professornana (professornana) wrote,

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connecting us to the world

BH and I spent some time after dinner tonight watching the inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2014. Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Hall and Oates, E Street Band: this was the soundtrack of my teens and beyond. What struck me, though, was the comment someone (maybe Art Garfunkel?) said about how music connects us to the world, lets us know we are a part of something larger. Yes, it does indeed make connections for me. But books do that for me, perhaps even in a more direct way.

I spent today reading Lisa Graff's ABSOLUTELY ALMOST. Earlier in the week I read a dozen or so picture books. I also finished reading READY, PLAYER ONE with my ears. Each and every book formed a connection for me. In GASTON, I identified with the feeling we all have sometimes that we do not belong, that somehow we were born into the wrong family or set of circumstances. I identified with Albie in ABSOLUTELY ALMOST, a young boy who longs to be good at SOMEthing. I tensed during the final battle in READY PLAYER ONE despite the fact that I am not a gamer at all. Like FROODLE's main character, I want to make my own sound, make my own way, not blend in all the time. RHYME SCHEMER reminded me of a time when my own words were used against me. These touch points are in everything I read from the silly to the poignant, from picture books to novels to nonfiction, in audio and GN. It does not matter. I find something that connects me to books and then to the larger world outside of the book.

That is why I will rail here time and again about the need for books and reading in the lives of kids. Making those connections, developing empathy, meeting the "other" or myself: they enrich my life and my humanity.
Tags: books, connections, reading
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