Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reading from my Childhood

Do you ever re-read your favourite books from when you were younger? Do you remember the book that created you as a reader? The book that ignited that spark? I do!

As a child I was in love with Anne of Green Gables (the whole series), and my second favourites were the Little House on the Prairie series and Little Women. It's not so surprising that historical fiction is still my favourite genre as an adult!

There is something special about reading a book that you love. You know what's going to happen, you know the characters like they are friends and yet you hang on every word waiting to see what's going to come next.

If you haven't read Anne of Green Gables- stop here! SPOILER

Every time I sit down to read Anne of Green Gables (which I try to do every year) I feel like I am greeting an old friend that I haven't seen in awhile. I anxiously wait to see if Marilla and Matthew will decide to keep Anne. I am indignant when Gilbert calls Anne "carrots" and enraged when Anne is forced to sit with Gilbert as a punishment. I cry big, fat tears when Matthew dies and wonder how Anne's life will ever be the same.

Reading an old favourite is like a warm cup of tea, or hot chocolate that greets you after a cold winter day. It's a hug from a loved one. It's the feeling I want to inspire in all my students, and now especially my daughter! I bought Avery her very own copy of Anne of Green Gables and it is cone of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. Hardcover. Pink with tea cups, teapots and flowers embossed on the cover. Gorgeous. I wrote a special note inside for my little little and I look forward to the day when I can introduce her to something that has been such a huge part of my life.

As I have grown older I have noticed that I connect with Anne at very different times in her life than when I was younger. As a girl I ached for Anne to get her puffed sleeves, just as I ached to wear the right clothes and "fit in". As a teen I wanted Anne to win that Avery scholarship and go to college just like I anxiously awaited my own university acceptance. I held my breathe on Anne's first day as a teacher and hoped she would be a success and loved by her students. On my own first day I tried not to let me nerves show and thought that if Anne could make it through then so could I.

And now I am a mom. I have finished Anne of Green Gables  and am working my way through Anne of Avonlea. I can't wait to get to the time that Anne becomes a mom. Will that resonate with me like all the rest of Anne's life has? I have no doubt.

In a few weeks time I will be hosting a read along for Donalyn Miller's book The Book Whisperer and am excited to learn and read more about inspiring children to love reading. Along with many fabulous teacher/bloggers we are going to read through this book together and share our thoughts with each other. I urge anyone that is a teacher, a parent, a lover of books to join us and to re-read a favourite from the past.

As I always tell my students-  Re-reading a book is great. You are a different person now than when you first read it and can probably learn something new.

3 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

Tina's Blog said...

I have several books that I want my daughters to read because I loved them so much and mostly I still love them when I re-read them. However, I have had a few sad experiences with some re-reads...they just have not lived up to the pedestal I put them on. Right now I am re-reading The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts - it is our nightly read aloud. I loved this book when I was in fifth or sixth grade but it is just OK as I re-read. Luckily my daughters seem to be enjoying it.

Milli said...

I still read the Anne series at least once every year. When I was nine, I wanted to live in P.E.I for the longest time C:
Little Women is awesome too.
Also, I've always loved The Velveteen Rabbit.

Catherine said...

I loved Anne of Green Gables, but Emily of New Moon really stayed with me. When Emily sends out her writing only to be rejected, well, that has always stayed with me! I didn't really fall in love with a book until I read Jane Austen, though.
Is it weird to have relationships with books? I think everyone should read.
Avery is lucky to have such a great book waiting for her. I hope she loves it!

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Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

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