Mirror, Mirror on the wall…how has my reading gone this fall?
Today I am “reflecting” (haha…a pun!) on this question. I started this blog for my Children’s Lit class, and I have read a LOT of books (over 50 in about a month)! I’ve read some books that I have loved (The One and Only Ivan, I Lived on Butterfly Hill, Bad Kitty). I have also read some books that I did not like at all (some of the Caldecott books).
What types of books do I like? What about them makes them favorites?
I find that my favorite books have been mostly chapter books written for older elementary readers. I make connections with books that have strong, well developed characters. My favorite books this semester have all contained the worlds of my favorite characters. Ivan, Celeste, Kitty, are all characters I found myself emotionally invested in. Books without strong characters simply do not resonate with me.
What types of books do I dislike? What about them doesn’t connect with me?
The books that I have disliked most have been the illustrated picture books with no words. The illustrations are great, but it is hard for me to connect with the setting or characters through a picture book. I want to know the characters’ background, their hopes, their struggles, and get a sense of who they are. Some of these illustrated picture books just left me wanting a connection.
Which award winners have resonated most with me?
I have read books that have won several awards: Caldecott, Newbery, Pura Belpre, Schneider Family Medal, Coretta Scott King,… The list goes on and on.
My favorites have been the award-winners that immerse me in another culture. I Lived on Butterfly Hill immersed me in a culture that was a stretch for me, but ultimately was a wonderful experience. I felt the same way when I read Dave the Potter. This sense of belonging in the story is one of the things I love about these books.
What does this mean for me as a reader?
- I need a character (or two) that I truly connect with. I want to be a part of the story. I want to escape the boring “real world” and travel to another world with a friend from the story.
- I want a book that follows an “underdog”. Someone who works hard, is kind, and somehow solves the major conflict with kindness and humor. (And a happy ending doesn’t hurt either!)
I tend to gravitate towards Children’s books that fit the things I love about all books. I think that in the future this will mean that I tend to choose books that I enjoy to teach and explore with my students.
How has your reading gone? What things do you like? What things do you not like? Let’s talk below!