Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Notes / Reading with Devyn

Devyn and I spent every spare moment reading a chapter book together yesterday: The Red Ghost. It marked a change. I've always wanted to introduce her to the ghost genre of children's books and this was the best time.

I worried that she'd be frightened, even though the target audience of The Red Ghost is six to eight or nine years. I worried that she might not be able to follow along with the plot or the subplot.

The reference to a significant period in history could have been an obstacle.

I was wrong on all counts. Instead, she surprised me. In response to my, "What did ya think?" She said, "I'm disappointed."

"Why? What didn't you like?"

"Well, why did it have to come at the end?"

"What at the end?"

"The ghost."

"Good question! Do you think it should it have appeared at the beginning?"

"No, it should have come in somewhere in the middle."

I was proud of her, of this independence of thought, of this opinion of hers that wasn't at all groundless.

The suspense just hadn't worked for her; it had annoyed her.

But, anyway, as August rolls in, I'm reminded that my time with Devyn is about to change dramatically: We won't be together everyday or every weekday that she's not in school because she'll be in school full time. From this point on, it's about Devyn gradually letting go of our time together in order to embrace new and more complex social environments.

We'll have to work harder to get in those chapter books. I already know the next title to introduce to her; the earlier title, The Blue Ghost, followed by The Secret of the Painted House. Where we'll go from there, I don't yet know.

The Red Ghost
(a Stepping Stones book)
Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrated by Peter Ferguson
Random House
April 2008
Trade Paperback

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