" I think that one of the greatest compliments we can ever pay another human is to give them a book. It communicates to someone that you not only know them well enough to purchase something that they might enjoy, but it tells them that you think they have drive and intelligence. You see them as someone who will finish a task, who doesn’t give up when presented with other options that might provide more immediate gratification, and as someone who needs to learn on a regular basis. In my mind and in a perfect world it also says, "Someday I want to talk to you about this." and just like that, there is a dangling conversation to be had between you and this other person whom you value. That is what I want my students to understand when I hand them a new book. This is the begining of a conversation I want to have with you about something important, because you are important to me.
Our students may never love Go Down Moses (I don’t), and we’re going to have to be okay with that. There isn’t any reason why they should or why we should try and make them. My bigger concern and my biggest hope for my students is that they love any book. I am convinced that if they can manage to own a book and commit to knowing the information and characters inside, starting with the shape and weight and pages of a book, we might make lifelong learners out of them after all."
How much wisdom is there in these paragraphs? Jackie's words were so absolutely perfect and so apropos given all of the discussion we have had here of late. Thanks, Jackie, for your dedication to creating lifelong readers.