Ahh, the sweet delight of books. We have added a book room to the BCW site; because book reading is something we all share. We were grown-up on reading and stories, and we delight in the treasures that books and stories reveal.
I live in HaNoi in a tower of a house. It rises like a turret from its small footprint and carries us up four flights of stairs. On every level there are bookcases tumbling and overflowing with books.
I have collected picture books for over 20 years and I still delight in sneaking into the kid’s section of bookstores to see what the latest books are. I sometimes think that having three kids is a good cover for me being a book hoarder.
My teacher self delights in library and bookshop hunts to uncover good quality literature that will connect me with a unit of inquiry or student interests. My aim in the classroom is to develop a love for reading, to help students move beyond the skill of decoding or purely functional reading.
Reading for me is a passion, a delight, and I see how classroom reading plays a part in all learning. Reading is not just a function with base skills; it is a doorway into the new and unknown. It is a path that forms connections between old and new.
My three kids are growing up with much the same passion for reading that I have enjoyed. Now when we travel the first thing the kids do is hunt down a bookstore, to discover what books are available in these new places, especially if it is a range that we don’t have access to at home. When travelling we usually leave home with one empty suitcase, just so we can fill it with new books for the return journey. I try hard not to be a book snob and to stay appreciative to all the different sorts of reading my kids engage with. This leads to roving, raucous, rambunctious conversations about the obvious and hidden ideas in the texts we read.
My eldest daughter (17) loves novels that are about young women her own age; she loves historic fiction with a good bit of romance thrown in. She is committed to discovering and reading good female authors. She enjoys reading play scripts as drama is her other passion. Her chill-out reading is Archie comics. Even these provide us with funny and rich conversations about gender, identity construction and how time and place influence our choices.
My son (14) loves non-fiction science texts and fiction texts that come in a series. He loves the continuity of character developments in a series and finds it difficult to engage with books that stand-alone. He enjoys the science fiction elements of Marvel comics and tolerates conversations of gender and power that we explore when he is reading these texts.
My youngest daughter (10) loves spy novels, code breaking books and adventure stories. She riles and rages that so many of these texts have males as the heroic leads. Ac a result we have committed our selves to hunting down stories where the chief protagonist is complex, beyond good and bad, female and explores a rich variety of ways of doing hero work.
I delight in reading good crime and reference texts connected to teaching literacy and inquiry approaches. I love great quality non-fiction kids’ texts and adore picture books with amazing illustrations.
My partner reads autobiographies of political figures and sports stars and buries himself in fantasy books based on medieval worlds as his down-time reading fare.
All this to give you an idea of what hats I’ll be wearing when I am reviewing books on this site; reviewing from the perspective of book lover, mother, teacher and explorer of all things that bring forth questions.
We support and invite you to check out the The Stella Prize and Stella school’s programme.