One of my favorite things in the whole world is finding a new author to fall in love with. I told you last month that I had stopped trying to convince the Littles to read Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright because they kept putting me off for what they thought were more adventurous stories. And I have to admit, I was pushing it on them based on the back-cover synopsis alone. It looked like the kind of book I Would Have Loved as kid, and I wanted them to know that kind of story.
What kind of story? The kind where the kid goes to stay with relatives in the country for the summer. The kind that makes summer seem like a revelation and country living more fascinating and exciting than any old suburb or city. The kind that has at least one frog, one forest, one barn or other mysterious building. Mostly though, the kind of story that gets by with no violence, very little mystery, and as Middle pointed out, “Hey, there wasn’t any real conflict in that story.”
(Before I go on, may I just say my kids Freaking Rock?)
“Well,” said I, “there were points of conflict.”
“I know,” he said (and I was So Proud!), “but most books have a major conflict in the plot and this one didn’t.”
Boom. I have taught them something, after all.
The cool thing about it all is that I have also now introduced them to a memorable story and an author who can write books without major conflict in them and still make a point that resounds in their little hearts.
Every time I suggested they read Gone-Away Lake on their own, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just read it? Then I can Really Convince them.” So one night I took it to bed with me. I read about 5 pages. I put it down. Because I knew I was going to be making it a class as soon as we finished the book we were reading aloud together. Within 5 pages I knew I had always been right about that book.
Want to know the best part?
🙂 🙂 🙂
Listen, if you don’t already read aloud together in your homeschool every day, Get On It. I’ve talked about the benefits before, but this one is new even to me. If you pick the books for your homeschool reading class, you have the opportunity to introduce your littles to books they might not normally read–and I don’t just mean the Classics, though you know I think that is important, too. I’m talking about the kinds of books that are written just for kids, the kinds that stay with us all our lives. The kind that made me wistfully dream of living in the country when I was small and led me to my own beautiful farm and wondrous life. The kind that can change everything for them and they don’t even know it till they turn the first page.
I truly hope you check out these books. I like them so much I’m honing the novel studies I wrote for my shop’s grand opening. You’ll love the study, too.
More shameless plugging.
P.S. You still have through tomorrow to enter my giveaway for the Dr. Seuss canvases. If you haven’t already, head over and give yourself a chance to win! I’ll be announcing the winners on Friday.