Thursday, April 12, 2007


Today, April 12, 2007, is National Drop Everything and Read Day. I thought I would take this time to share some of my favorite quotes about reading, share some important links about literacy, and give a little background about myself and my lifelong love of books! Later on in the day, I'll be reviewing The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. That book is definitely one that should inspire you to 'drop everything and read.'

Oh, magic hour when a child first knows it can read printed words!

For quite a while, Francie had been spelling out letters, sounding them and then putting the sounds together to mean a word. But one day, she looked at a page and the word "mouse" had instantaneous meaning. She looked at the word, and the picture of a gray mouse scampered through her mind. She looked further and when she saw "horse," she heard him pawing the ground and saw the sun glint on his glossy coat. The word "running" hit her suddenly and she breathed hard as though running herself. The barrier between the individual sound of each letter and the whole meaning of the word was removed and the printed word meant a thing at one quick glance. She read the pages rapidly and almost became ill with excitement. She wanted to shout it out. She could read! She could read!

From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.

From A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith, p. 166-167

The library was a little old shabby place. Francie thought it was beautiful. The feeling she had about it was as good as the feeling she had about church. She pushed open the door and went in. She liked the smell of worn leather bindings, library paste and freshly inked stamping pads better than she liked the smell of burning incense at high mass.

From A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith, p. 22

Francie thought that all the books in the world were in that library and she had a plan about reading all the books in the world. She was reading a book a day in alphabetical order and not skipping the dry ones.

From A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith, p. 22

When I start on a printed page, I tend to eat it down like a peppermint stick.

From PREACHER'S BOY by Katherine Paterson, p. 84

It's always great to find out that a favorite author has a book you didn't know about. It's like thinking you finished your soda but then you grab the can and there's still some left. Only it's a thousand times better.

From SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE by David Lubar, p. 122

Remember how I hoped Ender's Game would be good? Well, it was beyond that. I could hardly put it down. I read more than half the book the night I started it...

From SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE by David Lubar, p. 100

I never go anywhere without a book. That way I’m never alone.

From PUCKER by Melanie Gideon p. 64

As a young child, I had always felt a bit cheated that I hadn't been born with a superhuman power, such as the ability to stop time or control the weather. I would even have settled for something as simple as ESP. But as I walked through the streets of New York that day, it began to dawn on me that I had finally discovered my special gift. Somehow, in return for my days of reading, I had acquired the ability to see things that no longer existed. By merely squinting my eyes, I could envision the city the way it had appeared 150 years before I was born.

From KIKI STRIKE: INSIDE THE SHADOW CITY by Kirsten Miller, p. 24

There was another reason why Meggie took her books whenever they went away. They were her home when she was somewhere strange. They were familiar voices, friends that never quarreled with her, clever, powerful friends--daring and knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had traveled far and wide. Her books cheered her up when she was sad and kept her from being bored ...

From INKHEART by Cornelia Funke, p. 15-16
Reading Rockets
First Book
Put Reading First (National Institute for Literacy)
Suggestions for Parent Involvement
Jim Trelease On Reading (Reading is Fundamental)
The ABC Literacy Site
Literacy Connections
Children's Literacy Initiative

I began my lifelong love affair with books in the womb. Okay, maybe my mom was thinking more about my sister who was two and a half, but even so it affected me just the same. The reading aloud never stopped. There wasn't a day that went by without the sharing of books. That special, mommy-daughter bonding time with a good book. One of my favorite *treasures* is of an audiocassette of her reading aloud some of my favorite books...books like Umbrella, Blueberries for Sal, Ferdinand, Caps for Sale, Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumb, etc. It was an interactive experience. You can hear me joining in with my early chatter especially on the bon polos (from Umbrella). I loved the attention. I loved the books. I loved the words. That is why school--once I got past the initial shock of a strange new place--became such a great place. Here was a place where the primary goal was to teach me how to read. The glory of it all. True, "Matt the Rat" and "Pig in a Wig" weren't the most exciting books to sound out...but I knew that these small steps were leading to something great. Books like Charlotte's Web. Little House in the Big Woods. Ramona the Pest. Alice in Wonderland. Winnie the Pooh. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. So phonics wasn't so fun...but I knew that the destination was worth all the effort, all the time, all the energy. Once those words became mine, the reading never stopped. Reading is like breathing to me. (The picture is of me on my first day of kindergarten).


Marci said...

What a wonderful site! I enjoy your goal of encouraging an enjoyment of reading. I, too, warmly remember making my way through the Ramona books in elementary school. I will make sure to remember next year's D.E.A.R. day!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'll remember D.E.A.R. next you, too! (The 12th was my big promo day for MIKE this year.)
And that's a cute pic - must be you with your sister in the one below, too!!