An encore post from several years ago – I still remember the child popping up and looking confused. I would have hugged him, but I’m sure he would have been utterly embarrassed. As we’re saying goodbye to my book-loving stepfather, this post reminds me that books are amazing.
It was a typical class transition, which in my class means a struggle to get everyone to shift gears mentally and physically. Then, guide all 25 of them into the hallway (quietly!) and across the hall for Science, and welcome the other group of 9- and 10-year-olds into my classroom for Social Studies. We made it through these maneuvers, I allowed one girl and one boy to use the rest rooms, and then turned out the lights and turned on the overhead projector to introduce the details of the upcoming research project.
Suddenly a confused-looking face peeked up from the Book Nook corner behind the computers. One of mine, looking confused, stood up and shook his head a little. He had been so involved in the book he was reading, so totally lost in its world, that he never noticed the rest of the class putting away their math books, getting out their science folders, and leaving the room. He smiled sheepishly, gathered his materials and left the room.
No, I didn’t give him grief. I couldn’t. You see, I recognized a little of the fourth grade me in this kid. My mother remembers the time I walked home from school reading a book and I walked right past our house. Books? They’re great. Who needs TV?
In case you’re wondering, the book was a Junior Classic, an abridged version of Robinson Crusoe that I picked up for $1 at a thrift store.
It was a dollar well spent.
A book allows us to enter a different universe for a time. Priceless.