Monday, April 22, 2013

Re-reading? A Do or a Don't?

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 one 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.

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.

5 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Janine said...

I have read "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" by Judy Blume more times than I can count. There is something about this coming of age story that reminds me of the best days of my life. I too will be joining the read along for "The Book Whisperer" and I am completely intrigued with learning how to keep children reading throughout their entire lives. It is my love for reading that has gotten me through EVERYTHING that has every happened to me.

Faithful in First

Runde's Room said...

These were some of my favourites, too. I have my old Anne of Green Gables set in the classroom, and I just finished reading the whole Little House on the Prairie set to my 7 year-old daughter. It was my old set, and I was so disappointed that the pages had started to fall out (understandable though, considering the many, many times I've read them).
Janine, Judy Blume was another one of my favourite authors.
I was such an avid reader as a child - probably a reason why I loved the message The Book Whisperer gave. You're going to love the book!
Runde's Room

Rachel Booth said...

Oh my goodness!! Another Anne fan!!! :) It was my favorite series in grammar school, and I have re-read the entire series several times, including the summer before I got married. It's amazing to me, as well, just how wonderfully I still connect to her character. As a teacher, there are times when I feel that I need to put on my "Anne-hat" and get going with the fun and whimsical!
Thanks for a great post!

Shannon said...

Oh, how I loved the Little House books and have reread several of them in my adult life! I reread The Secret Garden last summer, and am about to reread Charlotte's Web and The Outsiders.

I Run Read Teach

Mrs. Landry said...

I love all the books you listed! I always tell my first graders it's so much FUN to re-read favorite books. I actually did a post about this. I'm thinking of re-reading my favorite childhood stories- Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie... Can't wait!
Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

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