Lately I've been posting about how Summer Reading Club in Texas has impacted my life. In 2003 the theme was "Mission Possible: Spy a Book". I wrote a show called "TOP SECRET" a show about reading and World Geography.
It was a lot of fun to write, especially creating all the "spy" marketing and promotional materials. The show itself was very fun to put together and, like ALL the shows I create, I learn a lot not just in the writing of the show, but also in the performing.
In my programs, kids ask questions or make comments and, quite frankly, I don't always know the answers. So I have to go study and research more before I present again. It pushes me to learn new things. I like that.
2003 was also the year that I really began reading a lot of children's literature. I've rediscovered the joy of reading fiction again. I am a voracious reader, usually consuming 50+ full-sized non-fiction print books each year and another 40-50 audio books each year. Almost all my reading is non-fiction and I really enjoy it.
But there is something nostalgic about sitting down and reading (usually in a single evening, and often times in just an hour or less) a fiction novel written for a middle school student. If you doubt this for even a moment I highly recommend you visit your local library and check out any book by Gary Paulsen. As a sailor I particularly liked "The Frog", but I also enjoyed all the other books of his I've read.
I also now read about 100 or so books written for elementary age children, which can be read in about 5-20 minutes each, so that's no real accomplishment, but there are some that have brought a tear to my eye including "Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man" by David A. Adler. The pictures are simple, but when combined with the story, you can't help but get a little choked up at the end.
In fact, you can read the blog post I wrote about Lou Gehrig earlier this summer.