The school year is coming to an end, and yesterday was the last official student visit to the middle school library where I work. Sure, they’ll be in borrowing books for the rest of the week and until circulation closes. But yesterday was the last time I pulled out a loaded cart and got to talk about books.
This time around students did most of the talking. The question was: “What are you going to read this summer?” or “What should the rest of us read this summer because you think it’s really, really good?”
Under the heading “Sixth Grade Says, ‘Read This, or Else!,’” folks recommended everything from Holes (Louis Sachar) to Eragon (Christopher Paolini) to The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick) to The Hunger Games (do I need to say Suzanne Collins?). But they also said, “Read the newspaper!” (a surprise) and “Read the Onion!” (another surprise).
There were more classics on their list than I would have expected from sixth graders. Anne of Green Gables and To Kill a Mockingbird to name a few. And though they recommended loads of fantasy for the summer months, they also mentioned Fever 1793, historical fiction by Laurie Halse Anderson, and the Depression-era story Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Of course, they also plan to read Calvin and Hobbes, Dear Dumb Diary, and Stephen King.
Hearing the enthusiasm in their voices made me want to sit right down with a good book…or at the very least read a newspaper.
Stay tuned for the final part in this two-parter.