A Clamor for Books

We closed the book on an amazing story today in our classroom, Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo. Opal will surely be added to the roster of great characters in my third graders’ reading lives. Who can resist the young girl who faces every challenge in her life head on with bravery and gusto? Who doesn’t want a dog, “Just like that dog,” as Sweetie Pie Thomas yearns for? And who can help but love the beautiful weave of story that is Winn-Dixie?

“Boys and girls, turn to your partners and talk about the reasons this book is going to stay with you,” I instructed the class.

“It was funny and it was sad, it seemed so real!”

“I liked the lesson Opal learned.”

“I didn’t want it to end! Is there a sequel? Isn’t her mama coming back?”

“The characters seemed so real, and it had real things in it, like Gone With the Wind.”

“I liked how the Preacher’s shell is cracking.”

The discussions went on for several minutes followed by, “Can I borrow Winn-Dixie now?” Then the conversation took its inevitable next turn…

“What book are we going to read next?”

There is nothing like being surrounded by children who love books! Sometimes it seems like no one reads anymore, what with ALL the programming on television, the accessibility of movies, the never-ending saga that is social media, and the games and distractions we carry with us everywhere on our cell phones. But venture into my classroom and see the truth; kids love books! As a matter of fact, venture into any of the classrooms in my school these days and you will see the truth everywhere, kids love books! Especially if you provide them with books to read and the time to read them! Throw in some excellent read-alouds and BAM! you have got a magic potion for success.

But I digress…

“What book are we going to read next?”

“Well, let me see, I have been thinking about a few different books,” I replied.

“Harry Potter, are we going to read The Chamber of Secrets?”

“Well, maybe,” I hedged. I always start the year with Sorcerer’s Stone but usually prefer to expose them to a greater variety of books then reading two Rowling books would allow due to their length. I moved towards The Drawer.

“Whoa! Look at all those books!” The clamor had begun. I was loving it!

It was my drawer of literary candy, full of the novels I read to my classes year after year. I add new ones, don’t get to some, squeeze in a bonus book here and there. Each year a little different, every year full of the wonder and promise of story.

Ah yes, the clamor for books. I told the kids I’d give them a chance to vote. They are beside themselves with anticipation. And I am beside myself with happiness because in my own small way I am changing the world, one book clamorer at a time!

 

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5 thoughts on “A Clamor for Books

  1. Wait till you see DiCamillo’s next book, Raymie Nightingale. I think you and your kids will love it. (I’ll be interviewing DiCamillo in early April on TWT right before her book comes out.)

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  2. I believe ALL of DiCamillo’s books are great to share with everyone. Kids truly fall in love with her words. What a great peek into your class and student’s love of books!

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  3. Literary candy – I love that metaphor! If books are literary candy, then I am the Candy Man! I love books and all things associated with reading. With that being said…I am embarrassed to say I have not read Because of Winn-Dixie! That might be a great blog post this month: “Books I Am Embarrassed to Say I Haven’t Read.” So excited to read Stacey’s comment her interview with Kate! How awesome is that! Congrats on Day 2 of the challenge.

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