Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Normally I sit down each morning and compose my blogs at the computer before I post them. On Friday night I was compelled to write this.

Friday Night, February 18, 2011

I love to read. It is a passion born long before memories kick in and I am grateful to my parents for instilling a love of reading in me. I read often and anything I can get my hands on; books, magazines, e-articles, even cereal boxes! I believe my calling to write is in direct correlation to my passion for reading. I read therefore I am. When I became a parent I knew that reading to my child(ren) was of paramount importance. From Day One I started reading board books to my babies. As they grew so did the books. My goal, other than raising good people who are caring and compassionate, is to raise readers.

Tonight I had one of the most amazing nights of my reading life. My eldest child and I have been reading several books together. The first one we were also reading with my middle child and was entitled The Karate Mouse (Geronimo Stilton, book 40). This is a terrific animated chapter book for young readers with a cast of characters, mostly mice, who have human qualities and personalities. We are a Karate family so the title drew me to purchase this story for my children. After reading a few minutes each night before bed we finished this book. We all loved it! After I kissed my middle child good night, my oldest child and I continued our night of reading.

The next book on our list was a juvenile biography of Jackie Robinson. I knew very little about this baseball and civil rights giant. We chose this man as the topic of my son’s book report and have been riveted by the history, excitement, injustices, and accomplishments this man achieved. I particularly enjoyed reading this with my son because my father was (and still is) a loyal Brooklyn Dodger’s fan. Jackie Robinson was the player who broke the color barrier in the Major Leagues and did so on the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played during the time my father was a fan. While doing a project with my son I found a new connection with my father. Thank you again, reading. We had been reading this book, a few chapters at a time, throughout the week, and finished it tonight as well. Not satisfied with finishing just two books, my son begged me to finish the other book on the nightstand. I reluctantly relented. My son has to get up early on Saturday mornings to attend swim lessons with his brother and sister and, on this particular Saturday, we also had to attend his Cub Scout’s Blue and Gold Awards Ceremony; there was a lot going on and a well-rested eight-year-old boy was required. Still, I just couldn’t say no to my son who wanted to read.

The last book of the night was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This, the first in the immensely popular Harry Potter series, was our first foray into the world of Harry Potter. Well, actually, my son was drawn into the world when he received the Wii Lego Harry Potter video game for his birthday last summer. Familiarity with the books/movies allows for more successful play. This led to an interest in Harry Potter and good friends lending us their collection of Harry Potter movies. He watched those throughout the fall and we even started listening to Book 7 on CD (read by the unparalleled and amazingly talented Jim Dale) in preparation of seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I in the theaters in November 2010. For Christmas I asked for the entire series of Harry Potter books from my mother-in-law, a long-time Harry Potter fan. She delivered handsomely with her copies of the hardcover books she owns. My son was overjoyed on Christmas morning and we began the first book that night. When we read the last lines of Book I tonight, he quickly ran to his bookshelf, put it away, and took out Book II, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. I’m so thankful and relieved my son is embracing reading! I’m equally looking forward to reading the books in this series and look ahead to all the literature that waits, with this child and the other two who follow!

Books enrich my soul, educate me, nourish me, and strengthen my resolve. I feel like the luckiest woman/parent in the world that my children adore books as much as I. I also marvel at how, in one night, thanks to books, I became closer to my father and my son. Thank you, books.


  1. Ah, you've struck one of my favorite topics (aside from racing, coffee, bikes, etc). You are spot on with Jim Dale's narration of the Harry Potter series - he does a fantastic job with these.

    You may wish to eventually look into the Golden Compass series. Very well written, intriguing, with some intersting concepts.

    And the Eragon books, while hefty, have well-done audio books that may be compelling for the eldest son.

    Myself, I scan quite a variety although mostly audio books as of late. Hopefully soon I can jump back into my collection of Neville Shute books.

  2. My 8-year-old recently discovered his 13-year-old brother's "Boxcar Children" series that were collecting dust. He is devouring them at light speed reading one every 2 days or so. Not only am I excited about it, even the 13-year-old thinks it is pretty cool. We noticed that the youngest's book shelf was just too young for him and I mentioned to my husband that we needed to get "big books" for him. I have a feeling I'll be filling in some blank spaces in our Boxcar books. He also loves science, weather, body books. His current obsession is the Titanic. For Christmas he got a "Choose Your Own Adventure" Titanic book. Remember those? J proudly announces when his choices cause him to live through the tragedy.

    My oldest loves fantasy books, and like J.D. he really likes the Eragon books. There is also a series with an author "named" Pseudonymous Bosch. He was drawn to the titles, "The Name of this Book is Secret" and "This Book is Not Good for You." He has also taken to snatching my Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker books.

    My daughter isn't much of a reader, but enjoys the American Girl books... and is obsessed with the American Girl "The Smart Girl's Guide to..." (Boys, Middle School, Friendship Troubles, etc)books.

    I have a stack of books by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti that I haven't read yet. I found a Christian Book Outlet, where I can grab a $14 paperback for $6! I go in to stages where all I want to do is read, then I stop for awhile (hence the stack waiting to be read). I love crime books and if it is true crime that just makes it better.

    Two books that your kids might like, that I have always enjoyed are:
    The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese. In elementary school we watched the movie. I can still hear the flip, flip, flip as the movie reel tape was done. I did a little dance when I saw the book at a local bookstore when I was in my 20's. I bought it even though I didn't have children at the time... it was just a nostalgic book to possess. Although it probably isn't PC, I still enjoy pulling it out to read it today... even just by myself. Amazon says it is appropriate for children 4-8.

    Another book I always recommend for middle school aged children (and up) is "Good Night, Mr. Tom" by Michelle Magorian. You could probably read this pretty quickly. I've read it numerous times, own a well-worn copy and still cry towards the end. If I had an e-reader I would purchase this just to have it available on the bookshelf.
    Here is the Amazon synopsis: London is poised on the brink of World War II. Timid, scrawny Willie Beech--the abused child of a single mother--is evacuated to the English countryside. At first, he is terrified of everything, of the country sounds and sights, even of Mr. Tom, the gruff, kindly old man who has taken him in. But gradually Willie forgets the hate and despair of his past. He learns to love a world he never knew existed, a world of friendship and affection in which harsh words and daily beatings have no place. Then a telegram comes. Willie must return to his mother in London. When weeks pass by with no word from Willie, Mr. Tom sets out for London to look for the young boy he has come to love as a son.
    It has won a bunch of awards and deservedly so. This one is more for teens, but I would read it (again) at age 37.

    A house isn't a home without a full bookshelf.