It got me to thinking about what we value as a culture. I have walked many historic cities as I travel. I generally try to visit the local bookstores when they do, indeed, exist. I love roaming the aisles of Title Wave in Anchorage and always manage to find a couple of titles to take home with me. I have been in other bookstores where the selection of materials for kids is overwhelming. And yet my own "local" bookstore is a chain and their children's and YA selection is limited to whatever corporate tells them to have on hand.
As the new school year approaches, much of the discussion among my PLN has been about first day read alouds. Great care is taken when making this selection as it sets a tone for the year. I always elected to open by lit classes with Byrd Baylor's EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK as it was the perfect metaphor/analogy for the course. Books are my rocks, my foundation, THE foundation of a classroom that values books and reading and literacy of all kinds. And, as the book notes, therte are rules for finding a rock, one you keep for yourself maybe even forever.
Those forever books, the ones that do not revolve in and out of the classroom library are as many and varied as we are. My rock maybe your annoying pebble and vice versa. So, as the year begins, there will be a wide array of books being shared with kids across the nation and the world.
The old saw is that ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. I think the two combined are even more powerful. So, I pick up my well worn copy of EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK and read it again, reminding me that everybody needs to pick his or her OWN rock, that he or she will know the right one. I smile because I know so many of you are starting the school year by demonstrating to kids through actions and words what YOU value. You value books and reading and the kids.