My students are primarily of Latino descent. Most claim to “hate” reading. Every year I push, shove, pull, and sometime want to shriek as I try to get them to climb into a book. It’s not a mountain. It is just one book.
I truly believe that if a kid can find just one book that inspires, enlightens, “hooks” him, that kid can become a life-long reader.
The trouble is getting that kid to at least TRY reading. I have a lot, a whole lot, of Fake Readers.
That is why I love it when an author shows up with a book, or two, or three that kids will read. Last year the librarians at my school entered some contest, and they won. The prize package? a visit to our school from the author Simone Eckles. She spoke about her books and her writing process. She was funny and kind, and students clamored to get her autograph. The librarians had prepared well, getting additional copies of the books from Barnes and Noble, and allowing students to purchase them at a discount.
I purchased one of each, and all three books disappeared before the year was out. I purchased them again, and they are gone again. No one admits to being the last to return them, although my list says otherwise. I don’t quite get it.
There must be a reason my students steal these books, and since they’re stealing them, they must be reading them–maybe? The stories are gritty and real and mirror the lives of my students. The characters are well-developed and mimic the behaviors of my kids. The bad boy and the “good” girl overcome their differences and end up together: a happily-ever-after my students surely hope for themselves.
So, once again, I am purchasing these books, and this week’s Reel Reading for Real Readers highlights to book trailers of Mrs. Rasmussen’s most often stolen books:
RULES OF ATTRACTION
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