This past week, I spied a Cooper and Packrat book lying on a desk with 15 or 20 sticky notes peeking from the pages.
Right away, I knew these were connections the student had made to the story. Text to other texts. Texts to media and the world.
Text to self.
The student saw me looking and rushed over, “Mrs Wight! Wanna see?”
I DID want to see.
As a reader, we’re always making connections; I’ve done this. I know a friend who did this. I saw something like this in the news. Didn’t National Geographic have an article on this? It’s just that we aren’talways conscious of doing it.
As an author, I constantly hope my readers enjoy the story. I want them to groan at the end of a chapter because I’ve made it a page turner. I imagine them laughing out loud and having a friend nearby lean over their shoulder to see what’s so funny.
But I’d forgotten my readers are making real life connections with the words I’d painstakingly chosen. Words which have special connections to me and my world. As I flipped through the multi-colored sticky notes, my eyes filled with tears.
The student went on to explain in detail some of their connections. I chuckled with them at some, and nodded solemnly at others. We shared personal stories of bullying, bird watching, frog catching.
This, this is the highest honor a reader can bestow on an author.
And it’s why I write.
You’ve truly given “connection” to the kids I read to. I only go to the private school once every three weeks, and when I pull out Cooper and Packrat, they’ve already thought of something to tell me that they remember from the last time, or something that’s happened to them. As for the page turners, you’ve perfected that for “my” kids too. When we’re almost finished for the day, they never fail to look at the clock and one will say, “I can’t wait to find out what happens next!” Sometimes I can squeak out just one more.
Mona, thanks for sharing! When your kids are finished with the book, if you’d like to gather their questions and e-mail them to me, I’d love to write back to them. 😉