Thursday, May 17, 2007

Striking A Spark

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions nor regret the loss of expensive diversions or variety of company if she can be amused with an author on her bookshelf." — Lady Montagu, providing advice on raising her granddaughter, 1752

I had a book fair set up last week in the library. I have several book fairs a year, even though they are a great deal of work and hassle. The kids love them. And I always think, maybe, if I can get one kid to find one book that will ignite that spark, I will have succeeded. The spark I've been trying to ignite with all of them. The spark that will ignite a love of reading.

Some of them come to me with the spark. They have been read to by their parents, they have parents and other family members who read, they can recite Mother Goose rhymes and smile before the end of the fairy tale because they already know the end. They converse about Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett as if they were personal friends. They are happy when I hand them a new book I have found.

Some of them find the spark with me. They begin to read more and more, they come back to the library to ask for another book like the one I gave them, they look up in confusion when I turn off the light and it is time to line up because library class is over. They were lost in their book.

Some will never find the spark. Those are the ones who make me sad. They are the reason I have book fairs, keep reading aloud, keep recommending books, keep buying new books like graphic novels, keep trying and trying and trying. But some will never get it.

So I set up the book fairs. I unpack the boxes and make the displays and take the money and help them find books and then pack it all up again. It's a lot of work. But I'm looking for that spark.

And, sometimes I find it.


Nikky said...

I will always remember when my oldest, now 13, found that spark. Of course, it was Harry Potter who helped him find it. Now, my youngest son, at age 9 is becoming a fan of not only Harry's movies, but Harry's BOOKS, and I couldn't be happier. Oh? My daughter? She loves Stephen King and Dean Koontz (Ten years old... I know, I know, but at least she's READING!)