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25 August 2019


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Melanie B.

I read When You Reach Me a few years ago and loved it. I recently checked it out of the library but had too much on my plate at the time to reread it. I intended to read it to the kids, but I found after the first chapter, that it wasn't a book that felt like it worked well as a read aloud. Bella read it I know, Sophie might have. I think I should probably just buy a copy for our library.


Will definitely track this down. I understand the feeling of having given birth to different readers -- I keep hoping that I will find one who reads like I did, but even those who devour a book do so in their own style, for their own reasons. It pains me to see the books I've loved and engaged with over the years ignored or dutifully read as assignments.

Oddly enough, my niece seems to have inherited slantwise my reading ethic. I'm glad to see it passed along somewhere.

Deirdre Mundy

I've been meaning to read this for years! I'll have to check it out.

I should also see if my eldest has read it-- she makes a habit of reading all the Newberry and Honor books every year, and is.... strongly opinionated.

Melanie B.

Oh the other thought I had while reading your blog post and also when attempting to read the first chapter aloud to children here. As a school story, I wondered how much my homeschooled children would be able to relate to all the subtle social dynamics of the novel. Bella liked it, but I really wondered what it looked like through her eyes. My kids are so often mystified when it comes to reading about school, tests, grades, etc.


_When You Reach Me_ is one of the books my 21 year old lists as one of her favorites as a kid. I loved it too. That was back when I was trying to keep up with reading everything my kids read--a losing but exciting battle!

Kelly Meineke

I also have bookshelves stocked with my childhood favorites. My first two are major readers, the second two love audiobooks and graphic novels respectively, and the third two aren't fluent readers yet.

My oldest two read new children's books from the library but I didn't really read as many along with them. Now that I'm a children's librarian, I am reading my way through the library. I feel like I've missed out on so many great books by focusing on my childhood nostalgia! Here are some aspects I wish I'd considered before:

1. Newer lit is faster paced to go along with the shorter attention span of today's kids. Not even my most enthusiastic readers have been able to sit through Laura Ingalls Wilder (*sob*). When I was considering The Mixed Up Files to read aloud to a class, my daughter remarked that she'd never liked it as much as I did. When I re-read it, the part after the climax where they go talk to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler seems to go on forever. I could see why she didn't care for it as much.

2. Newer books are much more inclusive. Not only do white writers include characters of color or with disabilities but more minority authors are being published. Jason Reynold's is an author I really missed out on as a homeschooler. The downside to this, depending on your perspective, is that I've had to rule out a lot more really great books for my Catholic school library because of the mention of a character having two same gender parents.

3. Newer books address issues that today's kids face, which I realize is pretty obvious. There are books where the characters who have adventures have food allergies or autism. There are books with kids who are or were homeschooled and they are not portrayed as socially inept brainiacs. Really, the only thing I haven't seen much of is the helicopter parenting because kids can't wander around the setting having adventures if that were the case.

Sorry this is so long! I love talking books and this is something I've been thinking about myself since my shift to the school library. :)

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