Monday, July 07, 2008

Back to School

Homework


I wish the title of this post referred to my kids, but they still have more than a month left of summer vacation! I'm actually referring to myself. I'm preparing to interview two wonderful authors, Robyn Carr and Linda Greenlaw. Because I hate to chat with authors without really knowing their work, I've been doing my homework by reading their books and getting to know their writing styles. So, if you wonder why I haven't been posting, this is why. I'll be publishing my reviews and interviews soon, so stay tuned!



Vacation

I've already skimped a little on reviews in July, and it's only going to get worse! Not only am I busy doing my "homework," but I'm going to be heading out on vacation soon. My family and I will be making our annual trek to the Columbia River Gorge to visit my parents, grandma, etc. It's a beautiful area. Of course, I'll be reading while there, but I probably won't be posting. Be patient with me - reviews will be forthcoming!

Giveaways

We all love free books, and I've been so fortunate to win a bunch lately on blog contests. Stay tuned, because I'll be offering several giveaways in the next month or so. I can't wait!

A Couple of Questions

My nephew was just diagnosed with mild autism, and my sister has been really worried about it. She wants to learn how to help him, and hoped y'all would have some suggestions for good books on autism. I think she's interested in non-fiction more than fiction, but any recommendations would be fabulous. Thanks!

Since I don't have any scintillating reviews for you, I'll leave you with a question I've been thinking about lately. I took my daughter to Target the other day, and she was so engrossed in her American Girl book that I had to threaten to take it away from her if she didn't pay attention. She had her nose stuck so far into the book that she didn't seem to notice we were strolling through a busy parking lot! Both of my older kids are readers, but my daughter is a true bookworm. She reminds me so much of myself at that age. Anyway ... here's my question - do you think some people are just born bookworms? Is it nature, nurture or both? Are you a "born" bookworm? If not, how did you acquire a love for reading? And, how do you encourage kids to love books? Talk amongst yourselves now ... I've got to get back to my homework ...

11 comments:

  1. I actually do think you can be born a bookworm. There was no reason for me to love books when I was a small child. No one else in my family did. I was given a few books around the age of three or four which I was immediately addicted to even though I was never read to. And nor do I remember being taught to read, I just seemed to be able to do it. Born like it, I'm certain of it.

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  2. A friend of mine is very active in autism research and in living with a son who has Aspergers. The cool thing is that he is getting "cured"!! Her name is Katie Wride and she is a co-founder of a group in Gilbert called S.A.N.E. She has been involved with the legislative action that has been instrumental in getting insurance coverage for autism treatments! She's awesome!! Their website is http://www.phxautism.org/index.html
    and her email is:
    wridetribe@cox.net
    Go to their website link and you can even get Katie's phone number. I know that she could recommend books, a diet to follow as well as immunization schedules and much more! As a teacher I deal with autistic and aspergers kids everyday. I feel for your sister and will keep her in my prayers. Please let me know if this information is helpful to you and your sister. (No matter where she lives, the information that Katie Wride has is incredible!)
    Gaye

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  3. I just read a most interesting book written by a young man with Aspergers. It was so enlightening to read his point of view on his childhood and current life with his own unique way of sensing and seeing most other's reality. It is called "Born on a Blue Day: Inside the extraordinary mind of an autistic savant: a memoir" by Daniel Tammet.

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  4. My nose has been stuck in a book since the day I was born it seems. Well, not really, but soon there after. My mom read to me from the get go. I was reading before kindergarten. Both my sister and I are avid readers and I believe it is because my mom is. SHe has always read to us and has always had her own stack of books from the library to enjoy. Once we were reading books other than picture books she would always read them as well.

    I think sharing your love of books with kids rubs off. I teach 4 year olds and we always have 2-3 books to read every day that relates to what we are learning, what they want to read about, and something just for fun. Also, while they are resting (yay, rest time) I pull out my own book to read for awhile. they always want to know what I am reading about.

    I really do believe the boring textbooks and required reading in school curbs the love of reading in a lot of kids. It loses it's fun. Analyzing books will do that.

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  5. My friend has a son with mild autism and she has done a lot of research. Her blog is located at: http://craftyconservative.blogspot.com/.

