Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Readers Interrupt Dinner Parties to Get The Book They Want! #SOL18
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Slice of Life: Readers Interrupt Dinner Parties to Get The Book They Want! #SOL18

I see him poke his head out from behind my garage.  I shift my focus back to the conversation around my dinner table. Then once again my attention is drawn to my yard.  Now he is in my hammock … tapping a stick on the tree beside him to keep the beat as it swings from side to side.  Our eyes meet.  He signals me, asking, “Can I come talk with you?”  I signal back as if to say, “Not now, I have dinner guests.”  His expression says it all.

I excuse myself from the table and try to telepathically send him a message to meet me at the front door.  I go inside and make my way across the house.  I am not surprised to see he is already waiting for me.

What’s up?

Do you have the new Dog Man book?  I really want to read it.

Yes, I do.  Listen, I have people here for dinner.  I will get it tomorrow and bring it over to you.  Ok?

Once again, his face says it all.

Give me a minute.

I circle back to check on my guests and then make my way down to the basement.  I think back through my week to figure out where I have Dog Man Lord of the Fleas.  I check two bags and then remember I recently used it for a post.  I make my way back upstairs to my office.  I sort through the piles of books I have scattered throughout the room. Found it!  I hand him the book and he skips down my front steps.  As I head back to my dinner party, I hear his voice.

It’s not signed?  I told my friends it would be signed.  You usually get him to sign it.

Now my face says it all and he continues on his way.

I think back to the number of times he told me he hated reading.  I remember the tears shed as he shared that he didn’t feel like a reader.  The hours he spent after school, on weekends and over the summer trying to crack the code of literacy.  Now he can’t wait a day to get his hands on the book he wants to read.  He reminds me that if we build it – a life of literacy, a love of reading, a desire for books – they will come.  They will come, interrupt, advocate and have expectations.  It is not enough to teach a child to read.  We must also inspire them to read and to live a readerly life.

I realize I am still staring out my front door, filled with admiration and joy.  There is nothing better than sharing the love of reading with another person – especially when that person is a small someone.  What other readers would interrupt a dinner party to get a book?  Well, it was Dog Man…

Clare

6 Comments
  • Stacey
    Posted at 09:37h, 16 October Reply

    This is what we all want… for the time we put in cultivating readers to turn them into that… readers! (This is what I want for my own daughter who is still trying to crack that code.)

    Beautiful Slice, Clare.

  • Chris Margocs
    Posted at 09:53h, 16 October Reply

    This post warms the cockles of my librarian heart. We can’t keep Dog Man on the shelves, either. And I’m betting your dinner guests loved the story you got to tell at the table after this encounter.

  • Erika Victor
    Posted at 10:53h, 16 October Reply

    I love, love, love this slice. I am so glad he knew he could count on you and that you came through! It is great fun to be the book fairy and now you can reap the benefits of that success hard won. I am suffering a bit in that I can not readily get new books here…

  • Tammy L Breitweiser
    Posted at 14:06h, 16 October Reply

    What a sweet story!

  • Paula Ruedebusch
    Posted at 14:08h, 16 October Reply

    We get caught up in our day to day planning and thinking and teaching and learning. We need this story to bring us back to our purpose. Thank you.

  • Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 22:17h, 16 October Reply

    I’d interrupt a BIG dinner party! What a great story, and I hope you shared it with your guests. I’m pretty sure you did, and I bet they loved it. Thank you for all the wisdom you have that you use to remind all of us about what really matters in the work we do.

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