I am reading Where the Red Fern Grows to the kids this week in the evenings. I loved and re-read this book frequently when I was a kid. Reading aloud is such a wonderful activity: I am forced to slow down and savor each word in order to give the kids the best possible experience of listening to it. I've enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.
The two oldest were extremely reluctant participants, complaining bitterly that I turned off a movie about the 2006 World Cup (which they've seen a bazillion times) in order to read to them. I gave them a choice: You can sit in here with us and listen, or you can go to bed. They grumpily shuffled off to bed. A few minutes later, they changed their minds and sullenly trudged back into the living room, with blankets and pillows, and harumphed themselves into comfortable positions. Four chapters later, they didn't want me to stop. Victory is sweet.
I can already tell that I'm going to have a hard time fighting back tears while reading the more emotional parts.
What books stand out for you from your youth? Find one, and read it out loud to your kids. Or to yourself, if you don't have a good audience. Or to whomever you can make listen.
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