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  6. I don't know about being born a bookworm, but I do know that a love for reading can be instilled by a parent. My dad taught me to read, and read to us kids a ton when we were growing up. My sister and I love to read, a lot. So maybe it's hereditary but I like to think it is just passed on by example.

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  7. The story about your daughter reminds me of myself when I was a girl--I used to walk down the street reading a book and one day I walked straight into a street pole. My father heard a huge bang and it was my head making contact with it. yikes! I think you are born with it, actually.

    I read "Look Me In the Eye"--an amazing book about living with Asperger's, by Augusten Burroughs' brother.

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  8. I think it is both nature and nurture that causes someone to be a bookworm. Obviously nurture is part of it, cuz if they don't learn how to read, they ain't going to be big readers. Maybe it is related to their personality? When I was younger, I liked being at home, and I was content to be by myself. So reading fit well with that. Someone who wants to be out all the time will generally probably not enjoy reading as much. Of course, children also take on their parent's attitudes towards reading as well. Good question.

    Enjoy your vacation, and don't worry about the blogging. Summer is for having fun outdoors.

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  9. Hi Susan! Been meaning to comment on this question but time got away from me. I think you can be born a bookworm, but that wasn't the case with me. I have actually always been an avid reader, started kindergarten early because the doctors told my mother "she'll be really bored if you don't put her in school," and was always the first in the class done with reading assignments. But here's the thing: my parents were never readers and my sister was never interested at all. I used to bike to the library on my own to check out books!

    Anyway, hope you're having a great vacation!

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  10. I think a bit of both. It's interesting to examine this in light of siblings. My sister and I both grew up in the same environment. Both of us were read to A LOT. Both owned a great many books. Both had library opportunities. Yet, while she always enjoyed reading...it never consumed her. She'd read if and when she got the chance. But she never made it her priority. She just read when she got bored or had nothing better to do. It was never quite an obsession for her. To me, books have always been an obsession. Reading is part of who I am. I live to read. It's not that I don't enjoy other activities. But I can't imagine a day without a book in it. And my sister can. She can live weeks or months without reading a book cover to cover. If you asked her if she likes to read, she'd say yes she likes books. But there is a matter of degree or intensity that separates us. That's not to say that she can't find great pleasure in the occasional book. So I am by far the more passionate of the two.

    Mom is a great reader. She may not read quite as many as I do. But I doubt there are many weeks that go by where she hasn't read at least four or five books.

    I honestly don't know about mom's siblings. I know I have an aunt who reads occasionally. But I don't think books are her life. I'm just not sure on my two uncles. But without a doubt, no one reads more than my mom from that bunch.

    And my Grandma. She loved to read books too. Since she's not in the best health (alzheimers though I couldn't spell it if my life depended on it) these days I'm not sure if she gets much reading done or not. But I like to give her books when I can. But in her prime, she always always always had a book in hand.

    The funny thing is, that without even "discussing" it at all...I've come to discover that we have quite a few things in common. I'll mention something to mom about a book or author I've just read. And she'll say, "that was your Grandma's favorite." or "Oh she loved that book." It's not that our tastes are so completely identical. But still it's fun to see how we're the same and how we're different.

    Of course now I'm relying on Mom's memory. Grandma is not alert enough (memory wise) to remember what books she's read and loved. She knows she loves to read. But she's lost a good many of the details.

    My grandma's sister, my great-aunt, she loves to read. I don't know how much these days. But I know she owns plenty.

    So I do think in a way that bookworms can come pre-wired to be bookworms. I don't know how or why...I just think that they do.

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  11. I agree with a lot of the comments. Although all my children love to read and read a lot, only one reads cereal boxes and the posters in the waiting room and anything that happens to have letters on it. He also, happened to teach himself to read before kindergarten.

    As far as teaching a love of reading, parents example is huge, as is finding the right books. My kids all respond well to series of books (think Harry Potter or Magic Tree House). My girl loves girly fiction and fantasy, my oldest boy loves sci-fi, but my 3rd I find responds best to magazines and nonfiction. My job is to make sure I provide lots of different types of reading oppurtunities, watch what really captures there interest and give them more of that genre (mingled with other genres to keep them openminded).

    My sister specialized in autism (as part of her speical education degree) in school and taught in an autistic classroom for 5 years (until last Novemeber when she had her baby). I will ask her for suggestions and email you.

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