This week my Book Bears reading group at the public library had our first meeting of the year. September is always ‘bring your favorite book that you read over the summer’. It’s a great way to meet the kids – grades 2 & 3 – and see what everyone likes to read. I host the discussion, and invite each child to read a page aloud from their book. It’s a wonderful ice breaker.
I also get a feel for how they read, and how much they read. My wonderful all-boy group likes dragons, book series like The Boxcar Children, American war history, and much more. Book series are very popular. The diversity of interest is exciting.
At this point, everyone had talked about their book, and more importantly talked about why they liked it. Everyone was listening to each other. It’s about more than just the book. It’s about getting to know each other. I understand every child, from the ‘I don’t know anyone here’ and the ‘I don’t like to talk’, to the chatterbox. Somehow, in 20 minutes, we have all become pals. Me included.
And then something happened. A boy said that he reads every night. Another boy said he does, too. And another, and another…
The conversation went something like this:
A child: “I read 40 pages at night.”
Me: “That’s terrific.”
A child: “I read 100 pages a night. Well, one time I read 100.”
Me: “That’s hard to read so many pages. When I go to bed and read, I don’t read 100 pages. 40 or 50 is what I read at bedtime. Do you ever read in the dark?”
A child: “Sometimes I read in the dark.”
A child: “I do, too!”
Me: “Do you have a night light?”
All the children: “Yes!”
And this is where it gets interesting…
Me: “Do you ever read in the dark with a flashlight, under the covers, after Mom and Dad say it’s lights out?”
A child: “Yes! Sometimes I can’t stop reading because there’s an important part.”
A child: “I don’t have a flashlight. But my toothbrush does.”
Me: “Your toothbrush has a flashlight?”
The child: “No, it doesn’t have a flashlight. It just has a light inside. When Mom and Dad turned off the lights and said it was time for bed, I waited. Then I tip-toed into the bathroom and got my toothbrush so I could keep reading.”