And here in Texas, even though we did not adopt CCSS, the news is still terrible as politicians demand that kids take End of Course Tests with impossibly high requirements in order to receive credit for AP and IB classes. Guess who makes the tests? It is all about following the money. And it is not new. When NCLB was enacted and we re all fumbling to make sure we had AYP and met the other standards requirements, there was money at the heart, money being made by corporations at the expense of the classrooms.
Enough about that for now. I want to talk more about nourishment and making connections from text to text. Let's forge connections between A FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green and SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman. You may well be scratching your heads at this asking, "Has she gone mad?" How can there be connections between the story of two seriously ill teens finding love and the tale of a dragon-human worried that her identity will be revealed? And I might have never made the connection except for one thing that just struck me as I read these books back to back. In each novel, the main character encounters an artist she has admired for a long time only to discover that the artist in question is not very, shall we say, nice. For Hazel in TFIOS, it is the author of the book she reads over and over again, he book she gives to Augustus who is also bowled over by it. For Seraphina, it is a composer whose work meant much to her mother and, thus, to Seraphina as well. Once I made this connection, my mind began its frenetic game of leap frog--jumping from this idea of finding out your hero/heroine has feet of clay to instances in my own life where I have encountered this. And then it was back to the shelves of books in my brain, scouring shelves and looking for other betrayals. Wait, BETRAYALS: there are tons of books about betrayal. Pinging back an forth, I begin compiling a mental list of books that deal with betrayal: political, romantic, etc.
This sort of free association thinking is a different kind of nourishment for my reader's mind (and for my reader's heart, too, because, I am revisiting some of my old favorites from past reading). It is perhaps another of the ROOTS I discussed in a previous post. This root is one that connects to another and another and another and forms the root ball, perhaps? Food for thought at least.