Saturday, December 13, 2008
A Gift Of Books
Besides being an author, I’m a social studies teacher at our local high school. A month or so ago, I noticed something very unusual going on in my first period class. I was standing in front of the class discussing feudalism with the kids, but three of the girls weren’t listening to me. Not that they always listen to me, mind you, but these girls weren’t talking. They weren’t passing notes, sleeping, or trying to do their homework before it was due. So, what were they doing? They were reading.
Yes, reading, and yes, it’s a very big deal. The majority of my students say they don’t care for reading. They say it’s boring. Almost, I don’t blame them. If I never read anything but textbooks, I’d think reading was boring too.
Okay, they don’t read. Is that a problem? You bet it is! Many literacy skills don’t get developed including reading comprehension, and let’s face it; people who read understand a whole lot more about what’s going on in the world. They score better on standardized tests too, and of course all of you readers know how reading can enrich your life.
What were the girls reading? Twilight. I asked them if it was good, and you should have heard them carrying on. One of them told me she’d never read an entire book in her life until she started Twilight. She was almost finished with it and already had New Moon ready to read. I was so intrigued I bought a copy of Twilight that very day.
I did like the book, but more importantly it impressed on me the need to provide young people with books they can enjoy, books that’ll make readers of them. So, this Christmas please consider a gift of books for any young adult or child on your list. In the long run it’ll be of more use to them than another sweater or video game.