Daily Archives: April 9, 2007

Book Memories

Julius Lester has started a series, “Books that Changed Your Life” on his blog, A Commonplace Book. He invites readers to email him “… the titles of a book or books that changed your life and a short paragraph as to why” and has then been posting the replies. Guess what my book is? No, I’m not going to tell you here (although I’ll give you a hint — it is not related to the name of this blog). You’ve got to keep an eye out for it on Julius’s blog.

At the excelsior file David Elzey reminisces about five books from his year in fourth grade. He invites comments and I’ve already responded (twice, I think, by mistake), but I’m going to go on a bit longer here. Just because reading aloud is so important to me.

Perhaps because of where I attended elementary school (let’s see — two different schools in Michigan, two in Germany, and one in Missouri), when (1957-1964), and randomness I only had one teacher who read aloud to us. This was my elderly sixth grade teacher at Flynn Park School in University City, MO. (I spent all of one year in the school.) She read to us daily, but the only book I remember is Marguerite Henry’s Born to Trot. Now unlike just about every other girl back then I was not begging my parents for a horse of my own.  Still, I adored that book when it was read to me and because of that teacher (who also inspired my Literary Salons as she had us present a poem once a week) and my father who read to me every night, I’ve always, always, always read aloud to my classes. (I’ve an ongoing series here of letters to books I’ve read aloud to my class, if you are interested.) It is one of my favorite things to do as a teacher.

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