Update on My Previous Request

A few weeks ago, I asked for suggestions of good books to read for a 16 year old reluctant reader that I am tutoring.  I was so blessed by the interest and responses that you gave.  I have a increasing list of books to read from your suggestions.  I love good children’s literature and plan to keep reading through that genre until I die. 

We had a major breakthrough yesterday which I wanted to share with you.

Let me back up.  I cleared a complete shelf of my books and put a collection of books for this girl to choose from.  Some were borrowed from friends, some were borrowed from the library, and most were gleaned from my shelves. The first day we moseyed through the collection and I gave her a short synopsis of each book.

She chose “The Midwife’s Apprentice” and took off.  Note: it is a small book, not very long and had a compelling picture on the front.

One of my readers, you know who you are, was incredibly perceptive.  She looked at the request through the eyes of a young non-reader.  What would be attractive to her?  She suggested “The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants” might draw my girl in.  This is not Lord of the Rings, nor is it A Wrinkle in Time.  I previewed it and decided to give it to her. 

It’s not a book I would recommend to a typical homeschooled teen-age girl.  It is a coming of age story of four girlfriends.  There are some “mature” situations, but not the steamy, Harlequin variety. What I appreciated about the “mature situation” is that the author clearly shows the deleterious effects it had on the young girl.  The book didn’t say, “Don’t have sex before marriage because that is breaking God’s law.”  However, the author understands that this was wrong on all accounts for this girl.  Whether the author was choosing to be didactic, I don’t know; we’ve had some good discussions springing from this.

Yesterday.  We went to the public library.  16 years old, and never had been to a library before.  She had already read the first two Traveling Pants book and wanted to check out the third.  Visibly excited.  The director of the library issued my student her first library card with a cool plastic holder.

In two 1/2 weeks, she has read three books, more reading than ever in her life.  She has lost herself in a book and chosen to read in her free time.  We have purchased a small electronic dictionary and she has a small notebook – both fit in her purse.  We’re collecting words, building vocabulary.

And we have stacks of books waiting in the wings.


12 thoughts on “Update on My Previous Request

  1. I know you are totally covered up with your duties/obligations (enjoyable and not), but I so appreciate the time you carve out to blog and share yourself with us.
    Praying in GA,Dana

  2. It’s wonderful to hear this update! The Lord has granted you wisdom, as I knew He would!  Your enthusiasm for books is absolutely contagious. She’s in good hands.Praying for you both~Poeima

  3. Oh, I knew if anyone could do it, it would be you, Carol!!!  Thanks be to God for gifting you to this young lady!  And thanks for keeping us updated. I imagine she is giving back to you, as well. “Keep on keeping on,” as one famous husband was heard to say a few years ago 

  4. What joy for you and your young reader! I know how good it feels to see a young person grasp and hold onto something she once thought beyond her reach…or unnecessary to hold. In June, God blessed me with the graduation of a young man with whom I had helped for all four years of high school. When he was placed in my class as a freshman, some told me he would never make it because he had such gaps in skills. God knew better! I know that the Lord will continue to bless you both as you share reading experiences together.

  5. This is really neat!  It is so foreign to those of us who read or who read to our children and they became readers to come across someone who was never exposed to reading as a young child.  We don’t even think twice about reading – it is natural.  It is kind of like swimming – so many kids have swam since they were wee little that they don’t even think about it – it is natural.  Those of us who didn’t learn younger have to think a lot about swimming.  So your 16 year old reader has to put more energy into her reading.  But we can see she is gaining some confidence in the joy of reading.  Now that I am getting the crawl stroke down – it isn’t just work – it is fun to swim.  I hope that she will continue to be drawn into the books she reads and that this will be just the beginning for her.

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