Just finished Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt. I’m trying to remember back to my middle school years and what in the heck I read beyond science fiction.
NOT books like this one…where the main character has what could be considered to be an awful life. I don’t remember reading books where parents wouldn’t let their hard of hearing kids learn sign language (Hurt Go Happy) or kids killed other kids (Hunger Games) or kids committed suicide (13 Reasons Why).
But I remember losing myself in books for hours and hours…I still do, which is why it’s midnight and I’m still up–I just finished reading a book I began around 9 PM.
I’m a mystery nut–always have liked them, and it may have begun with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. But, crime shows, police shows, medical shows–those are what I’ve always liked watching on TV….until recently. I recently have lost all interest in crime shows…in CSI shows, in Criminal Minds, in anything with bloody guts and gore…I think maybe I’ve become saturated with horrible things.
Would I have turned out as a sensitive human being if I had read books like I mentioned when I was a kid? If I had watched the horrible crimes one sees on TV these days? If my reading and TV watching had been dark and criminally based? Is the world changing partially because of what we allow our children to read/write/play on the computer?
I played outside. I used my imagination, not having a huge tub of toys. I climbed trees, rode my bike, ran around (literally) and ate fruit from the trees in our backyard. I walked outside after dark without being afraid. I hung out in my neighborhood after dark without being afraid. I went to the library weekly to get a huge stack of books to last me til the next visit….and I shared good books with friends.
My librarian and I are talking about these books we’re both reading….and it’s fun to share about them with each other. She read Okay for Now 1st and I chose to read it next in my lineup because of her sharing. But this is another one I won’t push with elementary kids. Middle school? In a heartbeat…and to be fair, it’s on the VA Young Reader’s Choice list as a middle school book. And, many of our older kids are reading at that level…but I want kids to be kids as long as they can, and I think I’ll go for Hound Dog True next–so I can talk to kids about a book. How do you pick what to share and what not to share?