A friend of mine who teaches 3rd grade and is going to school herself was assigned an assignment to list 40 books to have high school students read.She was having trouble coming up with a list and went to Facebook asking her friends for their favorite books from high school, that was assigned by a teacher. Apparently it's for a class to help kids fall in love with reading and books. I had a hard time coming up with books to help her and I was just in high school 10 years ago. I managed to come up with a book that we read in class that I thought was ok, which was Hatchet by I believe Gary Pulsen. My English teacher was obsessed with his books.
I have a confession to make, when it came to books being assigned to read on our own to read I wouldn't do it. Due to the fact that one I hate being told what had to read and teachers NEVER picked a book that I would read in general. Heck even when we had to read a book in class together, each student taking a turn to read out loud was torture to me. It wasn't so bad in grade school except in I believe 4th grade but I will get to that in a minute. Why was it torture to me to read out loud in class? It wasn't cause I had problems reading out loud, it was because other kids had problems reading out loud and when they would read it would be in monotone, choppy and just drove me nuts. I would actually read ahead of everyone and when it came time for me to read again I knew where we were and would flip back to where the class was would do my part and when done go back to where I was. If I hadn't of already loved reading this would of turned me off of it.
Now why was it so bad in what I believe was fourth grade. Well because we were reading a book called Guns for General Washington. That book was soooo freaking boring, it was the first time ever that I started falling asleep in class. I hated that book so much. I dreaded that time in the day when we would read it. Now in all fairness my 4th grade teacher did read a few books that I didn't mind listening to like Where the Red Fern Grows, when she finished that book I vowed I wouldn't read it ever again but that was because it was such a sad book cause the dogs died. but it was a good book. A book I loved that my teacher read to us and I own a copy of is Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.
My 6th grade teacher read to the class and I actually own 3 books she read to us about WWII which are Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse, Number The Stars by Lois Lowry and The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen. I vividly remember her reading The Devil's Arithmetic because it was the first time I ever envisioned myself in the book. I was living the book as if it was actually happening, I was seeing it through the eyes of the main character. It felt like I was actually there. I wasn't in class anymore, when she would stop reading it took me a few seconds to come back to reality. It felt so real to me, it shocked me. I had never done that before, now I do it all the time, when I read I am transported into the book.
I think how I got my love for books is from my dad, he used to read to me at night. He didn't do it every night but I remember him reading to me. In fact I to this day still have the last book he ever read to me, which is Oscar Wilde Stories for Children. I'm pretty sure mom read to me too, I just don't remember it, but that's ok. I also remember the first Chapter book I read on my own which was a Ramona Quimby book.
I strongly believe that parents should read to their kids, I believe it's what will help kids fall in love with books, not teachers assigning books. Those books wont appeal to every student. I know if Richard and I have kids that I will be reading to them, in hopes that they will love to read as much as Richard and I do.