My trees are filled with these apples, none quite ripe yet. This morning when I walked the dog at 5:30 AM, loons were calling on the lake, and a large deer in my back yard was startled into bounding away into the meadow beyond. It has been in the 40s at night. Everything feels like fall.
After reading what so many different people have had to say about the NYT article, I'll add just one more thought. Those who feel that once we get kids to "enjoy" reading by way of Gossip Girls and its ilk, they will eventually move on, on their own, to the "classics"----AIN'T. GONNA. HAPPEN. They will move on to read popular novels, and there is nothing wrong with that. But not one of them will ever voluntarily pick up Joseph Conrad or Henry James or Virginia Woolf. I never would have --- and I was an avid reader from the start. I needed the incentive of good teachers, of classroom discussion, of learning to think critically, in order to appreciate classical literature.
No young reader is ever going to leap on his own from Jack Prelutsky to William Butler Yeats. That's what an educational system is for. That's what good teachers do, and why we should pay them more to do it.
School starts this week. I hope a lot of adolescents are dragged kicking and screaming into a Shakespeare play.