When Ashleigh was little she loved books. Reading was a morning, afternoon and evening ritual. She needed a book read to her before I left her at day care. She needed a book read to her as soon as we came home from school/work. She NEEDED 5 books read to her before she drifted off into dream land. Books were her love – especially Goodnight Moon and Pat the Bunny.
When first grade came, the love started to waiver. She liked to read but did not like that she was starting to read bigger books. Her taste also changed. No longer was she reading the fairy tale princess, My Little Pony, Disney stories. She liked Junie B Jones because she was funny but other than that her favorite stories were the sad ones. Second and third grade were a struggle to get her to read. My heart began to sink at the thought of my daughter being alliterate.
Then came fourth grade and Mr. Pekol with his funny voices. Ashleigh’s interests were sparked by her fourth grade teacher. He read aloud to them daily. He made them laugh when he talked in different character voices. Ashleigh’s love for books was coming back. Then this summer she was enticed to read a few books from the Rebecca Caudill nominees because her school sent a suggested reading list to the library. She was finding books that were interesting, covered different genres and many had beautiful book jackets.
Fifth grade has been an interesting year when it comes to reading. Ashleigh has been required to read 4 books a quarter and one of the books must be from a teacher chosen genre. This has made Ashleigh explore historical fiction and science fiction texts. She also has been paying more attention when I read books at home. Especially since I find myself enjoying books that my middle school students would read. The conversations that Ashleigh & I have had over books has been wonderful. These are the conversations I dreamed about having when she was little (except now I can talk about more than Goodnight Moon and what the Pat the Bunny does).
This Saturday was my favorite bonding moment, over books, with Ashleigh. We stood at Barnes & Noble for about 45 minutes just exploring new titles and books that were going to be on the 2018 Rebecca Caudill list. We listened as the Children’s Section employee suggested new titles and authors for us to enjoy. We read book jackets and shouted across the aisles to share where specific authors were located. We found new titles to read and added to our someday pile. We grabbed more titles, put a few back as our piles got larger and discussed books that I could get at work for her to enjoy. We made plans to return soon to pick out new books. The drive home was quieter than usual as my promising alliterate from a few years ago finally joined the I Love to Read Books club.