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Steve Weiner

Its an interesting debate & I've seen both sides--being a librarian for 20 years I've seen kids & teens read all sorts of popular stuff & then some of them come back a few years later & read more popular stuff. Others come back & read, not exactly Shakespeare, but Philip Roth & Elinor Lipman. I've come to the conclusion that it depends in part upon what things aside from pop culture influence literary appetites in one's life. Good teachers can certainly help, but what most studies reveal is that kids SEEING their parents reading & what their parents actually read is a major determinor in what kind of readers children will become as adults.


Your apples remind me of Cezanne's Astonishing apples. http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/cezannes_apples/pop_look.html

I agree with your last thought, I've seen it in my daughter. She's an avid reader but she gravitates to the "fun" books when at bookstores.

She's encouraged to bring her own reading material for "independent reading" in class, but she's required to read the material assigned to the entire class.

Eventually, her vocabulary will increase, her understanding will mature and she'll be ready for the more sophisticated material. However, she'll need a good "guide" like a caring teacher or librarian. That I'm sure of.


Mine won't be dragged kicking and screaming into a Shakespeare play, this year, but they will be able to see The Giver on stage for the first time! I'm so excited to see it-- after teaching it for seven years-- and I know they will be, too. I have a great group of eighth graders this year-- good "discussers," so I'm so excited to hear what they have to say when reading The Giver. The passion when they read it always amazes me. They have self-selected reading time in my class, too, but The Giver will never leave the required list as long as I'm teaching. :)


I came across your blog trying to ensure I was spelling your name right and was delighted to find that you have a blog. I also loved reading as a kid (still do!). I am forever grateful for my mother's love of classic literature that pointed me toward good books at a young age. That influence has made an indelible impact on my life.

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