Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Book Pusher

Today the Mom was a book pusher.
After a morning jaunt with the kiddos to the doctor for some steroids to battle the evil Poison Ivy, the boys are now a bit less itchy.  Along with their prescribed medications, I also gave them a dose of reading recommendations.   In one case, it was a bit of an overdose, and I am feeling like the Worst. Mom. Ever.

Some of my friends have asked me for advice and reading recommendations for their own kids.  I've read quite a few children's books, and if you'd like to see my personal book lists, please friend me on goodreads.  But I'm not a children's book expert, and my reviews are written from an adult educator's perspective.  Therefore, I'm including some website links from authors and publishers for Moms (and Dads) to use as resources to find books for their own kids.  The first link, in fact, was discovered by the Dad that lives at our house via Patch: ReadKiddoRead Annual Summer Reading List 2012 .  You can also check out another "great reads" recommendation article penned by Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer (another fantastic professional development resource for Teacher/Parents out there), and (I believe) the originator of the term "book pusher."

I am an enthusiastic reader of Children's Literature.  Often, I prefer reading it over adult fiction.  As I have said, I read from the perspective of an adult, and today I pushed the wrong book for my youngest.   My intentions were good: I shared my enthusiasm for one of my favorite authors, and I hoped that it would be received as such.  I'm afraid, however, that I forgot about the intended audience in my fury.  I gave him Love that Dog by Sharon Creech today.  It's perfect: short, written from a boy's perspective, and the format is unlike most books- written as poem entries in a writing journal.  I especially like the beginning, because the main character Jack's voice hooks you in.

I don't want to
because boys
don't write poetry.

Girls do."
"SEPTEMBER 13." Love That Dog. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. 1. Print.

Perfect for C.J., right?  Wrong.  <spoiler alert>  I had forgotten that the entire premise of the book is based upon Jack's struggle to express his sadness over the death of his beloved dog, Sky.  Sad.  Very sad. <end spoiler>

Bad choice.

He read it, and he wrote his response in the form of a letter to me (posted with his permission):

Because of the intensity of his reaction, my belief in Creech's writing talent has been confirmed- only well written books draw this type of emotion- but I am humbled by my poor judgement in this recommendation.

P.J. was not very enthralled with his book today, either.  See his review below:

Hi this P.J., and the book I read was Eyewitness books, Arms and Armor.   I read this book because I wanted to learn more about ancient weapons and why the people who invented them did it. This was an OK book.  It had information on the topic, but I just found it to be a bit boring. I found it boring because it was just too full of information for my liking and it just rushed too fast and skipped around in the time periods. This book I would give a 6.5 out of 10.  I recommend this book for ages 10- infinity.

So, after a big apology from me and a long conversation with my youngest (with the promise to back off my enthusiasm a bit), I think we have come to an understanding.  I need to stop pushing and start listening.  After we hugged it out, C.J. showed me the new LEGO Lord of the Rings building sets that have piqued his interest.
Hmmm... J.R.R Tolkien, perhaps???

Books reviewed today:
Creech, Sharon. Love That Dog. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. Print.
Byam, Michèle. Arms & Armor. New York, NY: DK Pub., 2004. Print.


  1. Replies
    1. Dear Mrs.Creech.

      I apologize for what I said about your book love that dog. Let me rephrase what i said as "Not my kind of book". When i was writing that letter i was not mad at you. I was mad at my mom. (she let me say that) The part i didnt like about it was how you described sky`s death. I think you could improve on that by making that part like in walk two moons when the main character realized her mom was dead by looking at her grave. Again i apologize for what i said about love that dog.

    2. Mrs. Creech,
      Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to read C.J.'s review. He was very worried that he had hurt your feelings. As a sidenote- we lost our beloved pup a year ago, and the hurt still surfaces occasionally. I thought he'd be ready for LTD, but I was mistaken.
      With respect and admiration,

  2. Another fine post! Bless his heart. But I adore the fact that he was so honest with you in his review.


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