Sometimes when I am scrolling through my FaceBook feed, something catches my attention. The photo above was part of a post about something not really related to my usual: books and reading. But, really, it is at the center of books and reading. I had an immediate connection to this photo, of the plant that would turn corners and climb toward light. This plant is reaching, retraining itself, moving, growing. It must reach for the light.
And is that not what we want kids to do? Adjust, grow, turn corners, and move toward the light?
Books can help, you know. They can help kids see the light as they watch a character struggle through a situation and grow, change, adjust. These books are like plant food and sunshine. One feeds roots and allows for growth; the other feeds the leaves and flowers and causes a plant to flourish. So, too, some books feed the roots and others spread the canopy. I think this harkens back to the directionality of reading post from a few days ago.
Books NOURISH. Today, I am reading a MG book by Gary Paulsen. It is funny as all get out, and that is exactly what my roots and leaves need today (and there are plenty of Paulsen books that challenge me as I come back again and again to the opening of THE WINTER ROOM and its incredible display of wordsmithery). Earlier this week I was being nourished by the voices included in Mitali Perkins' collection, OPEN MIC. In the stack of books waiting to be blogged next to me are Anne Ursu's THE REAL BOY, a Lunch Lady GN, a novel in doodles, STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF MIDDLE SCHOOL, and PIECES, a companion to Chris Lynch's ICEMAN. Each one was nourishing, each one helped me grow toward light.
As the school year winds down, remember the important work you do: you NOURISH readers.