professornana (professornana) wrote,

Reaching the summit

Spent Thursday at the Scholastic reading summit in San Antonio. This month has provided me the opportunity to listen to smart people talking about my favorite topics: books and reading. Listening to Matt de la Pena read LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET reminded me once again of the absolute lyricism of the text.

At the end of the day, Karin Perry and I made our way across the street from our hotel to a restaurant that BH introduced to me in 1973. I was so happy to see it still open and still serving incredible food. There is just something satisfying about being abe to return. Return to a favorite place. Return to a favorite text.

How often do we celebrate returning? How do we value the rereading of a book? Do we even allow that possibility? If our reading is driven by Accelerated Reader or another canned program, the answer is a resounding NO. And that saddens me. I would miss so many books if I did not take the time to reread them. CHARLOTTE'S WEB becomes more and more meaningful each time i return to the text. As I listen to GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE I am noticing nuances I think I blew past the first time in my rush to finish the story. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE continues to surprise me with new insights as I return to that book each and every semester.

On the drive back today, Karin Perry and I brainstormed some ideas for my upcoming Master's Seminar. I wanted to have students return to text, too. So, we listed authors whose works either might have been missed by readers. Some of this is due to age differences. I have been reading YA since the 1970s. My students might have begun reading YA in the 1980s and 1990s or even later. Do they know M.E. Kerr or the early Richard Peck? What about Robert Lipsyte? Or Joan Lowery Nixon? Or Cynthia Voigt? Now we have what we think is a great way of looking back and looking forward for our MLS students to explore. We will work on the children's literature counterpart this coming week as we travel to yet another conference.

We are still climbing toward that reading summit. The air is pretty rare, but the view is excellent.
Tags: returning to text, summits
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