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Thursday, February 15, 2007

E. B. White: Charlotte's Web (Rating: 9)

I finished reading Charlotte's Webto my son Riley last night. It is no wonder that this book is a classic!

This is the first time I've read him a book of this length; we read a chapter, more or less, at bedtime each night for the last several weeks.

Not that I haven't wanted to read a book this long to him, but he just turned six in January and is only now showing an interest in an ongoing story.

(This is a huge step up from the days when he wanted the same book read every night for a week or two on end!)

It also reminds me of my favorite story about my mother:

This will shock anyone who knows me, but I must not have always been a fan of books. In fact, I really wasn't at all interested in school around the time I was in second or third grade. I was doing so badly that year that I was going to be held back if I didn't go to summer school.
My mother decided, and off to summer school I went.
After lunch each day, the teacher would read a chapter from one of Jerry West's Happy Hollisters book (a series of mystery books for kids). I loved the stories, and was always very impatient to know what would happen next.

I must have said something to my mother about this because—even though we had very little money when I was growing up—she somehow managed to find enough to start buying me a Happy Hollisters book every month so I could read them for myself (and not have to wait to find out how it was going to turn out).
Because she did this, I really developed a love for reading and, for the rest of my young life—and often as an adult—I could usually be found with my nose in a book . . .
(The preceding is adapted from a memorial tribute I wrote about my mother for Julie (my wife), so she could put it into the first volume of the scrapbooks that she's doing for Riley.)

So? The point?

Well, first off, I'd have to say that I sincerely hope that Riley also acquires the reading bug the way Julie and I have (and thanks to the wonderful teacher he has at kindergarten—and without overly belittling the impact Julie and I are having on him as well—I think he's well on the way).

Secondly, I guess we have my mother to thank for this blog's raison d'être.

Thanks, Mom!