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Posts Tagged ‘george macdonald’

Among children’s books, I especially like books that are fifth-grade level. Although I enjoyed all the “color” fairy books when I was in third grade or so — Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book, the Orange Fairy Book, the Rose Fairy Book, and so on — it wasn’t until about fifth grade that I really got hooked. Flashlights under the cover and all. I had a relative who worked for Dan Wickenden (The Amazing Vacation), and she sent me Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and the Narnia books. My cousin Patsy got me into George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin. I reread that one a couple years ago, and it’s as great as ever.

After college, I  taught fifth and sixth grade for a few years and read to the kids as time allowed. I remember how one class only gradually realized they were really starting to like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince. Reading can sneak up that way.

Today I am one of the volunteers who go out from our workplace to an inner-city school where there has long been a tutoring relationship. It started with a team who read picture books chosen by teachers to first graders. Then other teams were added (such as fourth grade math tutoring), and now there are teams reading with fifth graders. The books are chosen by the librarian. Each fifth-grade volunteer has a group of three children, and grownups and children all take turns reading and discussing. Even though the kids see teams once a week, most individual volunteers only go monthly. It’s not hard to fit into one’s schedule. I have learned about a lot of books by volunteering at the school. I already knew about From the Crazy Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler, but not about Holes, Maniac Magee, Hatchet, or Hidden Talents, to name a few.

One colleague, having found out that I liked this age level, introduced me to the Golden Compass series. Heaven! I also like her suggestion of The Island of the Aunts and recommend it.

Better sign off. The last time we had a storm like the one outside my window, my computer was hit.

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