Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The right book

I love when I'm able to find that just right book for a student. I light up and say that I have the perfect book for them. I love when I'm able to get a book soon after it comes out. That way it's new and semi-unheard of. The shiny cover beckons and no child can resist a glossy jacketed hard back.

I have a student who is a fabulous reader but hadn't found the right book yet. Book after book jumped ship from her book box. I painstakingly sat back and waited for the perfect moment. R shuffled through books and watched as I carefully chose books for students in our class. Then, the moment came. I had been stashing this particular book away....waiting for the moment when she'd ask for help.

It finally came. R tentatively came up to me and asked for a book she might like. With a wink of my eye, I told her that I had the perfect book. I opened my cabinet to reveal rows of hard back books as well as ARC copies. Her eyes turned into saucers as I carefully shimmied out Bigger Than a Bread Box. I put it in her hand and told her that it was a story she'd have several connections to. R comes from a fairly recently divorced family and isn't dealing with it well.

Months later, and I just have to share that R LOVED the book. She has been taking it home at night in hopes of finishing it. Well, that moment was last night. R ran into class today with the book carefully tucked under her arms. She held out the book with two hands and a HUGE smile across her face.

"That was the best book EVER. It changed me. I don't know if I can pick up another book after that. It just won't be able to live up to it.", she said in a quick burst.

I smiled, went to the shelf and put Out of My Mind her hands. "This one is just as good. Enjoy and keep me posted on where you are in it.", I replied with a smile.

She quickly curled up in the corner and began to page through it.

What more could a teacher, or a mom for that matter, ask for? 

20 comments:

  1. What a gift you have given that child! - A joy for reading and a connection when she must feel disconnected.

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  2. Bigger Than a Breadbox was one of my favorite books this past year. So glad she liked it. I haven't read Out of My Mind yet, it's on the list. It sounds like you created trust regarding book advice with R through this experience. That is the best feeling! Congrats!

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  3. You have given me goosebumps! How exciting to create a life long reader! Yay for you and for R.

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  4. I LOVE these moments with students! What a treasure to be able to share that experience with her. :)

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  5. Precious moments with a reader and a just right book- what more could a teacher ask for? Your writing captures the essence of this simple magic.

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  6. I'm so glad she trusts you. My favorite line... She quickly curled up in the corner and began to page through it.

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  7. You just made me cry.. Thank you. ANd thank you for doing such important work.

    xoLaurel

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  8. This is wonderful. It's great that you waited for the right moment and were ready when it came. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. A beautiful moment. It makes me so happy when students find THAT piece of literature to connect with. One of my favorite parts about teaching...putting good literature into the hands of students who need it.
    schwade.wordpress.com

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  10. That is absolutely the BEST gift you can give her... and that she gave you! Your story brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips.

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  11. AWE-SOME!!! You made a difference in that child's life. (I know you make a difference in many children's life, but this one is extra special.) AWESOME! !

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  12. That was a great post. I love those moments that a child delights in reading. I am glad she loved the book. I could picture her excitement through your writing.

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  13. How perceptive you are, to wait for the right moment to give her the first book and to have another great book waiting on deck for when she finished the first. I love a story like this!

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  14. I love the way you described how she held the book out in happiness -- a wonderful image! I'm glad she has a teacher like you to help her find books she can love!

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  15. Okay Elizabeth,
    This is effort #3 to leave you a comment. I loved your slice and it's worth the effort :).
    Love that you are working to create future readers like us
    Bonnie

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    1. I am so glad that you were persistent in your tries. Thank you for the sweet comment Bonnie.

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  16. Yep--Like everyone else, I loved this. Getting the right book into the right hands is magic!

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  17. Not only do I like this, I love the way you told it. I like how you told it. I was there as you shimmied the book out and gave her a wink.
    How special to be able to fill the need she had at that moment.

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  18. Special to do & special to tell, Elizabeth. Thank you for your thoughtful ways as a teacher. Just to make such a big deal & open that cabinet like the book was on stage helped to show her she was just the right reader for that book. BTW, I love both books-just right for certain students. Thanks!

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