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The Story of a Reader


Once upon a time, there was a mom and a baby boy. Every night they had a routine. Bath. Book. Bed. She rocked him and read to him as his eyes got heavy.

When he was a little older, the routine stayed the same, but rather than heavy eyes, he had watchful eyes. They would look for all the “mousies” as they said goodnight to the moon. He would finish the sentences. He would turn the pages.

When he was four, they moved into a new house and his mom put peel-and-stick alphabet letters on his wall. The two of them would lie in his bed with his stuffed Cookie Monster and his mom would ask Cookie and the boy questions like, “Who can find the letter N first?” Between Cookie and the boy, the boy would always win.

When the boy started kindergarten, he couldn’t read on his own yet. He was given word lists each month and struggled with remembering that T-H-I-S was pronounced “this” and I-S was “is.” He was frustrated. The boy loved drawing so his mom asked him to draw her a book. On each page, she asked him to write, “This is a …” and it helped him learn the words.

Around that time, his mom read the boy books about the adventures of Jack and Annie and their treehouse. It was magical. These stories led to curiosity beyond any other books the boy had ever read. He wanted to learn about Treasure Island, King Arthur, Merlin, and other amazing people and places that Jack and Annie mentioned.

In no time at all, the boy could read on his own. In the summer between first and second grade, on his own, the boy read about new wizards who learned their craft at Hogwarts. He was an eager reader who consumed series about wimpy kids, kids hunting treasures, coins that disappeared, and origami creatures from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. He used books to find out about facts and people in history and would write his own stories too.

Then the reading stopped. No more series. Just assignments. He got quieter. So his mom asked him what he was reading in school. He told her about Esperanza and his mom read it herself. School said he had to pick a book over the summer to read and he picked a book about a girl who was out of her mind and his mom read that too. The next summer, he read about hidden children and his mom read that too. It can be hard for growing boys to talk to moms so why not talk about these things?

The boy is now two years away from being done with this chapter of his life and he had to read about a dystopian new world in the future where people were brave. His mom had never read the book before, so she read it too. Then something new happened. The boy asked his mom for her thoughts about the book. The mom really liked that plot twist.


P.S. The Catch of the Week this week is the book The Reading List. I dare you to read this book and not find yourself with a list of books to read next!

The Reading List is “An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.

Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.

“Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.

P.P.S. Please remember to...

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