Wednesday, 17 August 2011


My kids take after me and are all avid readers. Like most young people they have a favorite genre and most of the books they read come from that genre. I suppose many adults are the same way. My son enjoys fantasy and some distopian and devours books so quickly I can hardly keep up with him. He tells me quite regularly that other books just don't interest him. I can relate. I read everything but fantasy.

Just before school ended in June, the English teacher asked my son what he planned on reading this summer. He listed a few books - all in his regular genre - and his teacher was impressed with the amount of reading he thought he could do. Then she told him that he should stretch his mind and reach something that he wouldn't normally pick up. She challenged my son to read a few classics and let her know what he thought.

When he told me about the teacher's challenge, I just shook my head. This is the first summer he has worked full-time and I couldn't imagine him taking what little spare time he has and using it for something that doesn't interest him.

I was wrong. This summer he read Ben Hur and he just finished Great Expectations. He can't wait to report back to the teacher about his summer reading. He just started reading A Tale of Two Cities and was wondering what to read after he finished it. I told him he should read some Shakespeare, quite sure he would laugh at the idea. Tonight, I noticed my volume of Shakespeare was on the couch. Somehow this teacher inspired him to try something out of his comfort zone and, even though he probably won't admit it, I think he is actually enjoying the experience. At the very least, he is inspiring me. There are several classics I've been meaning to read and I think it is about time I start on them.

What books have you read lately that have stretched your mind?


Mandi said...

Well he definitely outread me this summer!

Karen said...

I have a hard time getting into the classics but once I pick them up I find I really enjoy them. My favorites are Les Miserables and Count of Monte Cristo. I am also just starting A Tale of Two Cities and a little apprehensive about it. Hopefully I like it just as much.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

What an awesome kid you have there! Very inspiring. Would love to hear what his teacher says when he tells her what he has read. ;)


Canda said...

Um. . . nothing. All mindless reading. I'm going to have to wander down different aisles at Barnes and Noble.

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Renae W. Mackley said...

One of my favorite ways to stretch outside of my regular genre is through audio books. I can listen while I'm doing other things but it doesn't take away from my favorite reads.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I've just read escapist books this summer. He outreads me most of the time. I haven't tried audio books yet, although I've considered it.

I love A Tale of Two Cities!

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