Monday, June 22, 2009
Books that Belong in the Treehouse.
Something About Books
Yes, I am immersed once again in the amazing world of children’s and young adult literature. I am of the generation that began to read in the decade of the 1970’s and it seems that when I was done with picture books and fairy tales and all things Beverly Cleary that, with the exception of Nancy Drew, I jumped straight into adult literature.
Granted, there wasn’t the wealth of YA material then as there is now, so I am grateful that over the past several years I have been given the opportunity to have a “purposeful” reason to read “Peter and the Star Catchers”, “each little bird that sings”, “Stop Pretending” and of course Harry Potter all over again and, yes, The Twilight series among many, many others. And now I know that the only reason one needs to read these book is to simply enjoy them.
Here is my question. What was your favorite book as a child or during your tween or teen years? Did you even LIKE to read? So many of my current students have NEVER read for just the pleasure of it and that really distresses me. The NEA commissioned a study in 2004 that states “Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) survey released today. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline - 28 percent - occurring in the youngest age groups.” There are some flaws in the study, in my opinion, but it does a good job tying literacy to many important aspects of our culture and puts a magnifying lens up to what we are potentially losing as a society by not reading.
So share your favs with me and I’ll share them with my summer students, who always need suggestions as to which books to read. Who knows, your idea just might be THE book that hooks that reluctant reader.
New York Times Children’s Book List