I am lucky enough to be participating in a Voxer book club for Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer. Though I am not great at keeping up with the group or staying on topic, I have loved listening to conversations about school libraries, reading cultures, excitement about reading, staff book sharing; dormant, developing and underground readers.
Right now we are talking about our top 10 books. When I first heard Julie‘s prompt, I thought oh geesh, how am I going to narrow down my hundreds of favorites to just 10. But the more I mulled it over and the more titles I delighted in remembering, the more selective I became. Did I love Blubber by Judy Blume because I read it 27 times or did I read it 27 times because it spoke to me that year? Why would I consider Escape from Warsaw or When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit when their subject matter was so honest and sad? Do I have fond memories of Little Women because I read it with my grandma by her fireplace or because Louisa May Alcott’s MA childhood seemed familiar and lovely to me?
I haven’t come up with any answers yet but as of right now, my tops so far are: Sky’s Witness: A Year in the Wind River Range by C.L. Rawlins (sadly out of print but I read it several times during my years in NH’s White Mountains); Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean; Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker (I like many of her books but this was the start to a big college project that I just adored); Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol (I read many of Kozol’s books and felt stirred by all of them); The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett; I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis. I love children’s books by Mem Fox, Jan Brett and Kevin Henkes, but I Love You Like Crazy Cakes speaks to me on another level. 🙂
Our niece, Katie (in the green teeshirt), reread the entire Harry Potter series several times. Watching her react, remember and relive her reading experiences at Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World last week was all the proof I needed that students should be allowed to reread their favorites just as I allow myself to reread mine. We all fall in love with reading in our own way and I hope to be a teacher who gives my students the space and encouragement they need to discover their own inner reader.