professornana (professornana) wrote,

Brochure, anyone?

It seems strange how many ideas I get for blog posts while sitting in church. Father will say something and my mind pings. Sometimes it begins writing the post while I should be paying attention (sorry, Jerald!). Today, I simply tucked the word brochure into my memory so I could go back to paying attention to the brilliant sermon. It (the sermon) was about the Kingdom of Heaven (stay with me, we are getting to reading, I promise) and how trying to describe t was sort of like those brochures offering time share property in the Bahamas. Many of us chuckled in rueful recognition. We have seem those brochures.

But this got me to thinking about books, reading, and creating readers. Donalyn Miller and I have been working for some time on a book about those topics. A long time. We each begin work on a part of a chapter, open up a tab and disappear down the research rabbit hole. I know I have wondered more than once about just writing a brochure to sum up all we need to know about books and reading and readers. Step One, Step Two, etc. Here is a template for each step. How hard is this, right?

And then we find ourselves with 50 pages on response with more to tell. I have written 3 separate chapters on reading aloud and three other books about books and reading and readers. It cannot simply be a brochure or a template or a program. It is more complicated than that. And we are not trying to sell time shares. We are attempting to provide educators with the research base, the pedagogy behind some of those things that someone else might simply put into a brochure. Why read aloud? Why choice? What role does access play? How about response? What does true engagement not just "look" like but what is it actually?

So, no brochures though there are days when I think that would be preferable and certainly simpler and faster. There are more rabbit holes of research that will trip us up and hold us captive for a while. But for each rabbit hole, for each chapter that refuses to do anything but grow, for each new idea that presents itself in the middle of the work, we know the book is getting stronger (and not just longer).

Thanks, Jerald, for making me think beyond the sermon.
Tags: books, programs, reading, templates
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