Monday, May 7, 2012

The children are our future? A concept that distresses me slightly less now.

It's me! I'm alive! I've been recovering from Massive Editing Project Syndrome, but full recovery is pending completion of said massive editing project. My recreational reading has taken a hit in the process, and that means I really haven't had much of bookish relevance to tell you about.

But Sunday, the husband and I and some friends volunteered at a book fair. We were manning the elementary/young adult books . . . which is to say, we were shoving our favorite books into children's bags when they weren't looking.

Did you know that when you let kids loose in a room full of books and tell them they can each pick 10, ACTUAL magic happens?

I confess, my expectations were low. The L.A. County public school system is not known for fostering a love of reading. In fact, kids don't generally start taking English classes until well into high school. Add to that the fact that the majority of these kids speak Spanish at home and all the books available at the event were printed in English. But none of that seemed to matter at all.

Some highlights:
  • The chubby little boy who discreetly tucked two High School Musical chapter books into his bag, after his older sister passed them over with a scoff.
  • The 5-year-old boy who crawled under the table and grinned mischievously at me while shoving a book about snakes and lizards into his bag, AFTER his mom told him three times that he couldn't have it.
  • The little girl who lit up when I added Misty of Chincoteague to her small, horse-themed stack (and then taught her how to pronounce it).
  • The girl I bullied into taking two books from the Redwall series. THERE IS A BADGER DRESSED AS A MONK. WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW, LITTLE GIRL?

  • Husband nonchalantly sliding a choose-your-own-adventure book into his back pocket. (Don't worry. He was allowed.)
  • Not a single Twilight book in sight.
And look at Camden holding this book I bought him before he was born!




    I loved that series so hard.  Still angry that a friend never returned my copy of Mossflower... 

    That sounds like a great day!  Kids with books are the best kind of kids.

  2. "The chubby little boy who discreetly tucked two High School Musical chapter books into his bag, after his older sister passed them over with a scoff."

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. And in my head, he looks like Manny from Modern Family.


  3. That sounds so very awesome! Kids and books= so cute! My cousin has a 2 year old and he just likes to tear books up at the moment which makes me sad... But he'll get books one day. He WILL *said threateningly*

  4. Wait, wait, kids don't start taking English classes until high school? What now?

    At least you guys were there to shove books at (thankfully) excited kids!

  5. You are most definitely correct in your recommendation of the Redwall books and I can't think of a better selling point than the badger dressed as a monk.  Bravo.

  6. I REALLY want to reread them all now, and I kind of wish I had taken those two copies instead of forcing someone else to take them. But maybe she will read them and love them. Just maybe.

  7. He DID look like Manny! But about 4 years younger and with MUCH chubbier cheeks...and a little smear of dirt down the side of his face from crawling around on the floor with the books.

  8. It was tons of fun...and very exhausting.

    I'm thinking your cousin needs to stick with cardboard books for a little while longer. ; )

  9. That's what I've HEARD. And my husband used to tutor public school kids, and he distinctly remembers one girl being really excited about finally having an English class...she was going into 8TH GRADE. It's a mess.

  10. My friend scolded me last night for calling it a badger DRESSED as a monk. More accurately, the badger IS a monk. I clearly need to read all those books again. They always made me so hungry for feasts of cheese and bread.

  11. I don't know if the experience is unique to me, but the Redwall books were the first "difficult" books I read as a youngster. Note that I was reading (and understanding, to a limited extent) a great deal of Stephen King at the same time. I'd have to pick up a Redwall volume again to determine the literary-ness of the books, but I remember feeling like they were a (good) challenge.

  12. Which is to say that regardless of the badger's occupation, I still feel that he was certainly DRESSED as a monk. Because I just can't see it any other way.

  13. Nice pick on your husband's part - I used to keep my fingers in the different pages just in case I wanted to cheat and rescind my adventurous decisions, but in the end, I would always run out of fingers, turn to page 25 and fall off a cliff or get grounded or sent home or something lame like that.

  14. You were a choose-your-own-adventure cheater! (So was I.)

    Those two books are STILL in the car. He's not appreciating them the way he should, and it's driving me crazy.