Tuesday, October 19, 2010


One of my favorite authors is Kate DiCamillo. She also writes a stunning blog. But it isn't really a blog. It's a monthly journal entry and it always takes my breath away.

My student book club and I are currently reading DiCamillo's first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie. During our author study we came across this little quote from DiCamillo, which has kind of become our group's mantra.

Reading should not be presented to them as a chore, a duty. It should, instead, be offered as a gift: Look, I will help you unwrap this miraculous present. I will show you how to use it for your own satisfaction and education and deep, intense pleasure.

I love this so much. But not for the same reason as my students. They hold it up against me, against all their teachers. As a defense against testing and being looked at as a number. As a call for respect.

I see it differently. I don't see the word reading here at all. I see everything. Tucking my daughter in, washing dishes, teaching my lessons, turning my car left, brushing my hair from my eyes. "Look! I will help you unwrap this miraculous present", Kate says to me, "Look!"

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