I Caught the Bug

The reading bug, that is. Not to say that I haven’t gotten the actual bug, because I’m sick … again. Seems like at least once a month I catch something, and June has been no exception (although I was hoping it would, what with the nice weather and all). OFF TRACK, sorry. Let’s try this again:

I caught the reading bug.

When I catch it, I fall hard. I live, breathe, eat and sleep reading. I’m usually able to put off doing it during the school year, because I get so consumed by reading that I stay up way too late just living in these other worlds and devouring picturesque words and fascinating details. I picked up a book when I needed something to do Monday night when it was raining. “Quick reads,” I told myself. “You need to train yourself to be able to read and be human at the same time.” That must sound like an easy task. For those who read the way that I do, you know it’s not. So I came up with a challenge for myself: read the children’s literature books that I want to recommend for my students this summer. And this challenge is more fun that I thought it would be.

As a kid, I wasn’t an avid reader of traditional children’s books, I’ll admit. I mean, I had my go-to’s: Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley Jr. High, etc (those last two are embarrassing now, but my fond memories and enthusiasm for them, and for the BSC, especially have inspired two my students to pick it up the children’s companion series, The Baby-Sitters Little Sister, and devour all the books that I have available for them, so maybe it’s worth it). But I spent more of my kids reading days being consumed with wanting to be a grown up and therefore, reading what I thought were more “grown up” books. Also, with my first language being French, it’s not like English literature kids’ lit classics were recommended by my teachers. So I missed out on that stuff. Willingly, of course, but still missed out. To rectify that, as an adult, during my first bachelor at the University of Ottawa, I took their wonderful children’s literature class. We read the super classics: Peter Pan, The Princess and the Goblin, Alice in Wonderland, etc. And it was wonderful. But I looked at it through adult eyes. That, to me, defeated the purpose of why I thought I would use it – to have worthwhile recommendations for my students.

So, my 3rd graders have been quite the eye openers. They’ve showed me this whole crazy world of children’s literature that I didn’t even know about. We started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone last week. As a kid, I thought I was too grown up to read Harry Potter. It came out in 1997 – let’s note that I would have been 10 (yes, I was that 10 year old). I have to spill this: how did I not know that Harry Potter is amazing?! Oh my God, we’re all captivated as we read, and we’ve barely made it passed the first chapter. My boys are obsessed with the Captain Underpants series. I have to get on that and see what the fuss is. My girls? They keep talking about Ramona. Also, Dork Diaries. I have a few boys that are really into Beast Quest, so I’ll have to check that out.

Books that I am going to be downloading to read to see if I get a feel of them at all for the perfect student match:

  1. Mr. Popper’s Pencils by Richard Atwater
  2. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
  3. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  4. You Wouldn’t Want to be a Roman Gladiator! by John Malam
  5. The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
  6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  7. Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
  8. Silence and Stone by Kathleen Duey
  9. Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
  10. How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegert

I’m trying to hook the kids on to series that they can devour at their own pace, but that will still be interesting. Any further suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

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