Thinking About My Reader

Here’s the deal, folks. If you have not read Our Only May Amelia, please stop reading this post. I mean it. YOU MUST STOP NOW. My request may limit the audience of this post, but I don’t want to ruin one of the greatest books some people have never read.

Hello, people that have read Our Only May Amelia.

Today, a girl came bounding up to me during independent reading with the most excited look on her face. She couldn’t wait to tell me that May had just had a baby sister.

Seriously, if you have not read May Amelia please stop.

My student was so excited that May Amelia finally had a sister to go with her 7 brothers. She went on and on about how excited she was for May. I had never seen her so happy for a character.

Have you ever wished that your students would read a certain part of a book in class? I knew what was coming in May Amelia, and I wanted to experience it with my student. My heart wanted to be their for her when she got to, what I think is the most heart breaking moment in children’s literature. I knew that she was going to have to experience the death of May’s sister at home, and once again May Amelia brought me to tears. Thinking about my little reader: sitting at home, all alone, crying her eyes out, broke my heart.

All evening I’ve thought about the books we’ve read to prepare her this moment. Ralph Fletcher’s Fig Pudding has prepared her to read about the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one. I hope that reading about Mattie from Hound Dog True has helped her connect with May Amelia like our class has connected with Mattie.

As much as I’m worried about my reader, a part of of me is crazy excited to chat with her about her reading in the morning. We have lots to talk about, and I can’t wait!

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7 thoughts on “Thinking About My Reader

  1. I have a student who is reading Our Only May Amelia right now. She is not a fast reader but she is working on it steadily. Each day she comes in to tell me how good the book is. I want to be there for her too when she gets to that very sad part. And I want her to love the book as much as I do. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. My heart goes out to that young reader! She’s lucky to have someone she trusts who she can discuss it with.

    So much of the best literature has heart wrenching and heart breaking moments, and they certainly fuel discussion and connect us to characters. (/Out of the Dust/ and /Out of My Mind/ come to mind, for me.)

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  3. Yowza, she’ll need to talk to you this morning. I have had many students love a certain character in Hunger Games, tell me how much they love that character, and then have their spirits crushed. Or, another just finished Mockingjay and came to me in tears. I know what had happened. This also speaks to why it is so important that teachers read children’s books – you know how your reader is going to feel, you’ve been there.

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  4. Reading is ridiculously powerful, isn’t it? I, too, had a similar experience with a student reading The Hunger Games (not my idea by the way). I had to restrain myself from snatching the book out of his bag when he wasn’t looking to stop him from reading a particular section at home this weekend. He will be with me all weekend.

    I guess this weekend’s trip to the local bookstore will have to include picking up May Amelia!

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  5. This is part of why I get so excited when someone reads a book for the first time. I know they are going to get to experience that feeling – good or bad – of what’s in the book for the first time. Any time you reread it, you’ll already know what’s coming, but that first time is so exciting. It is always hard for me to try to contain myself when someone reads a book for the first time and I have already read it.

    I’m glad she has you to talk to about the book with!

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