Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Classics

As many of you might know, my girls changed schools this year. It was something that Sweet Pea was very worried about (and I'll be honest, Zilla and I were too) because she'd gone to school with the same kids since she was three. Baby Girl wasn't as concerned because, as we explained to her, everyone in her class would be new to the school and starting kindergarten together.

We could have saved ourselves some sleepless nights. Both of the girls have settled in really well and absolutely love their new school. But what I'm most happy with is how they are both blossoming. (Excuse me while I brag for a minute :-)) Baby Girl is working at a higher level than I ever expected her to...they're learning subtraction and her homework this week included some word problems. I was surprised and really impressed when she had no problems reading and solving them all by herself. I don't remember doing subtraction until second grade.

However, I think there's a more important change that has come out of the move. Sweet Pea, my child who was reading at the top of her class in first grade had stopped reading. It bothered me. I knew she could handle the advanced material - that wasn't my concern. What upset me more was that she seemed to lose her love of reading. She just couldn't seem to find books that interested her. I even broke down and bought her some Hannah Montana books thinking that if she liked the show then perhaps she'd like the books. I don't think she even opened them.

That has changed. She has begun spending hours each evening reading. It makes my little heart swell with pride and happiness. In fact, she's started reading some of my own personal favorites from my childhood. She just finished Anne of Green Gables, has already tackled Black Beauty and currently has the first Harry Potter for free time at school. She loved Anne as much as I did (although, I admit I was older when I read it...I think in middle school at least). She immediately asked for the second book and when I told her there was a movie she requested a girls day to watch it. I'm looking forward to it. It's something we can share together.

I started thinking about all the other books I was looking forward to sharing with her. Misty of Chincoteague, Circus Shoes, Ballet Shoes, Little House on the Prairie, Gone with the Wind (eventually). I'm really glad that she's finally rediscovered her love of reading. It was so much a part of my childhood and my way to escape into a wonderful world of fantasy and imagination. I wanted that for her too.

So what are your classics? What books do you remember most from your childhood? Do you have a special book or series that you've shared with your children?


P.S. She's also discovered the Disney Fairy books. What can I say? I enjoyed a little Sweet Valley High mixed into the classics too.


susanwilson44 said...

I read the tales of your daughter reading with envy. I have two sons age 9 and 5 who don't seem to have inherited my reading gene and it breaks my heart. I've lost count of the number of books I've bought that I thought they would like. Both of them have no problems academically but just don't have the same urge to read that we all describe on a regular basis. Never mind, back to wrestlemania......(and I LOVED Sweet Valley!)

Playground Monitor said...

I loved mysteries back then -- Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and a series called Judy Bolton. I read a lot of horse books too that you've already named.

Has she seen the movie "The Princess Diaries?" Would the book be too old for her still? I haven't read it so I can't say.

Smarty Pants said...

I don't know that I read many classics. No Black Beauty or Treasure Island or Swiss Family Robinson. No Sweet Valley High or Babysitters Club either. Because I could read at a higher level, I did, sorta skipping over a lot. I do remember loving the Bunnicula Series (something about talking animals always made me smile) and Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing / Superfudge. I dabbled in Judy Blume and move straight on up to Harlequin and Shakespeare by 6th grade. I wish there had been Harry Potter when I was young. I would've been completely immersed in all that.

I'm glad Sweet Pea is reading. Enjoy it because I think Baby Girl will be too busy painting her nails and cleaning her rifle to care.

Instigator said...

Susan, I recently talked to a librarian and she recommended that I try some non-fiction books. You might find that your boys like to learn how and why things work when they read.

PM, I actually have Princess Diaries sitting on my bookshelf from one of our conferences. I'd completely forgotten about it until you mentioned it. Will pull that out and let her have it tonight.

SP, you crack me up. And you're probably right. Although, at the moment Baby Girl is devouring books as fast as I can give them to her too. That might change though when she realizes she can paint her nails herself... Apparently, her teacher thinks she's set to be a writer just like mom. Her favorite thing to do is write little stories on the computer.


Linda Winstead Jones said...

Little Women. Black Beauty. Gone With the Wind. LOTS of Nancy Drew. {{sigh}} :-)


Instigator said...

Little Women! How could I forget that one? Adding it to the list right now.


Problem Child said...

AC is liking the Sisters Grimm series right now. I can't seem to get her interested in my old favorites -- maybe they're starting to show their age and don't resonate with her the way they did with me?

Of course, AC is asking when she'll be old enough to read *my* books. If her father has any say, it will be another 30 years...

PM's Mother said...

Ah, this takes me back... 'w-a-y back! When I was 7 years old (second grade) we resided six blocks from the library in the small town where we lived. There was not much auto traffic and our house was on the same side of the main street where the library was located so it was a safe journey or me. Many days I would skate (on the sidewalk) to the library and go to the stack where an entire shelf was devoted to "A Little Maid of..." books by Alice Turner Curtis. This was a Revolutionary War series -- "A Little Maid of Carolina", "A Little Maid of Virginia", A Little Maid of Old Philadelphia" and so on. I was a voracious reader. Some Saturdays I made two trips to the library.

I checked Books-A-Million and some of volumes of these books have been reprinted (paperback). A good reference to Ms. Curtis' books is c.web.umkc./edu/crossonm/alittlemaid in.htm

Thanks for prodding my memory and taking me back to my childhood.

PS: I was a child of the depression and there was no money to purchase books, so I relied on the library for many years. Only at Christmas when Dad's cousin (who was childless) gave me books did I have my own books until many years later when I went to work after school and could buy my own books. By then, of course, it was an entirely different type of reading material.

Liza said...

My oldest niece went through a period of no reading because of her 2nd grade teacher. It didn't last too long, but just about killed me. Harry Potter got her back into reading and she never stopped. She is now almost 19 and we trade books in every genre. Youngest niece reads 4-5 books a night(kindergarten) and Middle will only read what interest her(even then will watch a movie before reading the book).

I loved all the Judy Blume books and the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary was always fun. Little Women is still one of my favorites to this day. My dad read it to me the first time a couple of chapters a night until we finished it(took forever).

Anonymous said...

Growing up, my mom took us to the Bessie K. Russell branch of the Huntsville library. Weekly we checked out the limit(sometimes twice a week. The librarian to this day asks my mom if we still read the way we did! Some of my favorites were Judy Blume, The Secret 7 series(youth detectives) Sweet Valley High, V.C. Andrews...and like S.P. by 6th grade I was reading contemporary romance. The classics really didn't get in the mix until my adulthood.

Sheryl M.

Laurie said...

EB White's books: Charlotte's Web, Louis the Trumpeter Swan, Stuart Little

George Seldon's The Cricket In Times Square

C.S. Lewis- Narnia books

Madeline L'Engle's books

The Prince & the Pauper- Mark Twain

The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Crisco -Alexander Dumas

Shel Silverstein's poetry in- Where the Sidewalk Ends

Robin Hood

Tales of Camelot and King Arthur- The Sword in the Stone

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm



Caddy Woodlawn