Reading is cool! I swear!

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Inspiring kids to love reading is hard.

I have some serious reluctant readers in my class,

and many others that enjoy reading,

but are clueless on how to pick out a book that’s just right for them.

I sympathize with all of the above,

because I was not a child who enjoyed reading

as much as I now enjoy reading as an adult.

I don’t want my students to become the type of kid I was.

I want them to find the books that make them excited

to find another, and another, and another.

Because these days, when I find a good book for myself,

I am hungry for more and I get sad that the latest book is over.

A teacher friend of mine, who knows nothing of my picky reading taste,

heard I was looking for a new book to read

and placed a book called The Language of Flowers in my box.

“I think you’d like this.” the note she slipped inside had said.

And boy was she right!

I finished that thing in one week!

I gave up my Saturday just to sit on the couch and finish every page!

I want to be that kind of “Book Fairy” for my kids.

I want to know what kinds of books make them tick,

make them sad because they don’t want them to be over.

I want to be the one that helps them discover their childhood favorite

that they reflect on sentimentally as an adult.

I wasn’t the child with a flashlight in my bed under the covers, reading.

I was the girl with 20 books in my library bag,

who only actually found time to read one or two in the stack.

Choosing books was more exciting to me than actually reading them.

I am now playing catch up, reading young adult books as a matter of research

just so I can recommend books to my students

and be in the know of the juvenile literary world.

I subscribe to the Nerdy Book Club so I can be up with the times

on newly published books for children.

Meanwhile,

what inspired this long rant about how reading really is cool,

is the fact that I am sitting here,

responding to “Reading Response Journal” letters from my students

and they are boring!!!

The sole point of the reading response is for my students and I

to have a way to talk about the books their reading.

They write me a letter about what they’re reading,

and I respond with my own thoughts about their book and ideas.

But these letters are boring!

I feel like I have a bunch of uninspired readers,

writing me boring letters that only follow a “how to checklist,”

and provide no genuine tone or sincerity.

Inspiring kids to love reading is hard

but to inspire them to love talking about what they’re reading is even harder.

Perhaps I need to rethink this whole Reading Response Journal thing.

But in the meantime,

I’ll continue to just inspire my kids to READ!

Applaud their choices, suggest new titles,

and encourage them to spend time in the library to find their next book.

Reading – It’s cool!  I swear!

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