explore and enjoy the Amelia Bedelia or Dr. Suess books; there’s nothing wrong with reading a picture book, as long as it inspires kids to pick up a book and read.

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