Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer of 2003 at the Library Changed My Life

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.

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