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03 June 2016 @ 12:44 pm
Fortune-ate  
With all of the thunderstorms in the area, I have not felt much like cooking. So, yesterday, BH and I sent out for Chinese food. Though neither of us eat the fortune cookies, we do always break open our fortunes. And therein lies today's blog post. So, when we ask, "Where do ideas come from?" sometimes the answer is from fortune cookies. I seem to dimly recall that there are some YA authors who also wrote fortunes for the fortune cookie industry (William Sleator? Neal Shusterman?).

The fortune for BH was, "Anything worth doing can be done." And mine was, "A truly great person never puts away the simplicity of a child." Can you see where this is headed? Actually, there are many different directions in which I might head. I want to begin with #bookaday. As I mentioned in a recent post, Donalyn Miller has invited us to join in a summer #bookaday challenge once again this year. This is something worth doing, surely. With more than 5000 books published annually for the youth audience, reading a #bookaday barely scratches the surface. But it DOES give us a leg up on those who are not reading at all. Karin Perry and I have surveyed more than 1000 educators (teachers and librarians) and their responses indicate that, on the average, they read 2-3 books a month. That means 25-30 books a year or a tiny percentage of the books published each year. But, adding in 30 or 40 or 50 or more books during the summers means that, when school begins, we can help more and more kids find good books.

As for my fortune, the idea of keeping hold of the simplicity of a child is something that occurs to me nearly every time I read a book. Donna Norton's text on children's literature is called THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD. And that is the challenge, I think, for those of us who read books for kids. While we read with our adult eyes and sensibilities, we always have to keep the eyes of the child in the forefront as well. As someone who reads a lot of books, I am always thinking about what child might be the reader for this book or that book. I know, too, that there are some books that appeal to the adult in me that might not appeal to the child reader and vice versa.

The food is a distant memory today. But the words of wisdom on little slips of paper are still rattling around, forming new connections, firing new synapses. Who knows where the thinking might lead next?
 
 
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