We borrowed more books from our library, to continue our quest to finish the Great Words, Great Works book list put together by the National Spelling Bee. Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg, TN may be small, but it is mighty. When they do not have a title, they will get it for us through ILL.
I have learned to send about five title requests, especially if we are talking chapter books. Picture books require 20 minutes to read. A chapter book written for a third grader can have 188 pages. They may be small pages with seven pages of illustrations total, for instance, but it will still take about three or four hours to read out loud. If you have to take these books back in 14 days with no renewal possible, then you have to really hurry up.
We liked “Sisters and Champions” a lot. It is the story of Venus and Serena Williams. I have always admired their careers and it was touching to learn some details about their lives, of which I was not aware.
“Whales on Stilts” is bizarre, but funny. “Hedi and Her Amazing Invention” is about Hedi Lamarr and her discoveries that helped pave the way for technology we use today, like WiFi, GPS, and signal-blocking devices.
My children like to read to themselves a lot. They also like me to read out loud to them. We do both. I read to them because I love it. Also, because I do not know these books. I want to know what they are learning. Plus, it gives me a chance to point out vocabulary, grammar, character issues etc in the book.
Reading aloud gives us a chance to bond and to exchange ideas. We pause sometimes to anticipate what will happen next. We laugh at jokes and we cry when a beloved character dies (e.g. Matthew in Anne of Green Gables). It is a chance to live life together with my children, through the lens of good literature.